It took me awhile to get used to the residents here in Bear River Valley. I'm not talking about the ones who live in their own cute little houses a mile or so away. I'm talking about the ones who live in my cute little house.
The first thing I noticed upon moving into our funky old schoolhouse was a baby bat living in the rafters of the porch. Next to it was a big fat wasp nest.
Then there was the squirrel (the gray fuzzy kind, not the kind wearing the wedding ring,) under the porch.
Then there were the mysterious creatures running around in the attic. To this day we're still not sure if they're more squirrels, rats, feral cats or all three.
We've also found raccoons in the laundry room, lizards in the bathroom, frogs in the kitchen and spiders as well as the ugliest bugs imaginable just about everywhere.
Most of these creatures are fairly easy to get along with, and we all go about our daily lives under the same roof tolerating each others' habits and quirks. In fact, when Squirrel has to work the occasional night or happens to go out of town, I now take comfort in the noises coming from the attic and the fact that I'm not really alone.
A few weeks ago I noticed that the fringe was coming off of a beautiful blanket my mom had given me for my birthday last year. I kept finding small pieces of gold and red fibers all over the house. Then I started hearing rustling noises coming from the corners at night, and we kept finding little brown pellets in places where little brown pellets should not be.
Squirrel has a serious aversion to rodents. Anytime he sees a glimpse of one he starts ranting about the bubonic plague and swinging his machete around wildly. It amuses me to no end.
Last week Squirrel had a job interview. He took his freshly ironed clothes and put them in a suit bag so that he could change in town. Luckily Bee is very generous with the use of her apartment while she's at work, so I went to raid her refrigerator while Squirrel was changing clothes. Suddenly I heard a shout from the bedroom. "There's a mouse in the bottom of this suit bag!"
I giggled, "Don't let it out at Bee's!" and ran to look at it. The suit bag was lying on Bee's bed. I gently lifted the corner, and the first thing I noticed was a giant nest made of lint and red and gold blanket fibers. "Oh...you little hoodlum..." I whispered to the mouse and pulled the whole top of the suit bag up. There staring at me was not one...not two...but four little mice. Quickly scooping up the bag, I let them out downstairs where I knew they'd be a nice meal for the stray cats living under the building.
I kept laughing at Squirrel while he muttered under his breath about diseases and traps and went on his way.
At home later that night I had almost forgotten about the little stowaways until I opened up the top drawer of my dresser. There, amongst the tangled piles of panties lay the remains of what used to be a fun little collection. There were massage bars with distinct bite marks and chunks out of them. There were pieces of edible pleasure balm spread all over the bottom of the drawer. There was a hole nibbled in the motion lotion, and it was leaking everywhere. And the brown pellets. All over my lacy underwear. I was suddenly not amused or feeling very neighborly anymore.
I spent the next evening buying traps, smearing them with peanut butter, spreading them around the corners of the house and listening gleefully for that satisfying snap.
This is war, you little bastards.