I don’t know exactly when I became afraid of mice. Perhaps it was my mum telling me she heard a mouse trap snap in the night, then lay awake hearing the whoosh- whoosh of it being dragged across the floor.
Or it could have been my sister who kept mice as pets when she was a child. She took them to bedroom where they escaped and bred. I remember waking in the night hearing them scuttling around on the floor.
For years we had a cat, so were never troubled by them. Then one night a couple of years ago from the corner of my eye I saw something move on the carpet. There was a mouse and I instinctively drew up my legs and screamed.
Hubby patiently explained that the mouse was more afraid of me, but then brought home a mouse trap - one he is still keen to point out cost him £15. He laid it in the kitchen and I was more worried of what I might find there when it snapped. I eventually hid it in a drawer.
The other day I found mouse dropping on the kitchen work surfaces and saw a small hole under the window sill. The blighters had pulled the cord of the blind down the hole and somehow trapped it. The string was all chewed too.
Two blocks of wood and a bottle of cooking oil did the trick until it could be filled in properly.
Last night I discovered more droppings in the drawer where I keep my vegetables. That is going to be difficult to block as at this is where the stop tap is.
Then one morning I got my breakfast cereal from the top shelf of the bottom cupboard and found yet more mouse droppings. I couldn’t believe how it got up there. Did we have an infestation?
I then fled into the lounge, heart thumping, goose bumps prickling, tears streaming, hands shaking and gasping for breath.
Hubby found a small hole at the back of the cupboard and under the cooker where it had escaped to. He tried to show me, but I couldn't go in there again.
Yes, I know it is more scared than me. Yes, I know if I stamp my feet while walking, it’ll hide. Yes, I’m quite aware it is irrational.
He poured my cereal and brought it to me in the lounge and then went to work – leaving me alone with it. I shut the door and lost my appetite realising I was now afraid of what lay behind the door now.
Why do I fear it running over my feet? I know it would run the opposite way, but the thought of running (in my house) makes me shiver. Why am I, a grown woman, so irrationally frightened of something so tiny?
More to the point, how am I going to get out of this room?