This morning as I was getting ready for the day, I remembered the Mouse Incident from a few apartments ago and thought I’d share. The apartment complex in which I was living at the time was a nice one when I moved in, but by the time I’d moved out five years later, it had gone seriously downhill. There were large cracks in my walls from a shifting foundation, I had an out-of-control roach problem that management seemed reluctant to adequately address, and then there was the mouse that had managed to find its way into my unit.
I had a chat with my two cats at the time, Josephine and Raoul. “Guys,” I said, “it’s just a mouse. You’re cats. This is your thing! Handle it, please!”
Each night, I could hear the mouse coming out and running around my living room, and each night, the cats would seek refuge in my bedroom with me.
This went on for quite a while until one day I began to discern the distinct odor of rotting rodent. The mouse had finally died, but had done so in my apartment and was going to stink the place up. Wonderful. Knowing the mouse’s little corpse was decaying somewhere in my kitchen, I knelt down with a flashlight and began to explore under the refrigerator, the dishwasher and the stove.
It was under the stove, but to my horror, it wasn’t a mouse. It was a very large rat. No wonder the cats were reluctant to initiate an encounter! This thing was giant!
I immediately called the front office and asked them to send someone to my unit. One of the maintenance men came accompanied by his 10-year-old son. He could smell the odor but insisted it was coming from the drip pan under my refrigerator. I hated to show him up in front of his own son, but I wasn’t about to let him walk out without properly handling the situation. I asked him to shine his flashlight under the stove. He gasped and gingerly pulled out a dishcloth on which lay the remains of a large, deceased rat. His son’s eyes grew wide with wonder and disgust.
I gave him a plastic garbage bag to dispose of the rat and they took it away.
Not long after that, I decided that between the cracks in the walls, the roaches and the rat, it was time to find somewhere else to live. When my lease expired, they had the nerve to offer me a new one with a $50 increase and then pleaded with me to stay on another year.