One of the things we recently began studying in A&P was the nervous system - the CNS, PNS, sympathetic, parasympathetic.. and we'll be tested on some of the very introductory material we covered in the last class that met this past week when we covered it. Tonight, I got a pretty good example of the sympathetic nervous system response. I was studying my chemistry in my dining room, working on reviewing stoichiometry and just doing examples, and I heard some rustling in my family room. I was startled, my heart started racing a little bit, you know, the whole fight-or-flight sympathetic nervous response to the unknown stimulus.
Maybe I should call it a rec room instead of a family room, since I live by myself? I'm going off on a tangent! I'll get back to the matter at hand. So I heard a rustling in the family room. I went in to check it out and I'm waiting to see motion, something. I had two freeloader mice a few months back, which wasn't a big deal considering they were trying to eat the plastic wrap around disposable plates in the pantry. I got rid of the mice before by catching them and releasing them outside, but then they got back in, so I got one of the traps that anesthetizes them and kills them. At least I tried to go by the philosophy of "live and let live," right?
I live in the suburbs, so field mice can get into the house. This isn't a subdivision, but it isn't completely rural. It's nice and woodsy, I'll leave it at that. Immediately, I assume I have another mouse that got in. Sure enough, this huge mofo of a mouse is hiding behind one of my bookcases by my fireplace. He pokes his head out and tries to grab something off the fireplace, and he's periodically scurrying up the side of the fireplace, like he's exploring but always running back behind the bookcase. There is no fire in the fireplace, if you're thinking I'm about to burn him to death.
I grab a flashlight, and shine it on him and he gets the whole deer-in-the-headlights look. He's not moving. I'm guessing he got in via the fireplace. I thought about smashing him in the face with the poker from the fireplace "tool kit," but I really couldn't bring myself to do it. I guess I'll never have a career as a serial killer since I can't even finish off a mouse. I opened the fireplace gates and told him to get out. He ran back on top of the fireplace, into it, and up the chimney, I suppose. It's nice when people and things do what you tell them to, isn't it?
[Edit: It was a squirrel, not a mouse. The fact that it was "scurrying" up the sides of the fireplace should have been a dead giveaway. Regardless, it got out. :) ]