For two nights in a row, about 3 weeks ago, I heard a familiar, although relatively rare, sound. It woke me up out of a dead sleep. I have a friend who has suggested that I’m “aurally defended.” I tried to google that but didn’t find that term on the internet. Basically, though, little sounds like a faucet dripping or a clock ticking, can keep me awake or drive me nuts. In this particular case, it led to a series of events.
In 2007, my dear, beloved cat, Hallie, died at the ripe old age of 17. Since that time, I’ve had, about every other year, a mouse (I prefer tiny rodent, since “mouse” sounds too endearing) to attempt occupation of my home. This does not go over well with me. I do not like rodents. They’re nasty and, unfortunately, they’re usually smart. Well, except this one pictured below who thought he’d found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow when he discovered the dog food bin in the laundry room two years ago. Unfortunately, his occupation plan did not provide a way for him to exit the pot of gold, since it was very tall and only about a third full. I won’t say how I disposed of him, just in case someone from PETA reads this. I will say, though, one should NEVER reach down into a dog food bin at 6 AM in the semi-dark without looking into the bin first. Feeling a creature try to “scamper” up your arm is not a good start to the day!
“Okay, I’ve found my way in. Now, how do I get back out of here???”
One thing led to another, and I purchased a dog food bin with a screw-on lid. There has never been another rodent take-over of the dog food container since then.
Anyway, the two nights of lost sleep led me to take matters into my own hands, since this new rodent was not scared off by my stomping and hitting the walls. And, now that my Jack Russell Terrier is hard of hearing, he’s not scaring off the rodent either. So, the next day, I tracked the tiny rodent to my bedroom closet. (They do leave calling cards, so to speak.) I pulled everything, and I mean everything, out of my closet, which, thankfully, is very small. It’s about 10” deep and 7’ long. Someone walled in a fireplace and chimney and created this closet a few decades ago. Back when the house was built, in 1904, people didn’t really need closets, because people didn’t collect junk and amass a fortune in clothes and shoes like we Americans tend to do now. So,the closet is about the depth of a chimney.
The closet, looking to the left.
The closet, looking to the right towards chimney.
The emptying of my closet lead to the discovery of several large rodent size holes that had never been filled in. I had never done anything to this closet, including painting it, so, this led to my conviction that a complete renovation was in order. And it really needed it. I even had to do some light construction in there, because whoever did the work before did a half-uh, a half-mouse job. I filled in all the holes with caulk, after discovering that someone many years ago had tried stuffing a few of these holes with tinfoil and even this thing I found in there:
I’m not sure what this is. Perhaps it is a stove valve regulator, as one friend suggested.
I sawed off some old nails that were poking through the walls. I primed the walls, the shelves and the chimney with some very toxic primer. But I was prepared.
Wearing my mask and Sponge Bob hat. Poor Sponge Bob. He has dental issues, too.
It actually came in handy that I am a little person. I could squeeze into this tiny space and reach in there to paint those end walls and shelves fairly easily. I don’t think a tall or big person could have done this job. Well, they would have griped about it, probably. So, one coat of primer and two coats of leftover “Moroccan Moon” paint from another paint job and the closet was well on its way to completion.
“Moroccan Moon” paint on a brush. If I could do it all over again, I’d become a namer of paint colors.
The next thing to deal with was the floor. As you can see in an earlier photo, it needed work. I was not about to refinish it, either. But being from a long line of borderline hoarders, I did happen to have some leftover “ipe” wood flooring that had been used when I had the front porch rebuilt several years ago. It was perfect for the job, doesn’t need refinishing, and I didn’t have to go buy something else. My kind of project! So, the tiny rodent led to another thing…not just the restoration of my closet, but using up stuff like paint and wood that I already had.
How many closets have exotic hardwood floors?
Oftentimes when we use that phrase, “one thing leads to another” it is used in a negative sense. There’s a pop song out with this idiom as the title, and when I read the lyrics, it looked pretty bleak to me. When you google “one thing leads to another idiom” then you can see several examples in the free dictionary reference that are pretty negative, too. Although the tiny rodent in the house was clearly a negative experience in my mind, the outcome has been positive I think. And this one thing leads me to mention another thing—
There have been some exciting developments in the world of XLH research. A hormone called “FGF23” has been found to be partly responsible for our phosphate wasting disorder, and there has been a “discovery” of a compound (name “KRN23”) that is being tested to be used to reduce the amount of FGF23 hormone that is wreaking havoc on us. The Phase 3 trials will hopefully begin soon. This will not likely be of a lot of help to adults with XLH, from what I have read, because it cannot undo the damage that has already been done, such as the excessive calcifications. But, what GREAT news for children and the parents of those children! We have mice (I’m okay with referring to these laboratory rodents as “mice” since they’re being helpful) to thank for this development, since they have been used in the research, but we mostly have some wonderful research scientists who have spent their lives looking for cures and treatments for human diseases. I have a friend who is a research scientist in medicine and God bless him, because it takes a very long time in many cases, to have a breakthrough in your research. But one thing can lead to another, and in this case, many tests and trials, and many mice and humans willing to be in drug trials, have led to possibly a huge breakthrough in a rare disease. I am honestly amazed that some people have spent their lives researching something so rare, too, because they will not likely be mentioned in any textbook, unless they also find the cure for the common cold. My hat’s off to them.
Yep, one thing leads to another. And that can be a really positive thing. And as for my tiny rodent—well, he is going to lead me to have to empty out another closet because in my zeal to caulk all the holes in my closet, I apparently caulked them while he was in instead of out of the house, and he’s found another closet, a bigger one, that he likes!
Copyright S.G. Hunter and Banjogrrldiaires, 2013-2018.