April 20, 2005
Freak Out

I have an irrational fear of rodents which I get from my mother. (You can't argue with that Mom. You know it's true.) They freak me out. I didn't realize how much they freaked me out or how bad my fear was however, until early this morning.

Around 2 or 3am this morning Ribbon made a strange meow from out in the living room. Now I'm like a mom with her child when it comes to my cat. He makes a werid sound and I wake up. Thinking something was wrong I went out to see where he was. I looked into the living room and I see my cat half under the couch like he's attacking something underneath it. I immediately realize that he's fine, but I also think he's attacking a mouse. Why I thought this I do not know but already freaking out I ran back to my room, closed the door and got back under the covers. All I could think was he's fine and whatever he's playing with will hopefully be gone in the morning. I went to sleep trying not to picture mice.

Around 6am I hear him making the weird meowing noise again. It almost sounds like he's in pain. I get out of bed and cautiously come out of my room. I call his name and then realize, duh he's kinda going deaf so I pound on the floor as he can usually feel the vibration. Then I see him walking towards the house from outside. I walk towards the back door and as he comes in I think he's been hurt. He's walking slowly and his head is down and all I can think is that's he's gotten into a fight and been hurt and what is wrong with my baby.

And then I see what he has in his mouth. A huge freaking mouse. I flipped. I yelled "No Ribbon. Go back outside." and pointed towards the door. And the poor thing just looked at me like, but look at what I did for you and conintued to walk towards me all the while make the weird meowing which as it turns out is what Ribbon's meow sounds like when he has a mouse in his mouth. Who knew? I ran. Like a girl, which I am, but still, I ran and slammed the door to my room.

I didn't know what to do. I was literally starting to be insanely scared. I knew it was ridiculous but I couldn't stop the irrational fear. So I called my housemate Krista. I called my housemate on my cell phone from my room. I woke her up and 6am and started to have histarics. She was so great. She kept telling me, "Nuala I would come and get rid of it for you but I don't have my contacts in and I can't see anything." In the meantime while I'm talking to her I hear Ribbon drop the damn thing right in front of my door and then later I hear him moving it around playing with it. Ughh.....

So at this point I'm shaking and starting to have tears roll down my face. Like ridiculous reactions. I know it is but I can't stop how terrified I am. Krista calmy says, "Just go get Deanna and ask her to get rid of it for you. She's okay with dead mice." and by this time I feel so bad about waking Krista up that I'm embarrased to go wake up Deanna but I'm so scared that I do it.

Deanna calmly gets out of bed and goes out the door. I hear her getting a plastic bag and Ribbon meowing and then bamb! Presto! She says I can come out and that it is gone and she goes back to bed.

I'm left with Ribbon looking at me like his heart is broken. His prize is gone and he has nothing left to show me. At this point all I can do is still picture Ribbon with the mouse in his mouth so yet again I run back to my room and under the covers.

It took me 45 minutes to relax enough to fall into a light doze. Krista eventually got up and asked me if I was ok. Ribbon mewoed at her as if to say, "I had a great big mouse that I wanted to show everyone and I am King of the castle, but Deanna took my prize away."

When I did eventually get up I made a very big deal of Ribbon, because the truth is I'm glad he killed the mouse. I'd rather they be dead than alive and somehow finding a way into the house. And he's 17. I mean my cat is old. And blind in one eye and going deaf. The fact that he can still catch mice like he did back in Pleasant Hill when he was a young cat of under ten is freaking impressive and I am very pround of him. Needless to say he got extra pampering, food and treats today. He's been struting around the house all day so very studlike and he is currently contently sleeping next to me trying to sleep off his mouse catching hangover. He's had a tough day. And he's staying in the house tonight. There will be no mouse encounters for me tomorrow morning.

So that was the start of my day today. It was definately interesting. I never thought I was that afraid of rodents before, but there it is. Monkey see, Monkey do. My mother runs screaming from mice and apparently I do too. No other explanation. Dead, alive, whatever. Irrational I tell you. Irrational, but there it is.

(The original version of this post that I had composed in my head at 6am this morning when I couldn't relax was way better. I'm going to have to learn to write these things down when I'm not close enough to my computer....sigh.)

Mice everywher fear for your lives

Posted by nuala at April 20, 2005 11:36 PM

Right after I posted this Kitten came in the house. Ribbon immediately jumped down off the bed and went into the kitchen. And then I heard rustling. I made Rocky come into my room and then I saw a tail that both cats were staring at. I slammed my door shut. And then just as I'm feeling okay it's on this side I'm on that side it runs under my door and under my TV. Yep I woke up Deanna again and made her help me to get the damn mouse out of my room. It's out of my room now and stuck in the laundry room with two cats and a back door opened. It'll either make a break for freedom or get killed. There is now a poster board and boxes blocking the bottom of my door. I feel safe for the evening and hopefully come morning the mouse will be dead and one of the roommates will have disposed of its body. ugh!! Cats or no cats we are so getting an exterminator and the pet door is no longer allowed to be open past 8pm. Not if the cats keep running the mice into the house. I'm going to try and sleep now without thinking about the little beady eyes staring at me while I'm sleeping.

Posted by: nuala on April 21, 2005 12:08 AM

wow...you're worse than me. and you have GREAT roommates! good ole' Ribbon...he's such a good cat.

If you want to make sure the mice are gone and don't come back, go to Home Depot and buy these little fixtures that plug into the wall. they look like those plug in air sanitizers. but they put out some sort of noise that makes mice and other evil things stay away from the room. Ever since i put one in my room i haven't heard or seen a thing...they're great. and they only cost like $6 or something.

I'm sure Rocky was absolutely useless during this whole episode.

Posted by: adrienne on April 21, 2005 08:58 AM

i had one of those noise emitter things once and thought i was safe. until i watched a gigantic brown fuzzy spider the size of my palm scuttle past it in the hallway.

and you have the best roommates ever. when bill saw that ginormous spider he screamed like a girl (which he isn't) and ran back into his room and slammed the door.

Posted by: michele on April 21, 2005 09:22 AM

I may go and get one of those things. At lease then it will stay out of my room. Rocky was very useless. He did try to sniff the mouse as it was behind the TV, but otherwise he did nothing. Yesterday when I was priasing Ribbon to the heavens I let Rocky know that he could learn a thing or two from Ribbon.

My roommates will soon hate me if I don't get over this fear. I think as long as I can keep them out of my room until we can fix the problem I will be ok

Posted by: nuala on April 21, 2005 10:00 AM

just go buy the thing from home depot and it will definitely stay out of your room...i don't know about spiders but it definitely works with mice.

poor little Rocky, Ribbon is always making him look bad.

Posted by: ady on April 21, 2005 10:33 AM

wow, i feel very very much your pain but i have to tell you this story made me laugh out loud a lot.

when we had mice i forced my housemate to let me sleep in her bed, though most nights i refused to sleep there at all. also, our mice were actually rats.

good old ribbon. that cat is going to live forever i think. he's a spry old man.

Posted by: didofoot on April 21, 2005 04:47 PM

oh my god, you had rats?! mice i can handle, rats are just...i can't handle a rodent that size. that must have been awful.

Posted by: ady on April 21, 2005 06:05 PM

rats are the reason i moved out of my last house. everyone in the house laughed at me, but they didn't have to clean up rat droppings from behind everything in the kitchen, and hear them scuttling through the walls at night, which i could since my loft bed was right by the ceiling. ugh, i'm getting chills just thinking about it. we should all be so lucky to have a ribbon.

Posted by: erica on April 21, 2005 07:22 PM

I used to hear mice in the loft our grandparents built at their house. Ugh. I feel your pain erica. so gross. I say good job on the moving out.

Ribbon is going to live forever. The vet even told me so. I have medical confirmation

Posted by: nuala on April 22, 2005 10:39 AM

I'd also like to report that yesterday was mice free. Yea for closing the doggie door!

Posted by: nuala on April 22, 2005 10:43 AM

my god! I just did an internet search for 'fear of rats' and I came across this blog...nuala, i know exactly how you feel...I also have this really really huge fear of rats & mice. Not spiders, not lizards, not any other creepy crawly but rats...uuggghh. We've just shifted our home to a ground floor house and there are these two rats that have made their way into our house and refuse to leave. No body else is scared in the family and I feel like such a fool sometimes :) But I get my husband to check the room twice over before I enter it. I wonder whats the best way to keep them away...

Posted by: mridula on August 2, 2005 01:53 AM