My family used to have a cat named Rocky. He was an outdoor cat, and for a while, he went through this phase where he would capture and kill mice and leave their remains on our backyard porch. A particularly memorable time, he once left a mouse head right at our front door. It was pretty gross, but gross in that way where it's okay because it's our cat, and it's outside, and I didn't have to clean it up. The mouse head looked pretty funny.
Living in New York, sometimes you are privy to some pretty gross things. My first apartment had the occasional roach or mouse, and I think what made it so gross was that these creatures were uninvited, they were inside AND I had to try to catch them and clean them up. Plus, they always appeared to come from my closet which made me feel partly responsible. Dan and I did not have much of a problem in our West Side apartment, though I do remember an incident where there was a giant water bug that walked along the wall around the circumference of our apartment (the apartment being so small that I could watch its every move, and it took him walking around the whole room for me to get the courage to grab the thing with a paper towel, throw it outside, and then go into my bedroom, lie in fetal position, shake and whimper until I calmed down.)
Though none of these incidents can match the horror of watching a giant rat on the subway platform drag a McDonald's paper bag while I was waiting for a train.
Last night, I came home from work, plopped on my couch, watched some tv, read through the current issue of US Weekly and slowly started to fall asleep. Dan woke me up when he opened the door, and after he greeted me and teased me for sleeping, he suddenly said, "Why is there a dead mouse on the ottoman?"
Literally, 12 inches from my head lay a dead, grey, bloated mouse--not on the floor--but ON TOP OF THE OTTOMAN. And the idea that this thing must have been there the entire time as I watched and read and slept chilled me to the bone.
My shaking and wailing started and so Dan told me to look away so he could think of what to do next. He actually said that. He finally thought it was wise to pick up the mouse and dispose of it somehow (I think he put it in a bag and threw it in the garbage chute in the hallway, but I can't be sure because I was too traumatized to watch). I made Dan look inside the storage component in the ottoman to ensure there wasn't a graveyard of mice in there. There weren't.
Dan immediately decided that someone was trying to mess with us. That the mouse was deliberately planted by some unknown hater who somehow had access to our apartment. How else would a mouse get there? I talked him out of it and we decided that the mouse must have come from the walls or pipes and might have eaten some poison along the way which is why he died while walking on our ottoman.
I shudder to think of mice walking on anything of mine.
Dan said that we should have taken a picture for the blog, but there is no need. The morning after, that vision of little dead mouse still haunts me. I keep looking for his friends, hoping that I will never find them.