When you start hearing noises more than the creaking of wood and more like someone actually walking your floors at night, you are either living in a haunted house or there are uninvited nocturnal rodents plundering your dear house and heavenly kitchen. In our case it was the latter and it was not until last Thursday that I had started to notice what a messy guest I had inadvertently housed.
For the drawers that kept warm clean towels were now smeared with yellow pulses and defecation that if not realized looked more like burnt cumin seeds. I could almost puke at the thought that I had infact thrown a couple by the splash of the hand thinking it was my tempering rendered to chutneys and curd rice that had found a way to splutter haywire. If that was not enough, the vessel scrub was shredded to bits and plastic boxes gnawed to contention.
But then the little rascal was nowhere in sight every time, I’d get into the shelves. It wasn’t until Saturday morning that I had seen a flash of tiny pink tail and gray fur scuttling to darker corners in my yellow pulses shelf. And I had not given a moment for the numbing shock to sink and shrieked the hell out of morbid fear and equally advent indignation. My hygiene obsession had indeed taken to unwanted hospitality and I was truly hurt.
For someone who had guffawed over a daily dose of Tom and Jerry and had watched a valiant appa enter battle grounds with a broom and a screaming amma jumping on the stool, this wasn’t new but it definitely wasn’t fun! Talking of which, Tom is truly the depiction of a foolhardy human disposition to handling the house guest. N and I had fared no better and even Homer Simpson would have considered farcical what we attempted next.
A fortune cookie was promptly placed in the top drawer now devoid of the soiled towels. We waited until the prattle of hungry eating be heard. N assumed a tin and knife, whereas I held the broom like pointing it in attack from a creature bigger than me and waited in ambush almost six feet away from the circle of attack. No sooner had the drawer been pulled to reveal a feasting Stuart, N had attempted trapping it in the tin; I had screamed again sending the tin, the knife and a pair of beady black eyes on gray fur flying down to the floor and the spectacle ended with Stuart heading under the dishwasher and N fuming at his machismo under attack by a screaming wife.
If only we hadn’t enacted Tom and Jerry, the bothersome resident would have stuck to the shelves and eventually trapped. Instead, we had now let him loose to roam the house and touch anything he pleased. Anyone involved in this game would agree that the most frustrating part is the ineptness of a human attack and the agility of a smaller being throwing challenges at you.
We decided to do what is normally done through patience and wit. (No knives, tins, ropes or such). We headed to buy traps and offer him a feast. Though he hadn’t budged on Saturday night, I had successfully bribed a warm brownie into trapping the gate-crasher last night. The four hours of scrubbing shelves and disinfecting them was no easy task. And not forgetting to mention the packets of expensive pulses and load of plastic boxes trashed for fear of poisoning. For I had always sympathized with Jerry all this while, I sure got to know who the true villain is. It definitely isn’t Tom!