Monday, March 19, 2012

Under the floorboards

There is a creature, or possibly several creatures, living under my floorboards. No, I have not regressed into a state of childhood delirium. Its name is Muffles, and he is my nightly companion, has been for the last 18 months, ever since I moved into the corner bedroom of our white house here on 21st Street. I presume Muffles is a raccoon or *shudder* maybe a possum. Or there is the slight possibility that he could be a band of perfectly synchronized squirrels; sometimes the trelling, softened sound of feet running along under the floorboards, the sound I now recognize as Muffles' signature call, seems like it comes from more than just four pesky little paws.

Muffles and I definitely didn't get along at first, I have multiple prejudices against things that scratch and gnaw and shuffle around in the space 3 vertical feet below where I sleep. In the beginning months, as Muffles would decide to start his day around eleven pm, I would groan, roll out of bed, jump up and down vehemently on the floor in an attempt to silence him, then get back into bed and will myself to go back to sleep. Muffles, that crafty meister, retaliated by gnawing on some metallic part of the AC vent in my floor- screetch, scratch, scriiiiitch. It is SO! LOUD!!!!

A good Google approximation of how I imagine Muffles would look in the daylight.
I fired off a strongly worded email to my landlord about Muffles in the daylight hours, when Muffles was presumably off snoozing under another part of the house, blissfully unaware of the mortal enemy he had created in me. But Landlord, like most landlords, wrote back an email assuring eventual action, which I am still waiting for, eighteen months later.

In the interim, Muffles and I have reached an uneasy truce. I think Muffles finally finished hollowing out our foundation to the size and shape that he wanted, so the scratches and gnawing having given way to the more subtle fluttering sound of furry paws shuffling around a tiny lair. I gave up stomping around to send the creature a message, and I just trained my ears to think of Muffles's sounds as normal night time sounds. Now the only time I ever notice them is when he gets up earlier than usual (10 pm) and I am still awake and chilling in my room. Like right now. And then I wonder what he's up to, if he has a little family somewhere, and how warm they are. And whether or not he's a cool, mystical mouse like on the Secret of Nimh. I hope so. I hope he possesses a magic sparkely that he wears on a glittering chain around his neck. Eventually my thoughts circle back to my most primal prayer about Muffles: "Please oh please don't be a possum." I'm ok giving up a little bit of my personal space and silence to a raccoon, or even to squirrels. There are way too many cute cartoon versions of those animals to ever stay mad at them. But a possum? The ugliest creature in creation? SAY IT AIN'T SO.

Like I said, I have multiple prejudices. Maybe things will look better in the morning...

3 comments:

jbroclayto said...

Secret of Nimh...sparkely. YES.

Aaron S said...

If your owner won't handle the problem and you aren't opposed to killing Muffles, you could try this tactic: http://www.gardenbanter.co.uk/gardening/185633-forget-anti-freeze-forget-d-con-try-fly-bait.html

MOM said...

Never knew about Muffles. Ah...the life of Lindsey Ann just keeps getting more and more interesting. :)