Emma June Grosskopf

It has come to my attention that I haven’t written about any of my recent experiences with wildlife in my apartment. You guys know me, with my birds in the closet and mice under the sink, it might seem to you like I am a Disney princess, communing with God’s creatures and enjoying their company.

Let’s get one thing straight: not anymore. My attitude about the various critters and creepy crawlies that always seem to find their way into my abode has gotten, well, quite grave.

Let me just start by getting something off my chest: there has been a dead bird outside the side door to my house, just sitting in the mulch beside the walkway. I probably should have scooped him into a bag and thrown him away ages ago, but gross curiosity told me to leave him.

So now, he is basically all bone and beak. And I have to look at him every time I pause to unlock my door. It’s downright macabre.

Okay. Whew. I’ve looked death in the face and lived to tell the tale with only minor amounts of trauma.

Then, last week, I slipped on a rogue blouse and took a tumble in my walk in closet. While I was sitting there on the ground, questioning my existence, I looked over and saw a gigantic bug on the floor of the closet. It looked kind of like a spider, but with antennas? So, like my worst nightmare?

As if that couldn’t get worse, I tried to shift it with a shoe so it wasn’t so close to me, and then it jumped, and my soul left my body.

What kind of a cricket-spider-frog hybrid horror is that? Anyone want to clue me in?

Honestly, it doesn’t really matter what the genus and species of the thing was. You know the saying, “A bug by any other name will still get smushed.”

He met a gruesome end. The circle of life, you know.

For everyone that I’m sure is dying to know, it’s been pretty quiet on the rodent front, but I don’t want to jinx it. I will say, however, that I am feeling a little more deadly this year than I was last year when it comes to mice.

Last year, I was all, “no, I don’t want to kill them, I’ll just repel them,” and I spent lots of time, money and energy trying to figure out safe ways to NOT kill them. I bought those little linen bags that smell like mint and pine and put them all over my apartment. I saw a video where this gal used toothpaste to repel mice, and let me just say, spreading toothpaste on anything but your toothbrush is a bad idea.

There’s a hack for you. It makes a mess. Trust me.

No, this year I’m feeling a little more…aggressive. I bought a bag of those old fashioned mousetraps. You know, the wooden ones? The regular ones? I’ve set them all over my apartment and I’m not even going to be fazed if I hear them snap. I even watched a YouTube video on how to set them. I am READY.

So, barring my run in with the Bug From Hell, a dead bird and some mouse preparations, it’s been fairly quiet. Too quiet. But, as a 24 year old adult (who is very wise), I’m not the doe-eyed idiot that I was a year ago.

Maybe this winter, there will be a squirrel loose in my apartment. Maybe a deer will take over the front porch. Maybe come toe-to-toe with (gulp) a bear. I know they’re supposed to start hibernating soon, but what if one decides to visit me instead?

I shudder to think.

All I’m saying is if living here for over a year now has taught me anything, it’s to be prepared for critters. I don’t have to LIKE them, but I’m definitely going to be prepared. Nothing will surprise me.

I hope.

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