Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Our laundry room is tacked on to the farthest end of our house. And although this placement is convenient for location of a cat's litter box, it isn't practical for something like washing one's clothes.

This small, non-ventilated room is either the coldest or the hottest place in the house. There is barely room for the two machines, let alone folding or hanging garments. During the washer's spin cycle, the pictures on all walls rattle. And at it's loudest, the dryer's ending cycle beep can barely be heard ten feet away, even with the door left open.

This morning, however, I heard just a little too much of something. I was switching clothes from the washer to the dryer (sidebar - I know in Europe they have combination washer/dryers that go through the wash cycle and then in the same machine, dry the clothing - when the heck is that going to catch on over here!?) when I heard a sound that made me pause -

A tiny splashing sound accompanied by a metallic scratching noise.

Now, it couldn't be the cat - unlike most domesticated felines, Pandora is approximately the size of a small lion, and does NOTHING quietly. Both the dogs were sound asleep in front of the television (I know, I know, I should limit the number of soap operas they view daily - I'm trying).

It sounded like it was coming from the boarded off water-heater area to the immediate left of the dryer.

I do not trust my hearing ever, so I grabbed my son and made him listen and track down the noise.

And yes, it was coming from the water-heater. Unmistakably, a mouse or small rat had fallen into the water and was trying frantically to not drown.

Talk about a conflict of emotions.

1) The automatic maternal "RESCUE THE POOR MOUSE!" mode kicks in before anything else. Then...

2) "Yuck, there is a MOUSE in our water supply!" And then...

 3) "OMG how much is it gonna cost to get a plumber to come all the way out here and remove a small carcass from the water heater?

I could not find a plumber who believed the situation - "Lady, (southern accent here), them heaters are self-contained - ain't no way a mouse or a rat could get into one."

So somewhere in my house an animal has died, and I cannot tell if its death is at all related to our water supply.

But I am drinking only Diet Coke in bottles for the next two weeks.