“Uh … what was that?”
“Was that a … is there a mouse in here?”
“Oh come on, of course n—”
There was a mouse in the house.
A tiny, grey laoshu, aka mouse (that I later named Warren because, well, I can’t help myself).
Honestly, he would have been cute if it weren’t skittering about my living room.
And so, at midnight, Manfriend and I were trying to figure out what to do and find where the hell he came in through.
Armed with a dust broom and a mop bucket, Manfriend commenced a hesitant search. Truthfully, I’m not sure he was all that eager to find Warren. I stood on our couch, the eagle eyes of the operation, tossing out what I thought were rather helpful nuggets of advice.
After an extensive search of our, like, 35-square-meter* home, we were pretty sure it was in the bathroom. Maybe. So we set the mop bucket in the doorway and closed the door around it.
My safety now ensured via plastic bucket, I set about finding where the little guy came from.
Tucked back behind the bathroom door near our creaky old heater was a hole. Manfriend was skeptical Warren could flatten enough to make it in there. But upon further inspection, it looked like something had been digging that hole out. And as we know, mice are masters of the tight squeeze.
… That was a weird way to say that.
By this point it was late — too late to hold vigil for Warren and his wily ways. So I plugged the hole up with a towel (because he might have gone back home rather than in our bathroom, and I didn’t want him coming back out). We headed upstairs.
An hour later, I heard tiny scratches.
We found him burrowed under the towel, trying desperately to get back home. So we tugged the towel back out, he ran back inside and we stuffed it right back up.
And wrote our landlord.
Because as cute as Warren was, I wasn’t having him as our house guest in the future.
The next day, Manfriend oversaw the worker as he plastered up the hole and scratched-out flooring. It was a couple-minute job, and the worker was off soon after. But before he left, he asked us if we were sure there was a mouse. “Yeah, we saw him running around last night.”
He gave us a quizzical look. “You don’t have mice where you’re from?”
“Well yeah, but not in the house.”
He turned and left, chuckling. Manfriend stood there, feeling judged for not wanting a mouse in the house.
I guess we’re the weird ones in our little hutong.
But until Warren forks over a rent check, he’d better make do at the neighbors.
*Unsure of that size? Imagine a smallish master bedroom. That’s our entire downstairs.