When we got home from hospital a fortnight ago, we left the cats in the cattery whilst we adjusted to being back home. I love my cats, but I do not love their ability to scurry scurry scratch and scuffle through the night. And, knowing that I'd be up to give pain relief several times a night, I thought losing the cats for a bit wouldn't be the worst plan.
Settling tLP into bed, I noticed what looked like a pile of disintegrating lavender all along her windowsill. Going to pick it up, I made the always delightful discovery it was in fact a very large collection of mouse droppings. Yick. I wiped them up, and hoped it was the result of something the cats had brought in and not finished off adequately.
That night, despite being cat-free, my bedroom was filled with scurry scurry scuffle scritch and scratch. Readers, I was tired; put a pillow over my head and slept anyway. Between repositioning tLP, that is.
In the morning, I got onto the Internet and ordered the biggest, baddest, ultrasonic mouse repeller I could find. Poison not an option with ever-hungry cats, and I didn't really fancy dealing with traps.
Night two, and the same scuffle scritch and scratch, but in the morning possibly the truest ick of all; on the foot end of my bed a couple of fresh droppings, and a clump of my own hair. I may never feel clean again.
Carer and I cleaned out tLP's room, and have seen no signs of anything in there since. Huge relief.
And the repellent arrived, and the cats came back, and I hoped the combination would see any invaders off the premesis.
Alas, the next night, as Benjamin slumbered peacefully on the end of my bed, I could still hear a determined scritch scratch (but thankfully no squeaks) from the other end of my room. It's a big room, my room, and it's the place where things go when they don't have a home anywhere else. Bags, boxes, odd assortments of electrics, paperwork, memories; they're all tangled together and lining the walls and covering the floor.
But that was the last scritch scratch, and within 48 hours of ultrasonic mouse peace destroyer, and with no help at all from the cats, there were no more signs or sounds of mouse at all. Hurrah. And close investigation shows no signs of them in any of the other rooms. Even bigger hurrahs.
Which just left the chaos and confusion of my room
I hired a skip.
My wardrobe and drawers have been sterilised and I even have some empty drawers. Quite what I'll be wearing from now on I'm not entirely sure, most of my life having ended up either in the skip or in the washing machine hoping for the best.
They had nested in my wool stash and picked their way through piles of fabric. Made toilets out of bank statements and apparently found photographs and old gas bills particularly tasty. Marked their trail over my "will fit it one day" collection, but thankfully not chewed through any of the electrics, and kept well out of all the irreplaceable stuff.
Six hours of solid clearing, two hysterical cats convinced I was packing for the biggest holiday ever, one hysterical eight year old desperately trying to rescue everything I was tossing, and now my floor is clean and my walls are bare. And my back is aching, and the washing machine is considering striking, and the rest of the house looks like a bomb's hit it, and I don't think there will be space in the skip for the gardening stuff, and I think I could possibly hire another skip the same size for just about every room in the house*. But my room is clear and the rodents have been repelled.
*Not going to happen.