It was close to midnight…. I was alone as Fat Dragon was out entertaning. I was happily watching a delayed telecast of the results show for American Idol last Friday …anxiously awaiting the announcement of the results…. deep in concentration as I rooted for David Cook to win….
All of a sudden, there was a huge ruckus in the kitchen. As our house in Mentakab had an open concept between the living room, dining & kitchen, it just took a turn of my head for me to witness a dark furry speedy little figure jumping through the kitchen window from the outside, onto the sink (PLONK PLONK) & dashing madly towards a trolley full of utensils (CLING CLANGING away) & …………………….. What on earth?????? YIKES SHRIEK
……There would be another speedy figure in the house, dashing in the opposite direction, that night…. i.e. ME! Up the stairs I ran, to deposit myself into the bedroom, away from the frontlines of mousy danger. Despite my shivering constitution, I quickly grabbed whatever newspapers I could find in the room to stuff into the crack underneath the door, just in case.
My next course of action – Send out SOS MESSAGEs to Fat Dragon! The messages are as follows:
SMS1 : Dar, a RAT just jumped into the kitchen
SMS2 : OMG what shall I do! All the food there, doors r closed. How’s it gonna get out? The fruits OMG OMG
SMS3 : RAT IN THE HOUSE – HELP!
Thank goodness the SOS messages were effective. Fat Dragon came back shortly to launch a noisy midnight search for the mousy intruder. Broom sticks were hitting the fridge, the kitchen cupboards, the rubbish bins, the trolley, the stove cupboard. Hmmm… He must be gone. After all, no four legged friend of ours could survive such a noisy ‘hunt’ without getting freaked, right? He would try to escape a.s.a.p., right????
“All clear!” Fat Dragon declared with confidence. Well, maybe not so confidently after all … coz he suggested we leave the house for a midnight snack. “Let the little guy have some space….We’ll leave the doors open, so he can escape!” Hmm… hardly comforting words..you mean he could still be in the house?!
Next morning which was a Saturday, Fat Dragon gave the kitchen another lookover before going to work. Nothing. Well, that’s it. he must have escaped somehow when I was upstairs the night before. OK. Phew. I survived! Although my heart did get a little more exercise than it’s used to!
Being an Obsessive Compulsive, this meant that I was in for a busy morning coz I was committed to giving the sink & all the utensils a washover to clean out the path run over by little visitor. Now after I was done, I happened to notice a dark patch underneath the double burner stove seated on a stove cupboard next to the sink & utensil trolley. Hmmph, I must have dropped a vegetable leaf …. let’s lift the stove & get rid of it! So lift up the stove I did …………
& AAAAAAaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhHHHHHHHHHHHHH…….. SHRIEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeekkkkkKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Two beady eyes stared back at me & I FREAAAAAKED. I SLAMMED THE STOVE BACK DOWN and in replay, dashed back up the stairs & LOCKED MYSELF IN!!!!!! This episode brought on even worse physical effects. Not only did the heart pound, my hands and legs were shivering …………… AGAIN, I sent out an SOS … this time I called – fingers too shaky to SMS! “Aargh … I thought you said the place was CLEAR???????????” HELP!
Well, the good news was, I found him right? I exiled myself in the bedroom for a good two hours that morning … lying in wait for Fat Dragon’s return (Thank God it was a Saturday – half day work. If not, I would have been in self exile longer). Fat Dragon arrived home soon enough & was directed immediately into the kitchen by yours truly. “Check under the stove” “If you see a dark patch … that’s him!”. …Well, minutes later Fat Dragon confirmed ‘”Yup, he’s still there. So what do you want me to do? KILL HIM….?!!”
Umm…I might hate these little suckers but gee.. you know what…I felt an overwhelming pity & admiration for this poor little bugger in particular. Something drove him into our house, I suspect it could’ve been a cat or something like that, given his panicky dash. Thinking of my own pumping heart muscles, I really wonder what all that banging and clanging from the night ‘hunt’ must have done to him. And to imagine having a stove slammed down on him the morning after & still have the courage (or is it stupidity) to remain where he was. WHAT AN ORDEAL it all must have been…..& I couldn’t forget the look on the pair of beady eyes…kinda tugs at your heartstrings a bit. So I said…”NO, let’s just scare him out of the house.” And that’s exactly what we did. We wheeled the stove cupboard out into the back yard quietly. Then Fat Dragon lifted the stove loudly. Lo and behold the frightened creature scrambled up to wall to safety & we left it at that. Let’s hope the ordeal is enough to remind him not to come in to this particular house … … FINGERS CROSSED – I could do with a little less cardiac exercise.
Musophobia according to Wikipedia:
“Fear of mice and rats is one of the most common specific phobias. It is sometimes referred to as musophobia (from Latin mus for “mouse”) or murophobia (a coinage from the taxonomic adjective “murine” for the Muridae family that encompasses mice and rats), or as suriphobia, from the French souris, meaning mouse.”
P.S. It is indeed disconcerting to have a phobia of rats given that they are common pests which can be found in a lot of places. While it is not pleasant to suffer from this phobia, I am quite lucky to declare this is the worst of worsts for me. I am fearless when dealing with lizards, cockroaches, even the snake which I found in our backyard one day. However, I do understand how paralysing (emotionally and physically), it is to suffer certain others phobias for eg. baccillophobia (fear of bacteria) as everything we touch would probably have germs anyway, or maybe claustrophobia (fear of crammed spaces) especially for those working in a highrise building. I dread to think that the person will be sentenced to a lifetime of climbing stairs to his workplace for fear of entering the crammed space of a lift. Given the changing lifestyles of modern times, we also have to deal with ‘newer’ listings for phobias such as homophobia i.e. the fear of homosexuals.
P.P.S. For a list of phobias, check this link.