April 22, 2014

Fear On Hissing Street

Midnight. Last night. An inky black eve on the Central Coast. The house was silent. I was asleep in my bed with the cat curled up comfortably on my head*.

And then, suddenly, a noise.


But I was dreaming. A beautiful dream about something or the other lovely**. I stirred briefly, then allowed myself to slip back into unconsciousness.

And then, once more:


I startled awake. What the fuck? The sound was next to my head.

I switched on the lamp. Penny the cat was in full alert mode - tail bushy, hairs prickling, a look of fevered concentration on her delicate feline face.

Something was in my room. Worse. Something was in my bed.

Penny was sniffing crazily, burrowing under doonas and pillows, bounding to the floor to search under the bed, then leaping up to the sheets again.

"What is it Penny?" I cried. "WHAT'S THERE?"***

Penny didn't answer. But then I heard it. A scamper.

Mouse. MOUSE. It was a mouse. It had to be a mouse.

Oh my god. A mouse. A rodent type mouse. A mouse. A mouse. Did I say mouse?

Artist's Impression of Pathetic Scared-Of-Rodential Woman

I am terrified of mice. Terrified. In a primitive, visceral way. I am not scared of spiders, or cockroaches, or dogs. I am not scared of sharks, or lions, or bears****. But I am absolutely jump-on-the-bed, scream-like-a-girl, burn-down-the-house scared of mice.

But I was alone in the room. The nominative man of the house (my father) had returned to Sydney. The real man of the house (my mother) was fast asleep in her bedroom, and whilst I did contemplate waking her, I knew my chances of getting babysitting help for the next couple of weeks would be severely compromised as a result. 

I summoned up every ounce of strength I had.... and peered under the bed.

Nothing. At least, nothing that I could see. But the cat was still bristling and searching, and the scamper had definitely scampered, and my adrenaline was pumping, and there was clearly nothing to do but leave my kids and mum to their own fate and hop in the car and drive back home to Sydney.

But by then it was 12.14pm, and I was fairly tired. And then there was the not-minor issue of my clothes being in the suitcase, which theoretically could also be inhabited by said murderous mouse.

And so I slammed the bedroom door on all living creatures, and went out to the living room, where I slept fitfully on the couch for the next few hours.

This morning, of course, Penny was sleeping peacefully on my bed. I choose to believe she has chased out the rodents, frightened them so comprehensively that they will never return.

But in case I am wrong, I'm going back home today. It was either that or burn down my parents' house, and that babysitting help you see......

*comfortably for her, that is. Not for me.

**the trauma of subsequent events has wiped the loveliness from my mind.

***and yes, this is not literary embellishment. I really did speak to the cat. I'm not sure whether I was expecting an answer, but I was frightened, and alone

****admittedly this is a theory only, as my lack of fear of sharks, lions and bears has not been tested, but I'm sure I'd be totally fine.


  1. I love you, you crazy mouse-phobic twit xxx

  2. Oh mice horrify me too ... I think it's because I can't empty a bottle of fly spray on them and get rid of the problem instantly.
    Maybe the cat found it ... and ate it ... that's about the best you can hope for.

  3. My girl cat brings me dead mice as presents. From the outside. Inside. She does not get a reward.

  4. I can totally understand your fear of rodents - Crane Flies and large Spiders are mine! [thankfully a shortage of deadly spiders in the UK!!]
    I speak to my cat a lot - she understands some words - and she even has her own Blog!

  5. Didn't mice spread the bubonic plague? Or was it fleas on rats..? Either way, your mouse-fearing frenzy was quite justified. :)

  6. Hi Kerrie. How funny. I had to comment as the same thing happened in my house last night, but with my dog madly trying to locate mouse under living room furniture. And of course, my husband is also away so I had no idea what to do except hope it got the fright of it's life and went out whatever hole it came in. We'll see what happens tonight! Good luck at yours :)

  7. Holy shit! Rodents of any kind have me in a sweaty mess. We had a rat in the backyard, I wanted to move.


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