Back home I have a cat named Sasha.
She is, among other wonderful qualities, an excellent hunter. Some days I would wake up to find a dead spider cricket in the bathroom. Or watch from the sofa as she stalked and killed a house fly. Cats are a great way to avoid dealing with household insects.
I do not like household insects.
That brings me to today. I’ve been wearing the same pair of shorts for about a week now so I decided it was time to do laundry. Last time I needed some clothes washed, Jill threw them in with hers. The time before, I washed them in the sink despite there being a fully functioning washing machine downstairs.
Why do I seem to be avoiding the laundry room? Something so rare and useful to have when traveling?
Well, every time I go downstairs, which is about 2-3 times per week, there is a new carcass on the ground.
A very large carcass.
The first time I saw one, I laid a pair of keys next to it to show how large it was. It dwarfed the keys.
I knew they were down there. I knew that one day I would encounter a live one. This is Central America. They are all over the place.
Today I swallowed my fear and marched down to the laundry room, pile of dirty clothes squashed in my back pack. I flicked the light on, and waited. No movement.
Relieved, I turned on the machine, threw the clothes in and retreated back upstairs.
By the time I went to retrieve the clothes, it had gotten much darker outside. I hesitantly flicked on the switch and my eyes immediately darted to a creature running behind a bookshelf. I muffled a scream as it stopped and looked at me, sizing me up.
At first glance it was a mouse. A regular sized field mouse. No big deal.
At second, third and fourth glance it was a roach. A giant roach. A mouse sized cockroach. An equally large friend of his flitted across the room and joined him, sneering at me as I frantically clawed at my damp clothes and ran up the stairs.
I briefly considered booking a one way ticket back home and leaving these hybrid mouse-roaches behind forever.
I mean, I once broke a lease because I saw a much smaller roach in my trash can.
Then I remembered that I’m moving to New Orleans.
And in New Orleans, they fly.