Wednesday, September 29, 2010


cyrus has been channeling some sort of animal lately.  he gets this sinister look in his brown eyes and his hair seems to hang down over his face in a more menacing way.  his plump fingers curl in to claws and he bares his small square teeth as he wrinkles up his face in a growl.  it simply charming, really, the way he is small and adorable- but the thing is- if you aren't careful he can do damage.

he doesn't quite know when to stop.  i've noticed that the boys sometimes go too far with their rough-housing, and cy is no exception.  he'll bite you, he'll scratch you and believe that's all part of the game.  seren, for his part, usually encourages this; he is now in the position of having more power (and more responsibility which is the bummer of being a big bro, i suppose) and enjoys the dance of tangling to the point of too far.

even without the stripes, moms do a lot of ref'in.  it's hard to know when to break it up, when to watch and laugh, when to let them hurt each other.  consistency has never been a strong suit for me.  and it is fun to watch them circle each other, nearly miss crashing heads, roll up in the blankets...and the smiles could light up carlsbad caverns.

so what does this have to do with rodents?

well, i have a similar indecision about them too.  i don't love them, per say, but i don't really want to lay out toxic poison for them and anything that eats them- i always was fond of cats and raptor birds.  at the same time i don't want them too close to me.  like in my house- that's too close.

years back a very run down house around the corner was purchased and renovated.  turns out it was infested- i love that word- infested with rats.  well, those long tailed mammals looked for housing elsewhere.  they liked the neighborhood though: horses, gardens, bird feeders- a never ending supply of food, so they didn't move too far.  some of them decided they liked our place.  we had some encounters- like when i walked into the laundry room to find one of them crawling down the wall- and then she stopped looked at me in a shy, surprised way -paused- and then scurried away.  me frozen with shock the whole time.

but what finally got me what the matrix attack launched at me one cold, windy night.  of course, it involves the garbage which was full and in the kitchen.  i had to take it outside, around the corner of the house where there is no light.  as i opened the front door to leave i had the feeling this would be a bad idea.  the problem with that feeling is that you never know if it's real unless you test it- so i headed out.  i do remember telling ben that if i wasn't back in 30 seconds to come and get me.

as i rounded the corner, wearing fips flops and pajamas, i immediately noticed the lid to the garbage can was missing the clip.  months before we had begun locking down the garbage cans so rodent could not get in.  as i stared at the clipless lid the bad feeling got worse.  but i couldn't walk back inside with the stinky garbage and admit being defeated by the rodent i thought was in the garbage.

here's what i came up with.  since the lids were hinged i figured i could just flip open the lid and toss in the bag and be done with it.  my anxiety had me amped up a bit though because i put too much oomph into my bag toss- it caught the lid and i swore loudly as the garbage can quickly toppled over backwards into shrubs.  i was way past my 30 seconds by now.  honestly, at that point i was ready to be the damsel in distress.  sorry, ani.

in my flip flops, i cautiously stepped about the black grass to get sure footing as i fumbled in the dark to retrieve the garbage bag.   then i had to hoist up the garbage can-  i cringed when i touched the metal handle on the front  and braced my foot against the bottom of the bin to heave it upright again.  the wind swirled and kicked around me- anyone watching me could have felt this was the climatic point even without any music. 

as the garbage can was pulled vertically- the lid still open- a rat jumped out of the can.  it's legs were splayed out in a "run for your life" kind of moment- but to me it was a menacing stance.  i only saw it for the briefest of moments as the moonlight, really, caught it in midair and then it dropped into the darkness at my feet.  that's when i screamed and ran.

in the kitchen, ben was sitting in the same place.  he didn't grumble much when he had to go out and finish my task.  i know the rat took off and was long gone.  i get that they are more scared of me.  but my body can't seem to act in a way around them that reflects this common sense. 

shortly after this we bought the snap traps.  when they raised the house the rodents left for other places.  perhaps our neighbor's barn.  but every now and then when i go under our house.  i get this feeling like something has gone suddenly still near me.  and i never wear flip flops when taking out the trash.

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