Wednesday, 8 February 2012
on a cold night
I am listening to a mouse nibbling in the walls as I type this. It doesn't really bother me. We never had mice growing up, but the last two houses I've lived in have been very old, with rubble foundations and less than air-tight walls. Mice get in- it's a fact of life. With a dog roaming the halls and electric "squeakers" plugged into outlets in all the rooms, they never make an appearance. I haven't found any droppings in this house yet. But on cold nights like tonight, I can hear them. It's kind of comforting in a strange way. I would much rather lie in bed and listen to a little snacking rodent than sirens or rowdy neighbours or traffic. I like knowing that, while it's a burden on the furnace, these old walls can breathe. There's something about the stuffiness of new houses that I just can't stand, especially in the winter.
I remember being a child in the house I grew up in; on summer nights I would always close my bedroom door, shut the vent cover on the floor to block the air conditioning and open my window wide. If it was raining I would take the screen off and sit with my feet dangling out the window. My mom didn't like this because it let the bugs in, but oh, I couldn't help it. I loved feeling the damp, cool air float in and rain drops pitter patter on my toes. The light would flicker and dance on the walls if a big moth flew in and started circling the ceiling bulb, making that ping, ping, ping-ping noise as he smacked himself into the little glass orb.
It's nice to think of such things while my wool-clad feet are scrunched up under the dog's butt and old blankets and towels are tucked against the door jambs. Hunter is sound asleep under four blankets and I'm glad he's old enough now that I don't worry about him sleeping with so much bedding. In the morning he'll wake up before I'm ready to face the day, and I'll carry him from his crib back into bed with me and he'll fall asleep again for a few more hours in the crook of my arm. The dog will climb up as soon as Ian leaves for work and settle in to the empty warm spot beside me. Beds are the very best places to be on a cold night like tonight.
I hope the mouse is warm.