When we got back from PA Sunday night, we walked into a very cold apartment. We checked the thermostat and found the screen blank. Thinking it might be a dead battery, we took it off the wall, but it doesn’t take batteries, apparently. The heat was off (it had been warm up until we left Friday evening), so we tried turning it on. Nothing – no screen, no heat. I texted our landlady (and let her know we could get through the night), and she said the HVAC guys would come over in the morning. We threw an extra comforter on the bed and made it through the night alive. Getting out of bed the next morning was next to impossible, though.
The guy arrived around 11am Monday and camped out in front of our bathroom door (the closet with the furnace is right outside the bathroom) for several hours. Thankfully, he went in and out of the apartment a few times so we could use the bathroom. It’s awkward to use the bathroom when someone is sitting right outside the door, you know?
He managed to get the emergency heat turned on later in the afternoon, and the place slowly warmed up, but we stayed bundled through to bedtime. The guy had to come back yesterday (Tuesday) because he wasn’t prepared to run a new wire on Monday. Apparently, some animal chewed through the wire. Our landlady thinks it was the squirrel they caught. That was the first I’d heard of a squirrel.
Let me back up.
I spent three days in VA for work the first week in March. When I got back Thursday night (almost three weeks ago), John was standing in the kitchen, peering intently at the ceiling over the sink, and he beckoned me in and shushed me. We could hear scratching in the ceiling. From something big. I pictured raccoons. John said he heard it both nights I was gone.
We let it go a couple of days, but whatever it was didn’t go away. We mostly heard it at night, sometimes all night long, and then one day our landlady appeared at our door. Our upstairs neighbor called her because he saw mice in his apartment, and she wanted to know if we had mice. I told her I hadn’t seen ANY animals, certainly not mice, but I’d heard scratching. I told her it sounded bigger than a mouse, but I don’t think she believed me. She set out some traps upstairs, apparently caught a mouse or two (and our upstairs neighbor came down one day to get John’s help with one), and the scratching did go away for a few days. Then it came back.
I guess our landlady called the right people this time, and I guess they caught a squirrel (who apparently chewed through the wires to our thermostat). I know we haven’t heard the scratching for at least a week, so maybe that’s all over. And in less than a week, living in this apartment, with its leaks and scratching rodents and no heat and terrible, uncontrollable water pressure, will be over, too.
It hasn’t been ALL bad, but we are over this apartment.