Continuing from yesterday's post . . .
The mouse that finished off the story in Part 1 never returned. I'm sure he/she was indeed the source of the scratching in the wall, evidenced by (1) my seeing him/her, and by (2) the barrier being slightly askew, but also by (3) the lack of "dead thing" smell over the next few weeks.
Part 2 of the story is what took place here last week.
This time around, I heard no scratching to warn me.
I had been at work a lot.
I had been at my mom's a lot.
The air conditioner in the next room had been running a lot.
Our fridge - which is quite loud - had been running a lot.
So if there had been any scratching, I missed it.
What I couldn't miss was the unmistakable odour of something dead in the wall when I opened the kitchen closet one evening.The next day, I took everything out of the closet. There's a lot of stuff in that closet. My plan was to air it out on the deck. So I brought the clothes rack up from the basement, one bumpity step at a time, and took it outside. Then I took the first armful of garments outside to hang them up.
And lo, in the five and a half seconds that I was gathering the first load of clothing, it had started to rain. So I moved the rack back inside again, to another room that also has an exterior door, left the door open, and hoped there would be enough fresh air to do the job. Never mind that the rain soon turned into a streaming downpour that pounded against the deck and sprayed into the room, necessitating closing the door.
In ordinary times, this would have been mildly stressful. But with my husband's death and my mother's dementia, pretty much everything that happens unexpectedly becomes an additional stress that feels worse than it ought to.
Never mind, I told myself. Just put one foot in front of the other, over and over. Some day all of this will be history. Or I will die without it being resolved. One or the other.
Then I unscrewed the panel that my husband had put up over the hole in the closet wall. I cried as I thought about him making that hole and that panel just for me, and also about the fact that he had been the last one to touch it, and finally about how blissfully unaware we were then about how things would be now.
But aren't we all pretty much blissfully unaware of our futures? Up to a point, at least? And so I dried my tears and got some gardening gloves and a garbage can, hoping to find the dead critter and remove it, and hopefully hurry up the process of getting rid of the smell in the closet.
No such luck. No live critter, no dead critter, no critter of any sort.
So I propped the panel back in place, shut the closet door, and began the wait for the smell to go away.
I'm still waiting.
Did I mention it's summer here? With the house closed up to keep out the heat, there is less air circulation and the smell is lingering and seeping out more than it did the other times.
I feel bad for that critter, and I wish I could prevent this from happening again. The magic panel will only work if the critter gets into the exact same spot in the wall each time, and if I manage to hear it before it goes toes up.
Anyway, that's how it's going at the moment, along with everything else that I've been complaining about in my last few posts.
Shall we have a few smiles? Yes, we shall.
Until next time, peoples, try not to get trapped in any weird places, and please take care of yourselves.