Sanctuary 2.0: The Line

I love nature. I love nature in little ways, such as letting spiders stay in my house in whatever corner they decide to weave their webs. I love nature in medium ways, such as not getting mad about the goats peeing on my yoga mat at goat yoga because I was so thrilled a goat was getting cuddly on my mat with me. I love nature in big ways, such as sobbing uncontrollably while watching the whales bubble netting in Alaska because I was overwhelmed from witnessing such a majestic event that is so perfectly designed and so completely out of the control of humans.

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But there is a point at which I stop communing with nature. The squirrels that killed my garden this year brought me pretty close to that point. Pretty damn close to making use of a pellet gun. But this…this is the real line. Nope, nope, nope. Nasty! Uh-uh. No way.

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My pioneer cabin is porous. Full of nooks, crannies, crevices, divets, gaps, and plain old holes in the wall. And this little bastard smelled dog food.

So, several weeks ago, I spent half a Sunday tearing the kitchen apart. I emptied the cupboards and pantry, pulled the oven and refrigerator out a foot into the center of the room, and then cleaned everything top to bottom, inside and out, corner to corner. I scrubbed and mopped and scrubbed again. I also invested in multiple plastic tubs and glass jars for dog food and people food so it’s not just sitting out, tempting the vermin. I even considered trapping my barn cat and setting him loose in the house for a few hours. He’s friendly enough that I think I could coax him in.

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The previous renters had a cat and now I think I understand why. But aside from not having a cat on my lease, there have been enough dog vs. cat standoffs in the yard already for me to know that bringing the cat inside is a terrible idea. And if I let it in once, I’d feel responsible for it. And this is NOT my cat, damn it.

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I eradicated all crumbs, reduced all odors, and generously coated the baseboards with peppermint spray. I set out poison traps but they keep disappearing. Literally disappearing. Possibly the mice are dragging them back to their nest and distributing the poison among their relatives, but one little tenacious bugger is still terrorizing me. He runs around in the night, knocking things off the shelves, eating the hand soap (why?!), and gnawing straight through the plastic tubs I bought to store the kibble. I want to get a hammer and smash his little skull flat. Nature is not wonderful enough to tolerate this creature’s existence.

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