Critters!! Again? .. Oh My..

Scratch,  scratch .. what's that?  Dog dreaming again?  Nope, Dog is fine. Then what's that noise?  Scratch, scratch, claw,claw!    Of course, it is after midnight, so I can't scream loudly and hope the neighbor will come save me.  The Adventure Dog is sleeping soundly so I poke her and she jumps into action.  I point to where I heard the sound and she dutifully does her best police dog impression and sniffs every edge and every corner, then looks at me like I am crazy and lays back down.  Nice!  So much for my guard dog.  I didn't hear 'the noise' anymore so I settled back into my book but my thoughts drifted back to my harrowing experience with critters last winter.  Ahh, the Winter of 07,  I remember it all too well.  Here is a page from my journal.

Adventures of a Winter Texan '07

I have heard that all over the valley this year the rodent population is booming. I don’t know if that is true or not, but in my park it certainly is the case. They are everywhere, scampering in the bushes, running across the roads and trying to nest under wheel covers. I have caught my share of them heading out from behind a wheel cover and had been pretty successful at keeping them outside my rig. That is until that nice cold front came through last week. Now being smarter than your average bear, I knew the cold weather would tempt the critters to come inside and snuggle. So I prepared! I turned off my furnace and water heater and put my electric blanket on the bed and turned it all the way up. I figured my four-legged companion had plenty of hair and could tough out the night curled up in a ball on her bedding. The important thing was not to attract any rodents. I snuggled all safely in my bed and dozed off with a smile, thinking I was clever.

Clang, crash, crunch .. what the hey!! I flipped on the lights to my Shepherd mix knocking over my bathroom trash and trying desperately to get to something behind the toilet! I looked at the clock.. it was 2 am. Fear shot through my body.. it is 2 am, there is something in my bathroom and no one awake to run to for help.  Dog turned around to give me the ‘aren’t you go to do something’ look. I swallowed hard and thought maybe I should go look. I hadn’t actually seen anything, maybe it was a moth or a fly she was trying to catch.

I got up slowly, thinking the best thing to do would be to turn on lights.  So I did. Then I remembered that the drapes on the front of my motor home where at the cleaners and people, people who might be out at 2 am, might see me walking around in my pajamas. Hmmm, I quickly decided this was serious and I couldn’t worry about that at the moment.  I went and bravely grabbed Dog by her collar and pulled her back from the toilet so I could see the problem. As I did, I saw something small and furry run to where the pipes come in behind the toilet. I let out a blood curling scream and started to jump up and down! It was a mouse! I was terrified. I retreated to my bed to think about what I should do. I picked up my phone, it was now 2:14 am.  Hmmm... I contemplated calling a friend on the other side of my park that might come and help me out. Then again it was 2 in the morning and the coldest night of the year so far, they probably wouldn’t be thrilled if I called them about a mouse. I looked out windows on both sides of my rig, thinking my blood curling scream probably woke someone up .. no lights on .. no luck. I thought about going to a motel in town.  That would give the little bugger free reign in my house. It would probably be drawn to my nice warm bed .. no better to stay and defend the bed.

Dog was still stationed at the throne, so I knew that the little terror was still in there so I devised a plan. I decided that I should close the bathroom door and shove dirty clothes under the door so it wouldn’t escape. Then in the morning I could call a friend to come and extract it from the bathroom. But what if 'nature' called before morning??   Dog had kept her position but laid down now. I thought maybe it had escaped along the water pipes and was no longer there. I got a flashlight and very cautiously looked all around behind the throne and saw nothing this time. I wanted to use the throne quickly to be sure I would make it till morning but was afraid maybe it hid in there.  I lifted the lid and the seat slowly .. no mouse.  Still being a little tentative, I thought it best to assume the Public Potty position, the kind of balance and squat but don’t actually sit down stance. Well as soon as I did, the mouse shot past my foot and Dog made chase. I quickly retained my balance gathered myself together and went to grab Dog.  She had the little guy cornered and was batting, chasing and then she tried to grab it with her mouth. I swear the thing was doing acrobats trying to get away. In any case, when Dog almost grabbed it, I let out another screech of horror as I again thought ‘what am I going to do with a mouse in the dogs mouth at 2am!’. My scream scared Dog, who jumped back and the mouse ran under the door to the front of the RV! I quickly gathered clothes and stuffed them under the door and barricaded us in the back. Whew, what a horrid experience! I again checked out the windows to see if maybe a neighbor had awoken this time and I could open my window and plead for help. No such luck, so I crawled back under the covers after doing a thorough check that nothing else was in the bathroom.   Dog stationed herself at the edge my barricade. I left the lights on, pulled the covers close under my chin and watched till Dog eventually faded off on her guard duties. I encouraged her to keep the faith a time or two, but then she was just done. I lay there thinking about my 4 year old niece and how I would have to explain to her that her aunt barricaded herself in the bedroom because of a mouse. She has a Rat as a pet. Her’s is a fancy rat, there was nothing fancy about Mickey’s wicked step brother that was now doing who knows what in the front of my rig. I went in and out of sleep until daylight struck and I heard people outside. I called my friends from my bed to see if they could come and help me, but they had their phone off. I decided to get dressed and grab Dog and run straight outside. We did. I found two neighbors, one came with a broom and one bravely entered with just his two bare hands. The searched high and low for that mouse and never found it. They placed traps but I have never seen hide nor hair of the little fella since then. I think maybe we scared it as much as it scared me. That is just fine.