Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hantavirus has a mortality rate of 38%

It's been a MORNING so far.

It started when Stephen sent me this insightful article about the effectiveness of wind as a mosquito deterrent. I immediately carried our box fan outside to try and clear our stairwell of the ugly bug ball that's hopping 24/7, and I didn't think anything of it when the door slammed shut. But as I searched for somewhere to plug in the fan cord, I realized the lock was set to automatic and I was unable to get back inside. Ivy sat at the kitchen table, happily eating her breakfast, and when I peered through the window, she waved. I should mention that Ivy and I never really switched over from Colorado time. So while the rest of the world wakes up at 8:00, we roll out of bed around 10. At this point it was 11:00 and I was standing outside on a fairly populated street in North East DC, wearing my pink polka dot pajamas, waving like a maniac at a toddler through a window. Thanks to the kindness of a neighbor, I got back inside and was relieved to find Ivy still sitting happily at the kitchen table. The relief was premature.

We're out of dishwasher detergent. There were a few squirts left in the bottle, so I supplemented with some dish soap. Do you know what happens when you put dish soap in the dishwasher? Of course you do. You're a responsible, educated adult with the right amount of common sense. I, apparently, am not, and was horrified to find suds creeping nearly halfway across the kitchen floor. Still in my pajamas, I grabbed every towel available and kept the bubbles at bay. Crisis number two averted.

But then I went to the bathroom. When I came out, I found Ivy standing in the kitchen with a massive grin on her face. "Meow," she said. Then I noticed what she held in her hand. A tail. A tail connected to a mouse corpse. The next sixty seconds went something like this:

Me, screaming: IVY PUT IT DOWN
Ivy, smiling: Meow
Me, shaking my hands in terror: IVY PUT IT DOWN
Ivy, smiling, walking toward me: Meow
Me, Jumping up and down with panic: IVY PUT IT DOWN
Ivy, laughing: Meow

Then, finally, she put it down.

Half a tube of hand sanitizer, a scalding bath, and a thorough vacuuming of the apartment later, I spent a solid hour, still in my pajamas, researching rodent-carried disease online.  

I think I've got things under control now. I occasionally mop up the soapy mess under the dishwasher, I've sprayed a healthy dose of RAID outside the our apartment entrance, I've checked every corner for mouse droppings, and I finally showered. But it's only 2pm. I dread discovering what surprises the rest of the day holds.


  1. wtf. that's pretty much all I have to say to this. because wtf.

  2. This had me laughing so hard! Hopefully your day turns around!

    1. Thanks. Beside some dog puke, it's been relatively uneventful since I wrote this. Knock on wood.

  3. What a nightmare! We had mice in the place we just moved from. I'm sorry, but no one should ever have to have mice if they also have kids. Though I am really curious how that one died... on its own... no trap. I would have killed for that information a year ago because we couldn't catch ours with any form of trap or bait EVER. 4 neat little droppings. On my stove. EVERY MORNING. talk about wtf.

    Also, we have some friends who swear hantavirus is more of a problem out west because it's only an issue if the droppings dry out? They say it's too humid here for it to be a problem. Never verified that myself, but clung to it as fact for dear life anyway.

    1. That's what terrifies me. I have no idea how it died, so I have to assume it was ebola. We're dog sitting, so it may have died in a dog attack, but it didn't look injured.


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