Sunday, December 05, 2004

Oh No! Not again!

We took our generator in to be serviced a couple of weeks ago, and when we put the back seats up in the car to make room for it, we noticed a roll of life savers surrounded by torn bits of paper under one seat. I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach and thought it looked like a mouse had been chewing the candy and paper but convinced myself that the mess couldn’t have been made by a mouse; and just cleaned up the paper and didn’t think about it again.

Yesterday we went to the big city to visit daughter #2. She is in the middle of term papers and preparations for her exams right now, so we went to take her out for dinner, give her a hug and wish her well on her exams. We got in the car for our two hour plus trip to her house and stopped on the way to get a cup of coffee and a toasted bagel. With coffee beside me and bagel balanced on my lap, I opened the glove compartment to get something out and was dismayed to find a Kleenex in there covered with mouse droppings. I couldn’t deny it this time; we did have or had had a mouse in the car. Luckily, I didn’t see the actual mouse, but he had recently been in the glove compartment doing who knows what, and under the seat munching on lifesavers. Groan! The fact that he had been in the car didn’t bother me nearly as much as the more important issue - where was he now? Not knowing if he was still in the car or not, made for a most uncomfortable trip let me tell you.

Now, did you notice the little word “again” in the title of this blog? Yes “again”. We have had mice in our car before – TWICE! Granted that was about 25 years ago, but it is still very vivid in my memory and seems like only yesterday.

When Thesha was just a little munchkin, we were enjoying our summer holiday at my parent's cottage; having a grand time in the country. We noticed that we had a bumper crop of mice around that year, but they were mostly outside and didn't bother us much in the cottage, so we locked up our food and tried not to let the wild life spoil our holiday. It is amazing what one puts up with at a summer cottage huh? Spiders in the outhouse and mice in the porch were just part of the whole experience. I freak out if I see a mouse here at home, but up there, they just come with the territory.

After about a week in the country we got in the car one day and set off on a nice day trip to visit friends in the area. Butterfly was buckled safely in the back seat and our dog was snuggled in beside her. We were merrily driving along the highway going about 60mph when all of a sudden the car began to swerve from side to side. I turned to look at AC and was shocked to see him flapping his arms wildly and banging the steering wheel repeatedly. What the heck was going on? I soon saw that a mouse was running to and fro on his person. I am not sure whether AC or the mouse was more upset, but I think AC was, or maybe it was ME! After frantic thumping and bumping he finally knocked the furry monster off his arm and onto the floor. Oh no, we lost sight of it. Where was it now? AC regained control of the car and pulled over to the shoulder of the road. He slammed on the brakes and we jumped out. Hearts pounding wildly we got Thesha out of her car seat and all of us stood outside the car shaking and laughing and almost crying. After a few minutes, we calmed down and gingerly got back into the car to search for the mouse, but couldn’t find it anywhere. We then had to get back into the car and drive to our friend’s house. It was awful not knowing where in the world the mouse was or when it would make another appearance. What an tense ride that was. Thankfully we didn’t see the mouse again on that trip, but we were certainly on edge the whole time. When we got back to the cottage we put a trap in the car and three days later caught the little intruder. Whew!

The day after we caught the mouse, we packed up the car and set off for the seven hour trip home. We got on the highway and I turned to AC and said, “ I am so glad that we caught that mouse because the long trip home would be almost unbearable if we hadn’t.” No sooner had I gotten those words out of my mouth than the car started to swerve wildly again. I looked at AC in horror and realized that we had another mouse in the car. I saw this mouse run down his arm, around the steering wheel, along the steering column, across the dash and into the cold air return vent. We slammed the vents shut, pulled off onto the shoulder of the road and tried to calm down and get our heartrates back to normal before we set off again. I couldn't believe that this was happening again. We traveled the rest of the way home with the vents closed tight, so not a speck of air was circulating in the car. It was damn hot too, but neither of us would dare open those vents. That was how the little blighters were getting in and we weren’t about to take a chance on letting this one make a return trip inside.

The most memorable line of the whole adventure naturally came from AC and it still makes us laugh whenever we relate this story to anyone. While he was madly slapping at the mouse and the car was swerving wildly, I screamed “God Help me!” AC turned to me with incredulity in his eyes and voice and shouted back – “Help you? It’s crawling all over me!!!”

Goodness we laugh now when we look back at what happened, but it was downright scary at the time. We were so lucky that we didn’t get into a major accident. Our guardian angel slipped up and let those blasted mice into the car, but made up for it by keeping us safe on the highway that day. We were literally all over the road, and are so thankful that no other cars crossed our path when those mice decided to do a tap-dance on AC’s shoulders, neck, and arms.

So, all those memories came flooding back as we drove along busy Hwy 401 yesterday. I kept stamping my feet just in case the mouse was under my seat and thought he might like to venture up my pant leg or something like that. It was a very unsettling ride to say the least.

I am happy to report that we made it there and back safely yesterday and didn’t see hide nor hair of the mouse, but I think I will go out and buy a mouse-trap tomorrow and put it in the car for the next few days, just to make sure he is gone before we set off on our winter holiday next week. Never a dull moment around here, that is for sure.

Stay tuned for part two of the saga of our encounters with mice at the cottage. Yes, AC had another major run-in with the little blighters, early one morning, but I will save that story for another blog. At least it didn’t occur in a car going down the highway at 60mph, but it just about gave us both a heart attack anyway.

Well, I must run now, so will publish this post before I head off to bed and will continue with the rest of the story tomorrow.

Talk to you all later.


Cathy said...

I love these mouse stories:0) You two are a hoot! Hmmmmm. I wonder which would be worse - a mouse or a very BIG spider disappearing into the vent. Yikes.

Jinksy said...

Do you tink they like his aftershave?! x

Cuppa said...

Jinksy - We had a friend tell AC that he should stop wearing that "cheesy" deodorant.