Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Someone’s shitting in my bathroom, and it isn’t me.

The first time I noticed anything untoward was a few weeks back. I got home from work and saw something dark on the counter to the left of my bathroom sink. It looked like a Hershey’s Kiss at one-eighth scale. A tissue easily wiped it up, yet I smelled not chocolate but the signature scent of fecal matter.

The ceiling above this area is intact. In the Treehouse, that’s saying something. There are gaps around the ceiling fans and the closet light. The space around the kitchen fixture is big enough for a fist. The tops of the walls don’t quite meet the ceiling all the way around, and only some of the space has been “sealed” with silicone. Black silicone in spots, clear in others. We’re calling this charming.

If I had to guess based on a sliding scale of most mistakes to fewest, the amateur carpenter who installed this admittedly gorgeous (at first glance) ceiling started in the closet, moved to the kitchen, then on to the living room, and finally the bathroom. Or maybe the smaller bathroom space just meant less to fuck up.

Anyway, I wiped the Fecal Kiss from my bathroom counter, chalked it up to a furry visitor, and went about my life.

Then the pooping continued. Nightly. It became part of my morning routine, checking the bathroom for mini-poop. As you can see, sometimes the Scat Phantom hits his target, the swooping side of the towel rack:

Sometimes the Scat Phantom doesn’t get enough fiber:

Other times, he misses altogether:

This is possibly some kind of rodent ritual, like when frat boys on spring break climb balcony railings and let piss fly on more drunken frat boys below. A group of furry friends, high on fat Coral Gables foliage, squeeze their way into the Treehouse. Remember, rats can wriggle through a hole the size of a quarter.

But these aren’t rats. They are mice. Perhaps there are three, and they’re blind, and have simply mistaken my bathroom for theirs. These things happen. Or maybe they’re like the Mouse Guard of Sprucetuck, tipsy from hoisting a few too many thimbles of spiked sap after their latest battle. I’ve seen pictures.

The point is, not rats. NOT RATS.

“Oy, Fuzzy,” Sir Furface slurs, “betcha can’t make the towel rack from all the way up here, on the window sill.”

“Pah.” Fuzzy McDowell waves a paw at this amateur request, puddling his mouse britches (made of silk thread from pet larvae and dyed with blueberries) around his ankles.

“You can squat,” Snoots Brownie says, raising his three-fingered right paw, “but you can’t dangle.”

Fuzzy pauses at the window sill. Snoots always gestured with his mangled paw to give his words extra emphasis. Like loosing two digits to a kitten made him some kind of tough mouse.

“Fellas,” Fuzzy says, looking blearily between Furface and Snoots, “just watch.”
Fuzzy pushes his cape (made of mouse leather from conquered tribes) aside, squats over the edge of the windowsill, and squinches his eyes tight. The others giggle in anticipation. When Fuzzy’s whiskers start to twitch, they cheer him on.

Anyhoo, this clearly didn’t happen because this is not the work of a drunken rodent team. No, this is the work of a Unishitter. For one thing, no drunken rodent team could be so consistently accurate. For another, I don’t think this is mouse poo. It has a white part, like guano, and it falls apart in the toilet like a tiny cigar separating into tobacco leaves.

Of course when it comes to crap, I’m no expert. Maybe it’s a ghost turd. Maybe there’s a perfectly legitimate sewer system somewhere, cosmically speaking, and the exit just happens to be right above my towel rack. A flash of lightning not unlike the one on the living room ceiling in Poltergeist, and poo drops from the ceiling.

Thus far, there has been no pilfering of food. The Scat Phantom is like me; he just wants a little privacy for his bodily functions. We have a nice, you don’t fuck with me, I don’t fuck with you apart from shitting on your towel rack vibe going. Fine, for the moment.

We’ll see what happens when MiniMe moves in.


  1. Hullo AJC,

    Sorry to hear you are having trouble in the toilet dept. Unfortunately its part of growing older.

    Strange but I never considered that mouse behaviour consisted of dropping 'Richards' {Small brown Richard the turds} in one place consistently. Have you pissed off any of the local wildlife lately. You know the kind of thing; an off the cuff derogatory remark or a bad book review. Think carefully, motive is often key to solving a crime such as unsolicited poopery.

    Like you I'm no expert but from the photographic evidence and your worryingly close scrutiny of the solubility properties of the evidence it may be a bird. This cranks up the investigation as there is an added risk factor. Mice are scavengers, while some birds are hunters. It could be a trap.

    Extra care is needed here. There could be a bloody big meat eating raptor up there which is deliberately shitting tiny quantities to lull you into a false sense of security, trying to get you closer while it sits in buttock clenched anticipation of the next meal or simple revenge for a percieved slight. Dont go too close to the access point or you could receive a face full of shit or be dragged up into the rafters to be wedged in halfway up, feet dangling pathetically down into the loo below, the latest addition to the pantry.

    Why was the property empty in the first place? Has here been a history of tenants disappearance?

    You could be facing the bird equivalent of Norman Bates here { showers are now out of the question}

    Do you have a gun? Preferably a rifle or a semi automatic?

    And I think we're gonna need a bigger cat.......

    be careful my friend, especially when your trousers are at half mast!


  2. and have you noticed any other clues? The odd quiet flapping of wings or an illicit fart. Maybe a very deep toned "Coo, Coooo.....I'm only a little bird, come and get me"

  3. After closely inspecting your photos, I noticed they resemble the poo we sometimes get in the garage. Ours is from lizards... big ones.

  4. Aw no. Laura - your taking the investigation in a completely new direction. AJC, you may need to get professional help. {Bet thats not the first time that's been said to you either!}

  5. aw. now there will be a dead mouse.

  6. I've got to say, the Treehouse is an odd place. The closet looked like it could have housed wildlife, and the front door had 2 giant screws going through it, as though it had been screwed shut from the outside at some point.

    Perhaps a large raptor was starved to death in this manner, and these droppings are from its angry offspring.

  7. And yes, it's lizard guano. I got used to catching them at the Oasis, my old place. The Oasis lizards were young and slow, too shocked that they wandered inside to put up much of a fight. I'd grab them and toss them outside.

    Treehouse lizards are fast and wily. They jump from ceiling to wall and back to ceiling, behind cabinets and furniture, and are nearly impossible to catch.

    Of four lizard sightings, two escaped, one accidentally got flushed down the toilet, and the one I "caught" jumped on the spatula with which I was trying to knock it off the wall.

    I'm losing the lizard war, which is why I need feline reinforcements.

  8. Tell me, before I call in animal cruelty, just exactly how do you accidentaly flush a reptile down the pan?

    Maybe those big screw holes in the door were from the inside and the last guy was trying to shoot them.....

  9. While trying to capture the lizard, I blew my nose and threw the tissue in the toilet. I flushed the toilet and the lizard jumped into it. I could have saved it, but hesitated for a crucial moment. He got sucked in.