Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Mouse Patrol

I can still remember the moment I decided I wanted to live in New York City. I was 5 years old watching reruns of "Family Affair." How I envied Buffy and Jody. Not only were their parents dead, but they got to live in a glamorous high-rise apartment building in Manhattan! Apt. 27A just seemed too good to be true. The fancy furniture. The city views. Mr. French at your disposal. That fun doorknob with the big metal circle around it. All of this and I'd never have to "go outside to play" again. I hated the outdoors even then, so I figured living in an apartment I'd be exempt from anything along those lines. (I also remember that despite living in a big house in the suburbs, the mother of my Fisher-Price family -- who was loosely based on Angie Dickinson's Pepper -- kept a sweet pied-a-terre downtown.)

As I grew up, I continued to plot my move to the Big Apple. But all the while there was just one thing that kind of scared me about it. The crime? No, part of the package. The expense? Not really. I knew I wouldn't move here without a job. Being far away from home? You can always fly home for a visit. So what was I worried about? Mice (not to mention their bigger relatives). I'd never seen a mouse before, but the mere idea of one -- in your house -- was almost unbearable for me to think about. And I'd always heard that no matter where you lived -- rich or poor -- mice were everywhere in New York apartments.

Enter Troy. My trusty Tomcat has been by my side since 1994 when I still lived in Washington. He was 4 when I finally got to Chelsea -- when I figured his "skills" would likely be put to the test. Eight years later in the same apartment (a far cry from Apt. 27A, I might add), I have still never encountered a mouse here. The exterminator tells me that they're smart enough to smell a cat's scent and just steer clear. Nonetheless, every so often for the past eight years Troy's tail triples in size, his eyes get huge and he becomes glued to the floor in the kitchen -- near the appliances -- keeping a close watch on something. I call it "the mouse patrol." Nothing ever comes of it, but he will literally spend hour upon hour sitting there -- you know, just in case. Troy's never even seen another cat, so it's hard to imagine his even knowing what a mouse is, but he must see something. Whatever it is, though, it's smart enough to go back where it came from before Troy gets to it -- and frankly I couldn't be happier.

Troy skips coming to bed on "mouse patrol" nights (he's way too busy) -- and I miss having his fuzzy body there keeping me warm. But I'm living in a mouse-free apartment in Manhattan and I don't think I could have done it without Troy. So I'll continue to clean up after him and let him live here rent-free in exchange for his services -- you know, just in case.

6 comments:

SteveR said...

Kenneth, I can't tell you how hard I laughed at your comments about "Family Affair." I felt EXACTLY the same way. I was impressed by that doorknob too! I guess there really is a "gay sensibility," even among certain little boys.

I don't share the mouse phobia, though...

Loissss said...

Dare I suggest that it's not the elusive Mighty Mouse lurking in your apartment, but ... roaches? Little matter: Troy's work ethic is admirable!

Anonymous said...

"How I envied Buffy and Jody. Not only were their parents dead, but they got to live in a glamorous high-rise apartment building in Manhattan!"

LMFAOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Funniest post you've EVER written!!!

Alexander said...

And what was REALLY up with Uncle Bill and Mr. French anyway? Inquiring minds STILL want to know!

Kenny said...

Kenneth, I was first attracted to your blog because my name is Kenneth too, and you live in my favorite area code. I laughed out loud when I read the the "Family Affair" post. Classic!

Alex said...

OMG! I'm in shock; I thought I was the only one who had a NYC mouse phobia! I just moved here from the suburbs of Miami and have never seen a mouse before...EVER, that is, until I moved here to accomplish my dream--(for me, it was the 80s shows like D'ffrent Strokes that made me want to live here)! I own a cat now and sleep so peacefully!

Share This

Blog Widget by LinkWithin