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The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor

April

The Architect

Clay

Mickey

Oh Mickey your so fine, your so fine you blow my mind. Hey Mickey!

Now, try to get that song out of your head. Not possible.

A long time ago, when I was newly married to the skinniest man on the face of the planet, I worked at an animal hospital.  Because I love animals and I fleetingly thought that I might should have been a veterinarian.  That thought lasted about five months, then I got pregnant.  As a pregnant woman I really didn’t want to smell one more animal or their yeasty ears, puss filled abscesses, hot craps or the most gagging thing…..the Lysol that everyone sprayed to cover those smells.  Yeah.  Good times that first trimester at the animal hospital.

The hospital had a very nice boarding facility for cats and dogs. Occasionally, during holidays, we’d get calls to board a rabbit, ferret, snake or.. shudder.. Mickey.  Mickey was a hissing cockroach...shudder.
Mickey’s owners would bring him in a plastic Rubbermaid bowl.  He sat at the bottom of the bowl with a damp cotton ball and one piece of dry dog food.  The staff would sit him on the lab counter so we wouldn’t forget about him.  
Everyday one of the girls would have to take the lid off the bowl, dampen the cotton ball and replenish the one piece of dog food.  Even though Mickey gave me the creeps, he was incredibly low maintenance and people got a kick out of him.  
During one of Mickey’s stays with us he stopped eating.  He just sat there, not moving and we got sort of concerned about him, I mean even though I didn’t want Mickey anywhere near me, I didn’t want to explain to the family that their bug had died on our watch.  To keep a closer eye on Mickey one of the vet techs places the bowl on the receptionist’s counter for me to look after him.  Yeah for me.
Once I’d finished my work and all the exam rooms were filled with clients and their animals I took a minute to glance at Mickey.   I saw the cotton ball and the dog food, but no Mickey.  Oh dear.  My first thought was Mickey was probably crawling of my back or nestled in my hair.  My freak-out meter went through the roof.  Just thinking about it is creeping me out and suddenly the black keys of my computer seem oddly roach-like…..argh!
Okay, back to Mickey.  Nervously, I decided I better take the lid off the container to make sure he really wasn’t in there disguised as a piece of dog food.  I slowly removed the lid and that’s when I saw that Mickey had molted.  He had wedged his body up near the lid and now instead of being black he was a milky-larvae-white.  I couldn’t take it.  I let out a scream, slammed down the lid and fled to the corner of the room.  I was certain a million milky white cockroaches were crawling up my pant leg.
My scream had alarmed everyone in the hospital.  The first to come to my aid was one of the vet techs followed by one of the doctors.  Seeing me fearfully plastered against the wall they were quick to think I must be in labor.  Reading their concern I began to feel a bit foolish and was pretty embarrassed to explain that Mickey had, had, well, turned white.  And that scared me.  Rolling there eyes and muttering under their breath they went back to work leaving Mickey and I alone…..shudder.

And that’s all I have to say about that particular incident because now I’m going to be hyper-bug-aware the rest of the day.
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