It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…
…at the ancient times when all the family gathered around the table with additional unwanted guests. It’s amazing, this festive season in London, isn’ t it?! A city of CCTVs, tourists, mystical curved little alley ways, history, dark pubs, double deckers, rain and….well, mice! They have been walking hand in hand with London since its birth. Probably being the only creatures that can call themselves the True Londoners.
We have all heard the stories about the famous “ the mice of London in winter time”. Well, I had.
“The mice of London” had always sounded like a mystical story told by people who live in houses with leaking plumbing and floors covered in breadcrumbs. Up until few months ago, I thought those stories where somewhat urban legends. Turns out, they are true. So very true! First there’s little dropping in the corner – this is how it starts. Next thing you know there’s something moving in the bin and dashing across the living room floor in the speed of lightning when you come home from work and flick the lights on. Before you know it, IT has settled in. Quietly and annoyingly, like Gypsies – never travelling alone. And then it all begins…the terror!
Mouse doesn’t show itself but leaves little hints behind of its existence.
Enough to make you wonder – is it real? Is it not? No….cannot be. Not in this warm, dry, clean house…no. Surely not.
You stop for a second doubting yourself and then walk out thinking it’s the lack of sleep and stress that’s making you delusional. You smile, shake the thought off and walk out of the room.
You find few more droppings, get suspicious and follow the trail.
You find packet of rice crackers being nibbled on. You listen, clean the droppings out of the cupboard and wait. Nothing happens.
But then, you get thirsty in the middle of the night and decide to go down to the kitchen for glass of water. And there it is – the sound! Vague yet irritatingly nibble-scribbly sound behind the kitchen cupboard.
Its there. Alive!
God have merci!
The Beast reveals itself in the daylight. Slowly emerging from the shadows, moving quickly by the wall to the next shadow, it stops to give you a dirty look and runs.
This is the stage when you realise that something needs to be done.
It’s the pitch black darkness of night and something is driving you crazy in your wall running up and down, nibbling away.
You knock on the walls, trying to distract it, but it doesn’t help. First level of agony has been set – sleep deprivation calls for triple espressos in the morning and occasional yawn throughout the day. The Beast has started to steal your sleep.
No, you say. Still, it’s a living creature. Keeping this in mind you take the humane approach and put out these little harmless traps that catch the mouse but don’t kill.
It’s been a long day at work and all that keeps you live is the thought of cup of tea and some music waiting for you in your safe nest….you come home…flick the light on….and….its there! Staring straight at you with his evil beady little eyes. And then takes off again.
Realization of the need to stock up on traps hits you quickly. And it ain’t the humane kind traps you have in mind.
You breathe, think “will go to the shop tomorrow”, and continue preparing the dinner, open the cupboards door and realise that little bastard has chewed through everything edible there. You curse! Oh how you curse….with passion!
Right – that’s it! You wanted war? You’ve got one!
Days pass…you find yourself standing on a platform in the tube waiting for the next train to arrive when you suddenly notice a little mouse running on the tracks minding his own business. Just few months ago it made you smile when saw the same thing and thought to yourself – this dude is actually kind of cute. And now…now you look at it, clenching your teeth and fighting the urge to grab the closest heavy object and smack the creature flat. Merciless. Cruel and brutal.
Stage 7…the battle:
You hear the scribbling through the sleep again. It has become nightly routine to wake up to something that’s not your crazy neighbour having a fit next door or your alarm going off in the morning. You wake up and realize that The Beast has seriously “upped its game” and spread out to new battlefields – the 1st floor. Bedroom floor.
Like an idiot, you find yourself crawling on the floor trying to figure out how the mouse got into your bedroom. First thing in the morning, you draw a list of all the different types of traps you’re planning to pick up from hardware store on your way back home from work. It’s decided – you are going in for the kill!
No more Mr. Nice Guy. It’s full blown Vietnam.
After huffing and puffing around the house, you manage to set up about 4 different types of traps all over the house thinking to give it a week before calling the exterminator. Somehow still not convinced all those numerous traps will catch anything, you slowly start the research for the most talked about exterminator guy in town.
There it is…stages evolving in 7 days just like the World according to Bible. The only difference is that when God was creating perfection and beauty, the Seven Days of Mickey will push one to murderous thoughts and creative ways to fulfil termination plans.
This is London for you: rain, foggy nights, double deckers and mice. The full palette of what living in this historic metropol really means will be served to you right there on that rusty and empty trap.
Once so cute, little soft creature turns into monster in your eyes and all of a sudden you realised why your mother never agreed to have a pet rat.
For now, mission “Killing Mickey” is in motion with the results yet to be discovered. There shall be victory!