As you might recall, dear readers, I recently devote this space to the saga of a mouse that had chosen the back of my stove as his/her final resting place. Well, a few weeks later, I opened the door that leads from the house to the garage, only to be greeted by an odor that I recognized as dead vermin.

Thankfully, it didn’t take long for me to find the dead mouse, which had chosen an aging, blue plastic trash can as his/her final resting place. I held a private service for the departed vermin and, in the ensuing days, I wondered about the mouse’s cause of death. It couldn’t have died at the hands of the cat army. They’re not allowed out of the main house. Had it suffered a heart attack? Do mice have heart attacks?

Regardless, I eventually quit thinking about the matter. That is, I did until the morning I found another dead mouse in the aging, blue plastic trash can.

Of course, I didn’t have much time to consider that two mice had chosen that particular household item as their final resting place. Why’s that? Because a few hours later, I found a snake sleeping in my garage.

I reacted as any sensible person would – I screamed, jumped into my car, and fled the garage. As I did so, I could hear words of wisdom spoken by my mom – “If a mouse can get in, a snake can get in.”

Vowing to avoid the garage until I had backup, I returned the next day with an expert who pointed out a few holes and advised that I fill those holes with steel wool and foam.

After I procured the supplies, a few helpers and I braved the garage. Luckily, we found no vermin or snakes, dead or alive. We did find remnants of vermin visits as well as additional holes. We spent dozens of minutes plugging holes in that scorching garage.

We eventually finished our task – or so we had thought – and my helpers left. As I was collecting my supplies, I decided to gaze upward. There, I spied several holes around the garage door brackets. I also spied two fractured electrical outlets – one on the ceiling and one on the wall – that needed to be replaced.

I eventually finished my task, but not before learning a valuable lesson – it’s not a good idea to mix steel wool and electricity. Let’s just say sparks flew.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.