Sunday, December 21, 2008

Deer Mouse: The Grim Reaper of Rodentia

My mom always told me that I worry about things I shouldn't be worrying about. And the things I should be concerned about, I could care less.
So true.
I wish I could stop it, but it's just who I am. And though I have come to accept my personality, it still doesn't change the fact that it can be frustrating and completely debilitating sometimes.
I worry. Worry about me, worry about you. Worry about freekin' tidal waves and cancer
(but I feel the cancer worrying is totally valid).
But today's worry REALLY takes the cake.
I was watching TV in my half built abode when my eye caught a darting movement. It was a little mouse eating Daisy's bird seed she had discarded and I squealed. Not because it creeped me out, but because it was so damn cute. It had cute eyes that bulged out of its head and a fluffy white belly...
Whoa whoa whoa. White belly? The secretary in my brain began going through the filing cabinet, throwing irrelevant (or perhaps relevant) information on the bottom of my amygdala. This mouse is not the average grey house mouse, I thought, don't remember what it's called but I do recall it carries a (cue scary music) DEADLY disease.
Panic mode instantly sets in. The next thing that comes to my mind is get on the internet.
Ah, the internet. What would I be without it? Probably a lady with of sounder mind. The internet is a hypochondriac's friend and enemy. Got a symptom? Look it up. A quick diagnosis with a few clicks of the mouse.
My research led me to the deer mouse. Brown, white belly, cute bulgy eyes...and just as my secretary informed me, potential carrier of the hanta virus.
The lady in my brain needed more info and my mind was cluttered with questions that needed to be filed for future use. The sponge needed soaking.
Well, calm down Katie. Let's see what the hanta virus is in the first place.
Type type type.
Hanta virus is a disease that deer mice can transmit. You get it simply by inhaling mouse poo dust.
Oh great, so essentially: Where there's mice, there's poo. Where there's poo, there's poo dust. And where there's living things, there is air that can carry the poo dust.
Okay, okay. Well probably only the elderly and people with bad immune systems get it, right?
Type type type.
Oh no, not at all! Anyone can get it, and half of those who do die.
At this point I should just stop myself from seeking any further, but I don't.
Type type type.
Oh, even if you do seek medical attention early, you can still die. And there have been outbreaks in the bay area.
My stomach is in knots. Because my eyes gazed upon a deer mouse, I am now convinced I have the hanta virus. And there is nothing I can do about it except sit and wait and realize I have no symptoms.
And if I do get it...I will be the glass half empty girl. Worrying that I will be the 50% who die. And I know it's not that I'm scared of dying, I'm scared of never seeing anyone again.
It's time like these I wish my Mom was here. Well, I always wish she was here.
But she was really the only person who could make me feel better.
She would say, "Well Katie...if you have it, then you have it. Cross that bridge when you get to it."
She'd also say, "And you want to work with wildlife?"
Yes, yes Mom I still do. Even though those little buggers can kill me.

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