The Outsider: Laundry and litter critters don't mix
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | January 25, 2018|
R.D. Lawrence did it. He lived with wolves, or they lived with him and he loved it. Timothy Treadwell did it, too. He lived with bears, albeit, if you remember the documentary film made about him, he and his girlfriend got eaten by said bears in the end. I’m sure that there are many more examples of folks ‘living with nature,’ so to speak, but, me, I’ve decided that I’m not ready for it just yet.
You see, living here in our wonderful rural idyll, I get to experience nature all of the time. I catch a glimpse of a hawk or owl as it ghosts overhead on a chilly morning. I spy the tracks of a coyote or raccoon along the riverbank. Beaver paddle past my kitchen window most days and if I’m not so lucky I see a deer and fawn, as they skip daintily across the road mere yards in front of my truck! And all of this, apart from the heart-stopping moment before I realize I’m not going to run down a deer, is great. However, the other day, nature decided to come live with me and I’m not happy about it.
You see, I’ve known for a while that I’m sharing my home with one or two furry little critters. The squirrels in the shed, a chipmunk under my garden wall, both I can deal with but when a mouse took up residence in, get this, my washing machine, I realized that things had to change.
Now, finding said mouse, or at least evidence of his residence, was unusual to say the least but it didn’t do him any favours with regards to being welcome in my house, let me tell you. When Little Z came up from the basement and said: “Daddy, there’s water everywhere,” I should have realized that my relationship with the mouse, my living with nature, was never going to go well. Our washing machine had gone wrong and there was water spewing out of the little drawer into which you put the detergent. Enough water that the basement was an inch-deep in it.
At the time, I did not suspect the pernicious paw of a tiny rodent but all would become clear as I investigated. On emptying the washing machine and sticking my head in the drum, I felt something warm drip onto the back of my neck. I put my hand to it and it had the texture of peanut butter, the crunchy kind; the colour, too. But, on tasting it ... no, I’m kidding! On smelling it, I got a distinct odour of dog food, mixed with detergent.
As I prodded and scooped the foul goop from the pipe between detergent drawer and drum – finally having to unclog it with the stuff you unblock the kitchen sink drain with – I realized that a mouse had been stealing Jeff the dog’s kibble and caching it in my washing machine. Mixed with warm water and detergent the kibble had transformed into a glutinous mass that completely blocked the washing machine, flooded the basement and forced me to tear up numerous sodden carpets.
So no, I’m not ready yet. Not quite there when it comes to living with nature. And the mouse had best steer clear because the traps have been baited, with kibble, detergent and peanut butter, too.
WILL JONES - is The Outsider