It’s 3:30am and I am awake, my alarm is set for 4am but I am up already and sleep feels like something impossible and stupid. I have a score to settle with Scurry who has invaded my kitchen since the past one week. Scurry as some of you might know is a mouse, he is the hero from the bestseller ‘Who moved my cheese’.
Scurry chose a peculiar time in my life to show up, my better half was traveling and out of town for 10 days and on day 2, Scurry made himself visible. It was 5am and I was having my cup of filter coffee, all riled up to tackle the weekend as a single parent, when I saw him scutter along the ledge of our kitchen window. Let’s just say that I am lucky that my children are sound sleepers, my primeval scream would have been a subject of jokes for many years to come.
So, right after making an announcement on Facebook on Scurry’s hurried exit via the exhaust vent, I googled the list of diseases rodents carry, got frenetic, I googled for rat traps, and then set about to examine the damage in the pantry. Turned out Scurry loved Banana chips, spicy peanuts, Biscuits and atta (Chapati flour). Typical desi rat, I said to myself and told my mother to send in our ancestral and humane rat cage, I also told her about Scurry’s food preference. My mom being a desi mom herself, dutifully sent the cage along with 2 pieces of her world famous koftas, “This should seal the deal for you” she said over the phone. Totally excited over getting to nip the problem in it’s bud, we laid the trap, and also put ratkill at some strategic spots and with confidence of a toddler who lost his tooth and is expecting to see the money left back by the tooth fairy the next day, we went off to sleep. Apparently Scurry was an alley mouse and therefore was not going to be caught in one night, the next morning we saw that mom’s koftas lay untouched in the cage, rejected by him. The next day and the day after that Scurry proved that he was an nocturnal master of the kitchen, he dutifully refused to touch, the peanut laddoos, aloo parathas, and also a slice of smoked dry coconut used as baits in the cage. It was one blow after the other. My saga was showing no signs of ending. My sister and few friends started doubting the legitimacy of my story, “Are you even sure you saw a mouse?.. maybe it was a moth”
To test my visual acumen I got my eyes checked, ordered new prescription glasses and left 2 slices of good quality bread, wrapped in a plastic cover, on the kitchen counter.
The next morning, I found it oddly flattering that Scurry had gnawed a hole in the plastic wrapper and with precision of an astronaut extracted and whisked away the 2 slices of bread, and had also done some damage to my good tupperware container kept close by. I felt exonerated enough to throw my head back give out a demented sounding laugh. I was proven right.
One friend who had read my embarrassing rat updates on Facebook suggested that I use sticky pads and as you may imagine, all we got to see the next day were paw prints. On examining the size of which our maid declared that Scurry must be pretty big guy.
It was getting fairly obvious that “Scurry ko pakadna mushkil hi nahi, namumkin tha”, like the corny line from SRK starrer Don.
After a week of playing Tom and Jerry, we have been able to tightly secure the entryway to our kitchen and hopefully won’t see Scurry again.
So, as I lay awake wondering if I will get to see evidence of his visit, I came to realize the profoundness of Scurry’s style of living, and pursuit of cheese which is a representation of happiness and success and how to deal with change when the cheese is moved.
Here are some crucial insights I learned in the past one week, they are defintely not the kind one would hear at self-help seminars;
Don’t be afraid to use your teeth
You must keep others on their toes
Having a right amount of outrageous attitude is good
and don’t stay connected to one place, ever.
I am not a believer of whole ‘If life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ thing but my tryst with Scurry has made me one, I say, if a mouse comes over, let him move your cheese.