My life in a country home sure is varied! I am not referring to company or anything like that... at least not human company. I am speaking of things in and near my house... creatures.
If you are squeamish about any creatures or reptiles - do not read any further.
When we first moved in we had oodles of spiders to contend with, including brown recluse. The next week we were invaded by crickets (they kept me awake at night). The next week the spiders and crickets disappeared, we thought it was the changing weather. Nope, it was something noisy in the crawl space, something that eats bugs... we had an opossum. (From this point on I revert to country talk and call the thing a 'possum.) Anyway, we heard something in the crawl space and in our heating ducts for a few nights before we found out what it was. Those were some sleepless, tear-filled nights. I just knew it was a huge rat. I knew it was heavy enough to be heard moving, I knew it had long nails (because it scratched at our vents to get in!!!) Oh, horrors! Then, the next afternoon, Paul got into the crawl space and found a cute critter sleeping... the possum woke up and proved himself to be not-so-cute-afterall, right before Paul shot him with the 22. Had that been a pregnant female it could have up to 14 young after a 2 week gestation period!!! (Homeschoolers learn such neat things...)
The possum was gone, but then we started hearing tiny scratching that indicates small rodents. Now, you need to know that I am mouse-a-phobic! When I hear the faintest scratching sounds in the attic or a wall I start my fight-or-flight response. My heart throbs, my face turns red, and I act completely irrationally... If I see a mouse I am sobbing and jumping on furniture. Unfortunately, I am NOT exaggerating, I really do have a phobia. I cannot be in a room when people tell their I-saw-a-mouse-stories, and I cannot stay in a home long that has mousetraps set out. And, if I see mouse droppings on your counters or in your cupboards - well, let's just say I may find some excuse to leave... quickly. I don't know when this irrational fear started (yes I know it is irrational, but I cannot stop it). All I know is that I have NO control over it.
Anyway, I heard a mouse in the attic... I was perturbed, but I didn't pack my bags to move out. I went to bed and covered my ears and begged God to send away all the mice. We started letting in the cats on occasion (thinking that maybe just the smell of predators would keep the varmints away). Well, it seemed to work. No more mice, no scratching noises, no dropping, they didn't even touch the poison...
I never stopped to think HOW the mice went away - it was an answer to prayer, of course.
Last night, at dinner, we heard a noise in the cellar. "What was that?!" Paul yells. I said, "a mason jar was knocked off the shelf by something." I forced Paul to go down and see how big the rat or possum was this time... he was sure it was just a cat that knocked over the jar while mousing. (It was a mason jar, by the way, I guessed correctly). It was a snake. I am shouting, "Don't kill it Paul, he eats my mice!" Paul is yelling back up the stairs, "get me the camera, we gotta identify it... oh no, he just went up the wall." He hustles up the stairs to make sure the snake can't/didn't get into the house itself. Satisfied, he went back down with the camera. He later identified a Black Rat Snake. We let him live. I may regret this... If I ever see him in my actual house/living quarters, I will not feel quite so happy to see him... but, still - I prefer a snake to a mouse.
All this adventure - city living must be boring compared to all this excitement!