I'm just going to come out and say it: we have a mouse in our house.
Jessica has long suspected that we have a third roommate. She has been vigilent about pointing out funny noises to me, and always noticing where in the walls the little critter seemed to be running. I, refusing to believe such horrors, simply listened and then told her she was imagining the noises.
Then came the case of the mischievous trashcan bag. Our kitchen garbage can is a sturdy black plastic one, purchased with great care from Home Depot. It has a nice, wide brim and a nice "lip" that catches and holds plastic bags extrememly efficiently. But lately, the back left corner of the bags have consistently been escaping and collapsing into the can. We take out the trash very regularly, and so this strange bag behavior was definitely noticible and odd, but we didn't think much more of it.
There have also been strange little remnants of our garbage bits scattered about the bottom on the "under the sink" area--shredded paper towels, mostly, and bizarrely, broken egg shells. (Jessica and I are quite fastidious about staying clean, and especially with keeping our garbage clean, or as clean as garbage can be--because if you're sloppy with the garbage, you're just hanging out the welcome sign for those other roommates--cockroaches.)
Then came the scuffely, scurrying noises. I remained unconviced, telling myself that the noises were just the pipes creaking and New Orleans ghosties keeping me company.
But last night, when I was home alone, there was no mistaking the noises coming from below decks. It sounded as though there was a herd of mice, roaming far and wide, exploring the depths of our garbage can and racing each other from side to the other. There was probably only one, but I was spooked and completely reasonably put a stool in front of the cupboard doors (lest the giant mice push open the doors and come attack me) and then proceeded to yell and pound on the counters and doors to scare them away. Did it work? I can't really say. But this morning, the tell-tale egg shells were there, nibbled in piles around the garbage can. Hey, at least our mouse is tidy....
....but it sort of befuddles me why a mouse would choose our house, anyways. It's not warm, especially not in the kitchen and bathroom, and we don't eat good food (at least not good to a mouse). What is the mouse going to find in our trash? Perhaps a baggie that contained protein powder. Yummy. Egg shells. Mini-cans of organic tomato paste. That's about it. Although, come to think of it, a tin can is always good to have around. Maybe the mouse feels the same way.
One of these days I just know I'm going to go to throw something away in the trashcan and there will be a little mousy face staring up at me. That will not be a great moment. Stay tuned.