Actually it wasn't a total surprise; I'd heard suspicious rattlings and rustlings from the kitchen that morning and tried to ignore them. I knew we had a rodent living inside the wall, but I didn't want to face the possibility that it had breached the barricades and entered the inner sanctum. Luckily Michael was home. He deftly caught the offender in a fishing net and carried it far, far away, then nailed up the hole in the back of the cupboard through which Mousey had entered.
I have a horror of mice, born of too many years of living in old, rundown share houses -- shared with more mice than people. In one house, the mice were so bold that we could sit on the couch and pelt them with oranges, and they would barely bother to look up. When I woke up to find mouse poo under my pillow, I moved out until we got traps and blocked up the gap under the stairs with steel wool. This was a tricky one because we were all vegetarians and, theoretically, animal-lovers. But I just can't love mice. I am unmoved by their so-called cuteness. They give me the creeps.
The only other time a mouse has managed to get into our current house, it fled behind the couch and then made a dash under the heater, which it no doubt hoped would be safe territory. Unfortunately the heater was on, it ran straight into a live wire and expired with a dramatic puff of smoke and an explosion of dust.
Another time, in Collingwood, I came home to discover a rat in the bathroom. No one else was home, so I blocked every doorway between the bathroom and my bedroom with towels and spent a sleepless night imagining it gnawing its way toward me. Luckily, when I ventured to open the door in the morning, it was dead on the bathmat. Hooray!
When it comes to mice, I am the traditional screaming female on the chair. I can't help it. My brave strong husband has to rescue me. BUT if it's a big hairy spider - then it will be the man of the house running away shrieking like a girl, and I will be the one trapping it under the glass and releasing it outside.
So what would you rather deal with -- a mouse or a spider?