A Post About the Mouse in My House

Maya Kosoff
4 min readOct 10, 2022

Before we left for Florida last week, I became convinced I was not alone in my apartment. I’m usually not actually alone in my apartment, because usually Carmichael, the muppet/cat I adopted last year, is also at home with me. But he was staying at Chase’s (we keep the cats together in one apartment when we go out of town to make it easier for our friends to feed them. This works perfectly well for them, it would not necessarily work perfectly well for all cats) so I should have been alone. I then heard what sounded like some squeaking coming from the second bedroom/office/litter box/Peloton room and noticed that some of the dregs of Carmichael’s bowl of dry food were missing and I immediately assumed the worst.

Not my mouse. Photo by Oscar Ivan Esquivel Arteaga on Unsplash

“I think there’s a mouse in my apartment?” I texted my friends, conveying what I thought was an understated and casual level of panic. “There’s mice in the walls of every apartment,” one texted me back. “You live in New York City.” Fair enough, but mice are one thing I have never had the pleasure of dealing with in eight-plus years of life here. Bedbugs, the occasional cockroach, bad landlords (but I repeat myself) — these are all things I have come to understand as table stakes in a New York City apartment. I have never had a rodent in an apartment, but I’d also never lived in a 90-year-old building until this spring. With Carmichael gone, the temperature dropping outside, and a bag of dry cat food accidentally left open in the closet, it was just a matter of time until this happened. Still, dubious friends convinced me it wasn’t a mouse. Maybe the radiator was finally kicking on, I thought, or maybe I was hearing things.

On Wednesday morning as I wheeled my carry-on out the door I heard the unmistakable skittering of claws on the hardwood and squeaking and I knew my original fears were correct. I had a flight to catch — it was too late to do anything other than silently panic in the Uber to LaGuardia. I had a vision of returning to my apartment today when I got back to Brooklyn, opening the door, and a tidal wave of mice running out the door, or all of my dry kitchen goods pilfered and torn through. This mental image haunted me every day we were in Florida. I would be having an amazing time with friends, sobbing as my friend Jack gave beautiful vows at his wedding ceremony, dancing at the reception, kayaking through the bay, and…

Maya Kosoff

i’m a freelance writer and editor. you can also read me in places like the new york times and vanity fair.