Thursday 22 January 2015

Me vs The Cows

***I wrote this while still at our rental house. Thankfully this hasn’t been a problem at the new place. Yet. 
But so help me, next time I will have steaks!

I came home a few nights ago and almost ran over a cow.  No, I was not mistakenly driving through a field in a drunken haze. I was coming up my driveway. To my house. Where there should be no cows.
Yes, that is what you think it is.


But there were cows, and a lot of them, depositing fertilizer all over the lawn, the driveway, and the walkway to the house.

The thing about these cows that put me on edge, besides their propensity for nonchalant trespassing, was that they couldn’t seem to decide if they should run at the car, or away from it.  And to be clear, these were not your average milk cows, they had long and unambiguously pointy horns. I didn’t like my chances if they chose fight over flight. Fortunately, they opted for the latter, but they took their sweet fucking time making up their minds.

Because I didn’t really know what else to do, I reported the cows to the RCMP, and found out that yes, cows are a legitimate police call out here in my rural eddy of BC. Apparently cows on the road are a real problem. I’ve since been told that you would be better off running your car off the road than hitting a cow. Not only do you owe the farmer money for the cow you hit, but also for future cow crotch-fruit that would have come from that original now-dead cow. I don’t know how much truth there is to that, but I can see a booming business selling cow insurance in my future. In any case, very little could actually be done about the cows, but if they moved onto the road, someone would come out to deal with them.

I listened to the sweet serenade of cow-speak for the rest of the night.

The next morning the cows were still around, but had moved to a lesser used part of the property. Carry on cows, carry on.  We left for the day and hoped they would continue their journey to anywhere else by the time we came back.

Nope. Nope, nope, nope.

Cattle guard, you had ONE JOB!
The deuce-dropping monsters had returned in all their poop-creating glory. There were at least 15 of them, all staring stupidly at me, unsure of what to do. The smarter ones (and I use that term lightly), wandered off towards the bushed, but three of the more dim witted ones wouldn’t move, and jealously guarded my front door. One particularly challenged cow wandered into our side yard and promptly got himself stuck. Turning around and retreating was apparently outside his intellectual scope.

I felt like I was part of a really off-book hostage situation. I certainly wasn’t going to get out of the car with these huge, yet incredibly stupid animals diligently trampling my yard, but I also really didn’t relish the idea of camping in my car.  

My van was between them and freedom, and participating in a stampede really wasn’t part of my plan for the day. It took 10 minutes of inching forward and reversing back again to coax them out of the yard and back into the woods.  In part to make them go away, but mostly to make myself feel better, I chased them through the transitional field with my van, honking like a crazy person. Because fuck you, that’s why.

I feel like I won that round.

In the end, the biggest loser was the trampled watering system, the lawn, and the archway at the front of the house, which has a much steeper lean to it than I think it safely should. Happily the cows were returned home, and their fence escape route repaired. The next time I see a cow, it had better be on my plate in the form of a medium rare steak.

Friday 9 January 2015

Me vs Mouse 2.0

We moved out of Mousetopia a few months ago. I left the little bastards behind to take over as they wished. Not my monkey, not my circus.

Except that apparently it is still my fucking problem.

Over Christmas we traveled back to our home town of Bigger-than-here to visit family and over-eat. We did both with success. The night before we left we performed what can only be called a Tetris miracle and packed up our van, planning to leave early the next morning. This all went as smoothly.

Tetris level: Master
The trip went as well as can be expected when travelling with a 5 year old, 1 year old, 2 adults, a cat, and a dog in a vehicle packed beyond its commonly achievable limits. No one died. I call that a win.
I’ll skip the basic getting there, unpacking, greetings, etc…no one actually wants to hear about that. Suffice to say, we made it, we survived, it was good. Nothing out of the ordinary.
And then dinner time came. Let the eating begin!

Following dinner, we pulled out the chocolate advent calendars. Normally these are the kid’s much-anticipated after dinner treat. Today, they were the harbinger of doom.

The 5 year old looked up at me and said that her chocolate for today was gone. I, being somewhat untrusting of a 5 year old’s chocolate driven motivations, pretty much assumed she had eaten it early. Taking a look at the calendar proved this was not the case….all of her chocolates were gone, and each little advent flap had been chewed open. She very well could have been responsible for the missing chocolates, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt that she hadn’t chewed through the cardboard to get at them.

One traumatized kindergartener later, we began to play Clue – The Stolen Chocolate edition. The first theory was the dog, in the backseat, with unsupervised time. This didn’t fit, as the dog wasn’t being punished for eating chocolate with the usual explosive vomiting and diarrhea that one usually sees when dogs and chocolate combine. Additionally, the calendar hadn’t been ripped to shreds as you would expect with a motivated dog with only minutes to accomplish his task. Not the dog.

This left only one real option. Not the kid, not the dog….a mouse? Fuck. Fuck, fuckity fuck fuck, dammit, fuck. I mean, um, darn?

No, I mean fuck. Sorry kids.

Unfortunately logic dictated that if the calendar in question had gone into the van unscathed, and emerged out of the van the next day a mere shadow of its former self, then the mouse had to have been in the van.  The kids went to bed, while I tried to get my repugnance under control.

That evening, rather than being spent in a pleasant haze of tipsy visiting, was spent relieving the van of its contents. And vacuuming. So much vacuuming.

This mousey visitor had left, roughly, all of the mouse shit. It had likely been in there for at least a week, living the high life eating toddler crumbs, as the baby seat was full of poo (and not the poo you would expect to find in a baby seat). There was also mouse crap in the glove box, the cup holders, the toy bag, and in all the little cracks of a car that have no official name but still, literally, collect shit.

The one that broke me, however, was the mouse poop in the overhead light fixture. You know, the one that you can’t actually get into to clean? Yeah, that one. I will forever have glowing mouse droppings illuminated in my ceiling whenever my van door is open. 

We cleaned for 2 hours. To be fair the van needed it anyway, but I would have rather done it on my own terms and not on day 1 of my vacation.  The van sparkled by the end, and there was no sign of a mouse still living there, but to be safe, we put a couple of traps in there anyway.

TWENTY @*#&%#$ MINUTES later. 

It only took 20 minutes to catch the son of a bitch mouse that had been in the van the ENTIRE TIME we were in there working (*skin crawls*).

I can’t even describe to you how much I hate mice at this point. Not in an “eek, scary!” kind of way, but in more of a raging, burning hatred-that-could-power-a-small-town kind of way. This whole experience was a special kind of hell. At least it didn't end well for him.