I promise, this is the last post I will ever write that has anything to do with rodents, at least until the next time I feel the need to write about rodents.
Here's the good news: the smell is lessening. Thank you for all your funny and encouraging and otherwise grotesque feedback. The open containers of coffee grounds have helped, and I think the 18-degree weather hasn't hurt, either. Though that does make me wonder if we might get to reacquaint ourselves with our malodorous friend when the weather warms up.
Clark, that's the gift that keeps giving the who-o-o-o-o-ole year.
I think I managed to keep my cool pretty well during the original mouse fiasco. But now that I know there's a dead one in the wall? I'm not keeping my cool. In fact, I'm going a little crazy. Remember that short story by Edgar Allan Poe, where the creepy murderer buries the heart under the floor boards but he can still hear it beating?
(By the way, if you're new here, hi, I'm Shannon, and I don't normally blog about murderers and beating hearts under floor boards, and please will you come back sometime?)
Yes, well, I'm not hearing any beating hearts, but I'm finding myself living with an acute awareness of the dead mouse in my wall. Even with the smell going away, the idea haunts me. I have determined that, so help me, there will be no more mice in this house, ever.
And for the first time, I have entertained the notion of getting a cat. This is significant for two reasons:
1. I really hate cats. Truly. I'm sorry if you're a cat person, and I'm sure you're perfectly lovely, but your pet alarms me. I am not especially fond of humans who put on airs of superiority, and I absolutely cannot abide it in an animal. And of course, I'm sure your sweet cat is the exception, but I can tell you that I have never met a cat who did not look down his furry little nose at me. And wouldn't it be unethical to get a pet that I have no intention of ever liking?
2. My ten-year-old son and I are both violently allergic to cats. Our faces get all puffy and red, and our throats itch, and we sneeze like crazy. I wonder, would daily allergy pills be enough to combat the intense allergy? Right now, I'd consider wearing a chain of Claritin around my neck everyday, if it meant no mice.
I decided to do a little research, just to find out what my options are. I am not pleased.
First of all, Wikipedia tells me that "some allergy sufferers find relief in periodic injection therapy designed to stimulate the body's natural immune responses to the cat allergen."
I didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday, y'all. They're talking about SHOTS.
Plan B was to Google "hypoallergenic cats".
And may God have mercy on us, because they are making cats in laboratories. They have been bred not to trigger allergies, and Time Magazine listed them as one of the "Best Inventions of 2006". (A cat is an invention? Sounds like the premise of an M. Night Shyamalan movie to me.) Furthermore, these cats cost $4,000–that's FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS–and there is over a one-year waiting list. I just shake my head.
One last option was to check into "hairless cats" (did you know there is such a thing?) and Wikipedia showed me this, which was all I needed to see, thank you:
Bless its heart, it looks so unhappy, but I suspect you would too, if you looked just like Gollum. While I'm sure it's a sweet little thing, I can tell you that I would not be able to sleep with that in my house.
So I'm back to square one, wondering if there's even any possibility for us to get a cat. I once again throw myself on your mercy for advice, if you've dealt with this. Is it possible for a cat allergy to be managed? Are there types of breeds that are less irritating to allergies (in particular, breeds that don't require a down payment or look like a lizard) ?
Internet, I'm all ears. (Not as "all ears" as Gollum-Cat, but still all ears.)