My Mouse Story...
I was just reading Dry as Toast. I came across this blog this week through SITS. I have to say, I LOVE her blog. It gives me the giggles and who doesn't love having the giggles.
But I have to say, her latest post caused me to laugh out loud and recount my own story around mice.
My friend Meghan will be happy to know that this is not about the time we found a mouse in her graduate school apartment. But be warned. That story will make its way here at some point. Heh heh heh.
Aren't I such a good friend?
As I've said before, I used to work at a summer camp. I love this camp and am very lucky to have worked there full time. I've said it before, but the reason I left camp was simply the lifestyle. It's tough to move up to camp every May and move back every September.
I lived at the boys camp. I had a little cabin on the edge of camp that I shared for 2 summers with the program director. Kerry and I hit it off and it enjoyed living with one another.
Especially because we had a love of Dairy Queen.
The first summer we lived together, we had a mouse problem. If you think about it, the cabin was left empty for 8 months out of the year. It was natural for critters to make themselves at home in the cabin. When we came back in May, it was really like we were moving into their territory.
Oh, who am I kidding. I hated those mice and I was never so happy to set a mouse trap every May to get rid of those little suckers.
Through out the summer, we would set a trap and within a few days, we'd catch a mouse. We'd see nothing for a few days and then we'd have to set another trap. We had to keep all of our food (even the dry/canned goods) in the 'fridge because honestly, we couldn't risk the mice getting to it.
The first four week session of camp came and went and camp was now officially half over. I remember one particularly warm day using the bathroom in our cabin. As I was doing my business, I remember smelling this awful smell.
No, it wasn't me. Thank you.
To be honest, it smelled like sewer gas. I can hear you thinking, "How in the world do you know what sewer gas smells like?"
We interrupt this blog post for a flash back to Kelley's past....
So, when I was in grad school, I met a boy. A boy who stole my heart. He stole my heart so badly that after we graduated, we were in a serious relationship and I was going to do anything in my power to work as close to him as possible. He was going to live in Michigan to be close to his family. I made my way there eventually and we decided to cash in on the amazing housing market.
We bought a house. And that house had MAJOR septic issues. It's a long story that involves a new house going up next door, a drain field that was actually under the neighbors new home, and a septic tank that had to be drained 2 times in two weeks.
So, needless to say, because of my new knowledge of septic tanks, and drain fields, I have smelled my fair share of sewer gas.
Just the type of thing you wanted to know...eh?
We now return to our blog post about mice in the summer camp cabin....
As the week went by the smell got stronger and stronger. I went to our full time maintenance guy, Marty, and told him what I was smelling. He swore to me that there was no way that it was the septic because it was just pumped before camp and it was a huge tank--5 cabins were attached to it.
But to humor me, he sent down one of his staff to check it out.
Later that afternoon, I was in my office talking to parents and coordinating this and that. Marty came into my office with a kitchen sized trash bag full of something
Oh. You think you know where this is going? Just wait.
The conversation went something like this (M = Marty, K = me)
M: Kelley....I have something for you (hands me the bag)
K: What is it (as I walk to the counter to get it)
M: It's what we found in your bathroom
K: (stopping dead in her tracks) Say what?
M: Here--take it (shoves bag in my direction)
K: NO WAY!! I'm not taking a bag from you. I know better around here.
K: So, what is it
M: Don't you want to look
K: Not really....
M: OK. We went into your bathroom and agreed that there was a bad smell and it did smell a bit like the septic tank...
K: See! I told you!
M: Yes. Well, we determined that the smell was coming from under the cabinet that was holding the sink. So, we cut out the bottom of the cabinet and this is what we found (Marty holds out the bag again)
Inside this bag--this very full bag--was the biggest mouse nest you have ever seen. All the fluffy stuff that mice gather (dryer lint, cotton balls, etc) as well as mice droppings, live mice and even dead baby mice.
The combination of the dead mice and the mouse droppings was what created the smell.
How did they get in? Because the cabinet goes around the plumbing, in a cabin that isn't insulated, they crawled around the pipes. And because this cabin was mainly used by seasonal staff, if at all, it had obviously been there for some time.
Marty assured me that they sealed up all the holes and we shouldn't have any more problems. True to his word--he was right. No more mice that summer or for the next 4 that I was up at camp in that cabin.
It still didn't stop me from putting out mouse traps every summer. Just in case.