Thursday, September 16, 2010

This Adrenaline Stuff is Gonna Be the Death of Me!

Yesterday as we were wrapping things up after a long, busy day, we went outside and saw that our dog had killed a baby goat that must have wandered onto the property. I will spare you all the gory details but because we could only find part of the goat, my paranoid brain kicked into high gear and I wondered if someone had perhaps thrown poisoned meat over our fence for our dogs to find. It's been done before so I wasn't being too paranoid. Tom helpfully commented, "well, I haven't made anyone mad recently..." Good to know.

We decided to just keep an eye on our dogs--it was really all we could do. 

A short time later I heard shouting and banging coming from the kitchen. Tom was egging our dogs on as they chased mice around the kitchen. Both dogs are excellent mousers and little rodents come with the territory when you live in the country. Especially since we have empty fields or even better, fields of maize right next door. Also, we have grass on our metal roofs which is the perfect habitat for entire rodent families. Just ask me how I know! We have to keep our fan on all night to drown the sound of the scurrying through the grass--their little paws sounding like thunder on the tin.

Last night, after the goat and mouse drama, I was all tucked into bed and had just drifted into that wonderful, dreamless state when I was awakened to the sound of Timmy coming into the room calling loudly for his dad saying that there was "disaster and a lot of chaos". I came wide awake wondering what had happened. Who was hurt? Were the dogs sick? Had the mice done damage?? 

"No, Mom, go back to sleep. It's just my video game." 

Have I mentioned that I kinda hate video games? Yesterday as we were in the kitchen preparing dinner, Timmy had a conversation with his dad about going to jail twice for stealing apples and that he also gambles. Our poor volunteer thought he was talking about real life. No, dear, this is a geek household, don't you know.

Anyway, back to my interrupted night. I fell back asleep after practicing deep breathing exercises to normalize my heart rate.

An hour later we lost power which is always disorienting. You wake up and everything is dead silent and you can't see your hand in front of your face. Thankfully it came back on after just 15 minutes which meant that our fan also came on and Tom didn't have to threaten to shoot holes in our ceiling with his shotgun to get those pesky mice.

Around this time I decided I was thirsty so I walked outside to the dining/kitchen building to collect my water bottle. I opened the door and what did I see but a 6 inch mouse (or is it a rat?) falling from the top of the door across the dining room. The poor little thing (can you hear the sarcasm?) was scared to death and began running back and forth between the two doors in that corner. I finally found my voice and called for Harley the Dog to come get the mouse (mouse sounds better than rat). The mouse took off running for a shelf in the other corner but wasn't fast enough and Harley won that round. 

I stumbled back to our house on very shaky legs and just as I reached safety, the thought occurred to me that since we put poison on the roof of our house to get rid of the mice up there, perhaps it wasn't a good idea for the dogs to eat them. I mentioned this to Tom and he agreed, but then to my horror he suggested that we go together to get the mouse back from the dog. 

His idea was to distract the dogs so he could snatch the mouse up. He called them in to the kitchen pretending there was another mouse and Harley dutifully dropped her mouse and came running. Only problem--Buzz then picked it up and ran off. Great! So, Tom called Buzz and he began trotting toward the kitchen. I saw the mouse in his mouth and could just see him delivering it to me and I panicked! I jumped on top of a chair and trembled which did not amuse Tom in the slightest. He needed my help and I was  being useless (and full of pride apparently--which I haven't quite figured out) and so I bucked up and climbed down to help. Thankfully all that was required was shutting the dogs first in and then out of the dining room. I didn't have to come near the mouse. 

By the time this was all over I was shaking all over from the adrenaline overload and wondered if feeling would ever come back into my fingers and toes. Apparently it did because I lived to type this story. I really wish there were better benefits from frequent adrenaline overloads.

This story is written today to encourage my cousin, Stephanie, that she is not the only one with rodent problems. She was embarrassed to admit her problem (but shared it with the world) and so I wonder if she'll appreciate me spreading it even further. Well, she did ask for it.


  1. GIRL. I am NOT good with mice (or rats, whatever)!! I shriek like a little girl when I see one too. I'm not sure I'd last a minute in Africa.

  2. You are BRAVE! Mices are not my thing & lucking here we have not had a problem so far. If we ever do Oskar, our miniature schnauzer, is a rodent dog, so we should be all set.

    Enjoy your siesta this afternoon!

    Hugs & love,

  3. I had to come & read your story after seeing your comment on Steph's blog. All I can say is EEWWW! I would have reacted the same way. I've had to become a bit more brave, though, since becoming a single homeowner - can't always call the bf to take care of these things. But what I want to know is: were you ever able to go back to sleep?!

  4. Oh what a day. But it makes for good blog fodder.


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