I went to sleep last night lying on my left side, as per usual. (I'm deaf in the right ear and like to fall asleep as quickly as possible after I first hit the pillow. If there are no immediate extraneous sounds that are unidentifiable, usually it's "Zingo!" and I'm outa there.)
An hour or so later, however, I must have turned over, becuz all of a sudden I could hear a scratching or chewing sound. That woke me up! Ye Gods!! What could it be? My first thought was that it was the wind blowing the branches of my large water oak tree against the window. I looked. Even though it was fully dark, I could distinguish shadows and shapes. I couldn't see any wind effects outside, nor could I discern any signs of movement (other than my own) in my bedroom.
I lay there, not moving a single muscle except to breathe, wondering if I dared try to get back to sleep knowing there was something strange happening. The noise continued. I gave up on thoughts of sleep. "It" was definitely close by. I decided to get up and grab my flashlight. I thought about finding my old heavy baseball bat so I could club whatever it was, assuming I could locate 'it'.
The light from my flash illuminated a big roach. But, by the time I went out to the kitchen and returned with my killer spray, he had disappeared. Too bad! He lived to see another day. However, it was not a cockroach that was making that noise. At least, I didn't think so! If I'd thought it was, you'd probably still be hearing on the news stories about this berserk woman running down the middle of the street screaming, "Roach! Roach!"
Being deaf in one ear has its advantages and disadvantages. The biggest disadvantage is that you cannot pinpoint exactly where a noise is coming from. And so, I began my meticulous search for the source, all the while shining the light suddenly here or there and hoping to find a fleeing culprit.
The noise continued. It seemed to be coming from one of my large dressers. I shined the light behind the dresser. Lots of cobwebs, no critter. I shined the light between the dresser and the back wall. Fewer cobwebs, no critter. I turned all of the overhead lights on. No critter.
I opened no drawers. That, I thought, could wait until daylight. Meanwhile, the noise had stopped. I was tired and went back to bed. Sleep quickly overtook me. Amazing, isn't it?
When I awoke again, my first thought (after a bathroom call and swallowing my weekly calcium pill) was to open the dresser drawers. Which I did. Nothing, except for a couple of little mouse turds in one of them. I guess I was kind of expecting to see a 'nest' of little mouslings. Zip. Nada. I inspected the drawers carefully, looking for signs of gnawing. Found none.
I didn't pull the dresser away from the wall. It's a heavy beast, and takes two pretty good-sized men to move it, even with all of the drawers out. This might or might not be put on my list of "Things to have my son-in-law check out the next time he's over".
Several years ago, when I was driving a taxicab 24/7, teaching bridge classes and almost never home, I had a mouse infestation. In fact, I even had a full-grown rat take up residence! Now, that was scary!! (The rat, not the mice.) Through due diligence - I first had to locate the original attraction (turns out it was a sack of flour that I had carelessly left on a shelf and not paid any attention to for quite a long while) - and then, many traps and poisons later, I managed to rid my house of the vermin. (One committed suicide by chewing through a box of and then swallowing some poison pellets that I had purchased but not yet distributed.)
To this day, as a consequence, I'm very careful about what I leave laying around the house. As I'm home most of the time now, I frequently check boxed items to see if they've been tampered with.
You know what I'm going to have to do, don't you? I'm going to have to start setting mousetraps again. I've got them, I just hate setting them! It's not that I have an abhorrence of killing one (or more) of these critters. It's that I have an abhorrence of smashing one of my own fingers in the process of setting one of the traps!
But, I've gotta do what I've gotta do, right? Wish me luck!