No sooner had we returned from Rome, all loved up and engaged, without even having had the chance to unpack our luggage, than we discovered we had Unwanted Lodgers. Studley reached into a bag to get a snack, and pulled out part of a snack, full of little bite marks. On further investigation into the said bag, he found a collection of - shall we call them 'out-goings'?
We have mice.
Of course I bounded into action, placing humane traps everywhere, and we finally caught Mr. Mousey, three weeks later. I took him to a park a 45-minute bus ride away and let him take his chances there. We breathed a sigh of relief. Bad move.
It wasn't long before we realised that we were housing a family of the tiny vermin, who seemed to have taken refuge in Hand Wash Towers to escape the terribly cold winter. So far, neighbours have caught 8, while we have bagged 12. Studley spent a very unhappy time throwing out a pile of his clothes that were used as a nest. I followed a trail of droppings into a closet which I was in the process of turning into a craft area. Holes in the floor and skirting have been filled with steel wool, and I am still praying that they haven't gotten into my yarn stash, as there are still a few boxes I haven't had a chance to investigate, as...
...while I was moving said boxes, I felt a strange pain, looked down at my engagement-ring clad hand, to find my little finger in a position that little fingers should not go.
A trip to the emergency room confirmed dislocation, luckily no break or fracture, but it hurts like the very Dickens, I can tell you. The swelling was quite bad, and luckily again, I had taken my ring off just in time.
I got home to take a look at my surroundings, all our stuff everywhere except where it should be, and both of us powerless to fix it. Studley is himself out of action due to a small operation.
Neither of us can get a good night's sleep because, although we have had no further evidence of mouse activity, we still stay up most nights listening for it. Or rather, I will. Studley only woke up once when a baby mouse got caught in a trap near the bed. I had to take it out to the park. He went back to sleep.
I should be crying. I should at the very least be swearing. The extra wife-work is wearing me down. It seems insurmountable. The laundry pile is now ten times bigger than it used to be, as all the bedding, all our clothes, everything has to be washed again in case the mice have been amongst them. All the furniture has to be moved and checked for nesting material. All the skirting needs to be checked for holes and filled. All the carpets and rugs need to be cleaned. All the cupboards need to be checked and cleaned, and it all has to be done now. I don't have time to cry.
As soon as I can get the strapping off my hand, as soon as the swelling and the pain go away - as God Is My Witness - I will go straight back to mouse-proofing my little home, hopefully before the little furry monsters have a chance to breed again.
And checking my stash. If I find so much as a single dropping in my yarn...
This ain't over, people.