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golden star apple

20 September 2018 - 04:41

It has been eleven rats since Abiu was murdered.

Let me start over.

Abiu was my Mom's pet parakeet. It was adorable, mostly yellow with a green underbelly. I say "it" because it was young, with its cera still a whitish gray that hadn't decided if it would mature to pink or blue. It seemed to be taking on a light baby blue tinge, though, and I always referred to Abiu with Spanish masculine terms when I talked to it.

My Mom's co-workers found Abiu over the summer outside the school where she works. My mom brought it home in a cardboard box that she punched holes through. Now let me go back further.

My mother and I are hoarders. No joke. I'm not sure when it started, I mean, I think my mom's had hoarding tendencies since forever, and her mother was a hoarder, too, but it was kept at bay more or less, until my father died. Then it just went rampant. After my sister and her kids moved out, there was nothing left to stop us from accumulating junk. Now, nearly the entire house has become unlivable, with only a narrow path snaking its way from the back door, to the hallway bathroom, my cats' room, and my bedroom, which I share with my mom. I sleep on a foldout cot in the middle of the mess that is my room, while she sleeps in my bed, inside my walk-in closet. We have been reduced to living out of my room, with my mom's room, her bathroom, the living room, dining room, kitchen, pantry and laundry room all sealed up and full of junk. We perhaps use 15% of the house, tops. I think I'm being generous.

We placed a mini-fridge in my room, and a microwave over that. My mom bought some plastic drawers to put her clothes in, and there are less than five square feet of walking space in here. It's a truly miserable existence, and to top things off, we have rats.

Of course we have rats, with this amount of crap. They snuck in last year, through holes in the trim of the house. First, only a real big fat one; by now... oof. I'm sure it's in the hundreds. Since I don't use most of the house, it's hard to tell. I've killed at least fifteen in my room alone since the infestation began, and there's still at least another five to ten left in here, according to my estimate, so let's say there's about thirty per room. Three bedrooms, hallway, two bathrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen, pantry, laundry room. 330? Seems about right. And that's the minimum, and still reproducing.

Into this hellhole I bring Abiu, and I bought him a little cage, and food, and I even got him a bird toy to keep him busy when we're not home, which is always, because who wants to live in a junk heap full of rats? I stupidly thought he'd be safe. The bars are metal; those rats can't get in, right? *dry laugh* Of course, I was in for a rude awakening. Friday night, we get home, and the damn beasts gnawed one of the plastic clamps I used to keep the cage doors shut and there's two of them in the cage, Abiu is gone, and feathers everywhere. The cage door was still ajar, and one got out, but I slammed it shut and kept the other in there while I tried to figure out how to kill it. Behind me, my mom fruitlessly called out to her bird, hoping he had managed to escape the cage and just left feathers behind. I knew better. Poor thing.

I was so angry... I ended up stabbing the rat to death through the bars of the cage. Took me about half an hour, the rat was terrified, and in pain. I know it suffered by the screeches it made. I did not care. All this time, I hadn't wanted to use glue traps because they're inhumane, and as much as I hated them chewing their way through everything I own, I never hated the rats. I only ever blamed myself for allowing them access to my home, and providing the perfect environment for them to thrive. I kept it to electronic traps and poison to get rid of them, and over the past year, have probably killed around six or so. Maybe ten, tops. Since Abiu was eaten alive, though, something in me changed. After I killed that rat in the cage, I got a taste for blood. I bought all the glue traps in the grocery store and set them up around the mess in my room. Eleven so far as of this entry. Seriously, right before I began this, I had just gotten back from tossing out another one. I don't let them suffer in the glue, though. I wrap them up in newspaper and bash their little brains in with a hammer. I make sure to know where to aim so they die quick. I've mostly gotten a bunch of little ones, but this last one was medium sized. There are at least two big ones I've seen in my room, though, and I've sealed all exits to my room so they've got nowhere to go. I feel strange, killing animals, but will see it through to the end. Abiu's death has stirred me into action the way nothing else has before. Those five feet of floor space? My mom and I cleared that after Abiu's death. I've shredded paperwork that needed shredding for months, and threw out giant trash bags of junk. And got five square feet in return. I also got to cleaning out the cats' room next door. Things won't get cleaned up from one day to the next, but I'm going to try my best to see this through. I owe it to that little parakeet to have a clean space to live. And I want to love my home again.

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