This picture was taken a few months before the move-in. We were getting a tour of UC Davis Vet School - here sitting in on a radiology course. I actually understood the class. Suzi, not so much. Score 1 for the vet tech courses. lol
**And before I start on this installment of my psycho roomie story, I must thank Simple Dude for writing the words "power point" when I asked him how to write on pictures. LOL Thanks Simple Dude! (Although using it brought up all the memories of all the presentations I had to do using Power Point in my last year of school).**
In my last blog about Psycho Suzi, I mentioned her conducting her piss-poor idea of a research project in our apartment. Let me just say, I learned very quickly to love Febreeze.
By the time school started up, Betty was living elsewhere (and thus far, happily). I had a full load of classes, and a near full-time job with Petco. I became very thankful for my friends very early, as they were my free therapists for the academic year of '02-'03. They let me vent nearly every day about the goings on with Suzi. So, this is my (at least) my first shout out to my friends who helped me more than they will ever know.
I also mentioned in my last post about Suzi that at Chico State, the College of Agriculture requires of every student, a research project, in order to actually graduate. You take a class that teaches you different ways to conduct a project, and all sorts of variables you can use, and whatnot. Lots of technical jargon I really can't recall after all this time. During this class, you choose a project to conduct. Many students piggy-back off their professors. Some will come up with their own. Either way, you also have to give a presentation about your project - what you're looking for, what you're hoping to find. Once you've been through that special circle of Hell, your professor will let you know if your project is approved to actually begin. The second semester of this class is where you hone your presentation and research paper skills. I cannot tell you how many times I gave my presentation to my class before our final presentation. I could have done it while in a coma. At this point, I was a year from conducting my project, but you should know I'd been panicking about it since I found out about it my first week of school in 2000.
Suzi, wanting to attend vet school for small animals and "pocket pets", decided oh-so intelligently that she would conduct her project on the affect of cage size of (mother) mice, in regards to the cage sizes most research mice would be caged in. She bought a dozen or so plastic cages from Petco, water bottles, food, shavings, and even the mice. In the end, I swear we had close to 100 mice living in our apartment. And it smelled like it. Unfortunately, she bought the cheap-ass cages that have grated lids that snap on top. Petco does not sell the bottles that would properly fit in the hole for the water bottle that the lid had in it.
Anyone else see the problem there?
She had to jerry-rig it.
Now, during all this, I still didn't want to deal with her after what happened between her and Betty. I lost all respect for her in how she treated Betty and how she was suddenly trying to kill me with kindness. I was, for the most part, trying to ignore her. I kept busy with my studies, tried to study at friends houses or on campus - anything to keep away from the apartment. I voiced my concerns about having so many mice in the apartment, and badgered her as to why she couldn't find space anywhere to house the mice instead. She had the lamest arguments, but naturally she was in the right and I was wrong.
For those that have never owned a rodent for any reason - rodents smell. No matter how clean you keep them or their cages, rodents smell. With so many mice, I feared our neighbors might start catching a whiff and start complaining. My biggest fear was that they would get out and get in the walls, causing an infestation. And I, with my name being on the lease, was just as responsible for any damage to the apartment as Suzi was.
And wouldn't you know, my fear came true. The mice got out.
I got home from work one evening, to change out of my work clothes to go hang out with some co-workers at a bar downtown. Shoot some pool (of which I'm horrible at) and have a drink and some laughs. I'm in my room (at the opposite end of where the mice are caged) and I thought I saw a white flash on the floor. I figured it was my imagination. Until a second white spot flashed on the floor. I got on my hands and knees and saw MICE. In my room. I started cussing Suzi out enough to make a sailor blush. Unfortunately, she wasn't home. I nabbed the two mice and marched them right back to their room, only to scream in frustration and cuss a lot more. Suzi, being her brilliant self, had taped the water bottles to the tops of the cages, one of them had come crashing down. The biggest cage with the most mice. Of course. And the mice climbed up the bottle and right out of their cage. I shoved my two mice in their cage and stuck a book on top of the cage so they couldn't get out. I then called my superb roommate and left this message:
"Suzi, you need to get home right now. A whole cage of mice got out and are now wandering around the apartment. This is your mess and you need to get back ASAP to clean this shit up. I'm going out with friends."
I got home around 1AM to find Suzi and a friend looking for the last mouse. The stove sat in the middle of the kitchen. The fridge was catywompus. Her room looked like a tornado had been there. The entire house was turned upside down. Except my room. I had put towels under my door to prevent more mice from getting in. They finally found the last mouse hiding behind her dresser. All in all, about 10 mice, at least, got out. I didn't walk around barefoot ever again. I don't think I ever got an apology from her either. The next day, I found more duct tape on those cages that I care to mention.
The mice never got out again.
However, I sprayed Febreeze several times a day. Even on myself. I felt tainted by having to live with the smell instead of just working with it 5 days a week.
And this was only the first few weeks of school. Yeah. That's what I was thinking, too.