Let me first start off by saying that my boyfriend's apartment is not at all filthy or disgusting or anything bad like that. Yet, every so often, a tiny brown mouse makes an appearance there. My boyfriend (Rick) has seen him once in the kitchen, and a few weeks ago, I met him for the first time. It was not a pleasant experience.
When Rick first saw him, he was washing dishes. I was watching tv in the living room when I heard Rick say, "Holy shit!" As a worrier, I assumed he cut his finger off while scrubbing a knife or something, so I leaped up and said "What?? What happened?!" He then appeared in the kitchen doorway and said, "Um, I guess maybe I need to get some mouse traps."
I freaked out. And, when I freak out, it involves me asking questions nonstop. I guess I feel like if I know more information about the terrible situation, I can fight it better:
"Ohmygod, a mouse?! Was there just ONE? What color was it? How big was it? No, show me with your hands how big it was! Is that an exact measurement? Do you have a ruler? Show me on a ruler! Did it touch you? Did it make a noise? What direction was it running? Do you think it has a family? Is there going to be a whole FLOCK of mice in here now?!?!"
Yeah, pretty much like that. And yes, I often misuse the word "flock" when I'm panicking about animals.
Anyway, for the next week or so I would only go into the kitchen if I were wearing shoes. I was convinced that if the mouse saw me, it would run up and bite my toes off. When I hadn't seen any trace of a mouse that week, I thought maybe Rick had just been hallucinating from dishwashing fumes or something, so I decided I could safely go into the kitchen in bare feet.
I was waiting for Rick to get home from work, and I decided to be a nice girlfriend and wash the dishes that were in the sink. I wasn't thinking about the mouse at all (actually, I was singing "Our House" by Madness at the top of my lungs) ... but then I noticed a flash of brown fur move right by my feet.
Well, that was it. I gasped and fled the scene with a cry of "PLEASE GET OUT OF HERE!" (I'm glad that even when I'm about to have a heart attack, I can still be polite.) I texted Rick that I had seen the mouse and was about to die, and he texted back that he was sure it was gone, but I was not about to go back in there. I went back to the shoes-only rule for the next few days, and I added a little pre-entrance speech:
"Mouse! Are you in here? If you are, I'm going to close my eyes for 10 seconds, and that's the time you have to vacate. Ready? Go!"
I haven't seen him since, so maybe he was just as traumatized by our encounter as I was. However, I am now terrified to wash dishes in that kitchen. I mean, so far he has only appeared while dish washing was going on. Is it the scent of the dish soap? Does he love the sound of running water? Does he think we're making a jacuzzi for him in the sink?
So yeah, a few days ago, I decided I needed to name the mouse in order to make him seem less like a toe-biting death machine and more like a cute little pet. I picked the name Herman because I'm sure no one named Herman ever went around scaring people when they were innocently washing dishes. Now whenever I walk into the kitchen, I make sure to call out, "Herman? Are you in here?" just so he knows I have now named him and therefore accepted him. Hopefully, even if Herman's actually a girl, she won't be offended and will embrace her new identity.
Herman and I will get along just fine ... as long as I never see him again.