Mice Ate My Tea — City Girl in the Country
Over the past few weeks, I've noticed my cats, Ziggi and Xela, have been spending an inordinate amount of time staring at the dishwasher. They are the only ones in the house who have been enjoying the company of the spiders, mosquitoes and the other random insects. I figured they were just making new friends. I was right.
Eventually, the pair went from staring at the dishwasher, to staring at the cabinet next to the dishwasher below the sink. I had to lock the cabinets, but they still stared at them intently.
It started to get lonely. I guess I had gotten used to them sleeping on my feet or on my back, and at some point I found myself sleeping with a stuffed cow again that Gary McCoy gave me in 2000 that he probably doesn't even remember giving me. That cow is older than the children living in my house and even lived in Canada with me. I had to go back to my old cow, because the cats had left me for a dishwasher, or worse: a weird bug.
I don't know why, but a few days ago, I checked a cabinet under the sink and I noticed there were black particles everywhere. It was tea.
The cat that was always getting into the cabinet is notorious for tearing plastic bags and eating bread, beef jerky, dog food and whatever else she could get her paws into. (I should have named her Lucy - short for Lucifer.) That's when I noticed all the bags of tea I had organized and labeled in air tight bags had perfect little holes in them, accompanied by similar perfect little holes inside the tea bags.
Bag after bag I threw away: Generic tea, Ginger Lemon tea, Peppermint tea, Christmas Mint tea, Green tea, Berry tea, hot chocolate -- all but two bags. And tea was everywhere! The only tea spared was Sleepy Time and Decaf. I was confused. It was becoming evident that not only did I potentially have a critter problem, but that said critters also had a potential caffeine addiction.
I wouldn't have known what the rodent poop looked like had my girls not went through four hamsters last year, all of which mistook my hand for a toilet. I grabbed Matt and let him about the situation. He caught the caffeine-addled mouse while I was out and asked if I wanted him to capture its friends. I said that surely the field mice had to procreate somehow. At least one of them is very energetic thanks to my tea stash. But the cats started sleeping at my feet again, so I guess we can all rest easy now.