“No mice, no MICE, no MICE!” I screamed as I slammed the door in Smokey’s face.
It was early in the morning and Smokey was banging at the door to be let in. When I opened the door, both she and Blackjack were huddled right in front of the metal security door and as I started to open it, I saw they had corralled a little mouse. “No!” I screamed and whammed the door shut on all three of them.
Usually the mice appear in the spring and I wouldn’t normally see them, except Smokey is a hunter and every now and then brings me a present. The little mouse I had glimpsed was very much alive and desperately seeking to escape. The house would have been perfect, I’m sure.
There have been several mouse-bringing cats over the years and my previous girl cat, Minx, was quite adept at hunting and gathering mice and other small creatures like baby birds. I think the idea was that I would enjoy playing with them. At first I actually attempted to catch the mice. Do you have any idea how fast a mouse can move?
My method was to stalk the little creature with a shoebox. I would drop the empty box on top of the mouse, slide a cardboard gently under it, thereby trapping it inside. I would then carry the box outside and free the poor thing to run away and live another day. HAH!
This actually succeeded one time with a baby bird, but never with a mouse.
And to add to the frustration of a quick-moving mouse, there was the cat in the background urging me on with little whimpers of encouragement, whipping her tail back and forth. “That is not helping!” I yelled at Minx that first time.
Minx was obviously and understandably perplexed that Mama Cat could not do something so basic as to catch a little mouse. Eventually Minx gave up and went to sleep. A bit more eventually, I gave up, too. I found that mouse several days later in the kitchen. Dead. Thank heaven.
Which brings me back to the current mouse. I was hoping that it would not get in the house, but Smokey can be pretty determined. Although I avoided going out the front door (I left the house through the garage), and although both Smokey and Blackjack were snoozing peacefully later on when I got home, I had a bad feeling.
So you would think that at 3:30 this morning when I was awakened by the guttural sound of a cat’s subdued yowl, I would have been wary. Well, no, not at 3:30 in the morning.
Lop Ear — the fur bowling ball — was crouched in front of the dining room curtains. “What?” I mumbled. Silence accompanied by a quick switch of the tail. “What?” I asked again, louder. No answer.
“You think there is something back there?” I asked, reaching for the curtain. Now truly, this is the equivalent of the young woman in the horror movie who hears a noise and trots blithely down the stairs into the dark basement even though she knows there is an ax murderer on the loose. And yes, I pulled back the curtain and — TA-DA! — a mouse! We were all three frozen for about a nanosecond, then the mouse ran, I jumped and Lop Ear looked at me like, “I told you!”
“Go get it!” I screamed at him. “Get the mouse!”
“The mouse! Get the mouse!”
“Why would I do that?”
By this time, of course, it was way too late. The mouse had gone wherever mice go — behind the bookcase, under the refrigerator, or (please, oh, please!) through the cat door to the great outside and back to his little mouse family.
At least it was a skinny little mouse — it did not look plump and sleek like, for instance, a pregnant mouse. It looked like a mouse who was not long for this world. I hope!
In the meantime, Smokey has lost interest, and Blackjack never really had any — he was just going along with Smokey. There is no chance of my catching it and obviously Lop Ear has no intention of doing so which leaves Paddy O’Cat who is something of a fashion plate and I’m sure would never think of dirtying his paws with something as nasty as mouse fur.
So let’s hope the little creature dies a natural death. And soon.