A couple of years ago we moved into our house in San Juan Capistrano. It is very countrified where we live and our yard backs onto open hills. We have seen all sorts of wildlife since we moved in there. Coyotes are frequent visitors along with rabbits, racoons and of course gophers. I never ever thought they would join us in the house.
We decided to renovate our family room which is open plan to the kitchen. We wanted to put a big screen TV on the wall and redo the fireplace. The fireplace that was there was just ugly and very small. It was like an afterthought that didn’t go with the rest of the room. We wanted something more substantial and also wanted to put in a gas fire.
We found a local contractor to remove the old fireplace and put in the new surround and hearth. He put up plastic to cover the opening and stop dust from getting everywhere while the project was underway. One evening when my husband was out, I was on the couch watching a movie on my laptop when I heard a sort of squeaking noise. Next minute, one of our cats flew from one side of the room to the other, got behind the plastic, scrambled about and then reappeared with a mouse in its mouth. I jumped up and screamed, knocking over the glass of red wine that was on the coffee table and dropping my laptop. Luckily it landed on carpet.
Fluffy, my cat disappeared into our bedroom with her catch, ran under the bed and proceeded to torment the mouse. I knew I would not be able to go to sleep that night with a live mouse in our bedroom. I needn’t have worried because Fluffy finished off the mouse in no time. I was too scared to look behind the plastic so waited until my husband came home. When he pulled back the plastic there were mouse droppings everywhere. There must have been whole families living in there. I lay awake half the night imagining hordes of mice tramping through my house. Next day we called pest control who dealt with the problem and more importantly, found the hole where the mice were getting in and boarded it up. The fireplace is finished and the new TV is up. If ever I hear a squeak, I wonder if a mouse was left behind.