Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My daughter suffers from Musophobia

Bagni di Lucca again.

Sunday was Sissi’s first birthday and we celebrated with a cake and a jumping castle. Well – not really - but we did wish her happy birthday and I let her bite one of my toes really hard. She is now the size of a Shetland Pony and in Summer I will take her to Stadtpark to give rides to the children.

It was also – of course – Balu’s birthday (Balu is Sissi’s sibling) so I sent an email to Rozalin who read it aloud to Balu. I think Balu probably got gifts and this makes me feel a bit ashamed that I did nothing special for Sissi - but I will make it up to her.

I have promised her that in Summer (what happened to Spring while I was away?) I will take her down to the courtyard so that she can gambol in the grass.

After sunny Tuscany we have come back to a cold and wet Vienna. Well – I have – Cate has gone off to a week long conference in Baden which is close to here. It may be cold and wet in Baden also but she will be locked up in meetings all day and night or will be in the bar so will not notice.

I got this text message from Melissa at about 1:00 AM on Monday morning.

“I’m trapped in my bathroom because Merlin is walking around with a mouse in his mouth and I can’t cope”

(Merlin is her cat – not her boyfriend - or a Wizard - (see picture!)

Mercifully I was asleep and did not hear the text message coming in. Not that I could do much – after all she is in Paris and I am in Vienna.

I might have said something like ‘Melissa, it’s a bloody mouse not a ravenous lion – get on with it!’ which would not have been helpful at all as she suffers from Musophobia and is not able to look at, touch or otherwise engage with mice. (I have this trouble with Republicans).

I bought her a book on rats last year but this does not seemed to have helped and we may have to get her into therapy with someone who specializes in Musophobia. I imagine there are not many in Paris but there will be thousands in Los Angeles and she can do a course by correspondence.

Melissa was eventually able to wake her boyfriend Henri from a deep sleep and he caught a taxi across Paris to her place and rescued the mouse from Merlin – and Melissa from the bathroom - and let it loose in the street. He clearly does not suffer from Musophobia and will be amply rewarded by the mouse god in due course for this charitable act.

I imagine it took the mouse about 10 minutes to find its way back into Melissa’s apartment but I am sure it will be a bit more careful now - after spending half the night being sucked by Merlin.

Melissa has two dreadful fears – heights and mice. I share her fear of heights but am not in the least bothered by mice who I think are quite delightful creatures. I am quite pleased that god designed mice - but did not go overboard like he did with beetles.

As far as I can tell there are only about 200 types of mice (compared with more than 350,000 types of beetles). I think this is about the right number and cannot imagine what god was thinking on beetle day. Perhaps it was raining, there was no cricket on TV and there was nothing else to do.

As far as I can tell we do not have any mice in our apartment. This is probably just as well because Cate is also not good with mice. She is not as bad with mice as she is with lizards which provoke a reaction similar to mine if I opened the door and Sarah Palin was on my doorstep.

I know this is not likely to happen - but just in case I keep a club just inside the door.

Update: There are mice swarming all over Melissa's apartment. I have told her she will need to toughen up or get more cats. Merlin has sucked one to death but will be knackered by midnight and will need reinforcements.


  1. Mice don't bother me, lizards don't bother me, even beetles and spiders don't bother me. What bothers me are the door-to-door proselytizers who are out to sell Jesus, and who the cat ignores.

    Club by the door... I just love how you think.

  2. I'm terrified of live mice, but dead mice are even worse - even if their eyes are shut - and the worst possible mouse scenario is a dead mouse in Merlin's mouth or on my pillow.

    Update: I'm trapped in my bedroom now.

  3. get a snake. at least it will kill and eat the mouse. rather than just playing with it. unless you're as scared as i am of snakes...shudder...

  4. What did I do wrong that my children are frightened of mice and snakes. Well..snakes I understand ...but mice?

  5. I'm sure Melissa's boyfriend, Henri, was rewarded for his charitable act.

    I am, however, surprised by the word, Musophobia. It sounds more like a fear of music or, perhaps, music-makers? But I do understand that you checked it out and were not first to coin it.

    Snakes are what I fear but have been known to kill one - only a six foot brown (deadly Australian snake). I'm a country girl so there's no snake like a dead snake.

  6. Mice.
    Make me run.

    Love the cat portrait, with reflection, wow! :-)

    State of the Ducks?
    I took a picture yesterday, thinking that you'd miss them.

    Word veri:
    Ackzent *haha*

  7. You underestimate mice - they are very vicious.
    I've been attacked by one before.
    I opened my pantry door and a mouse launched itself at my face.
    I dodged and weaved and karate chopped him to the ground where my Jack Russell terrier shook the poor little fella's brains out.

    Once my sister caught one snuffling around in a Jatz box in her pantry and tried to kill him by dropping him onto an electric fence.
    Yeah.....didn't really work.