Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mouse Trouble

There are no photographs documenting this story. Probably a good thing, for the sake of the dignity of the three cats and two humans involved.

I need to preface by saying that all three of the cats are bold and brave as any, and frequently bring home trophies of the hunt: gophers, mice, birds (sadly), butterflies (unharmed), pork chops, scones, rats and lizards. They are not afraid of much except the vet and the vacuum cleaner. They are certainly not afraid of a mouse. I too am not afraid of mice, in their proper place, which is outdoors. I once lived for a time in a horse shed, where the mice had the run of the premises night and day. Another time I was lost in the hills of Big Sur at day's end and had to sleep on the ground with only a poncho for cover, and had wood rats running and squeaking over me all night long. Those days are gone, and I don't want live mice in the house now.

During the night on Thursday, I was awakened as Brigid, singing her Mighty Huntress song, came in the cat-door, with her mouth full of something. Apparently whatever she had caught was still alive, and soon escaped her clutches: for the rest of the night I could hear scuttling and chasing and thumping and scraping. In the morning I found evidence that the missing playmate had taken refuge behind a large mirror leaning against the living room wall, and Brigid intent, still very much on the job. Suddenly, the mouse made a run for it, dashing out from behind the mirror, across the floor, down the stairs and under the closed door into my office. Brigid and I searched for a bit, but it was hopeless; I went to work, and Brigid went to take a nap.

After work, I was home sitting upstairs in the bedroom reading, and saw a small movement out of the corner of my eye. There, in the corner of the room, was a large, bold, brown mouse. I called Sean to bring in Brigid, still working hard at her nap on the couch, and to shut the door behind him. Brigid was not interested in forced labor and split out the cat door. Sean tried to convince me that she had taken the mouse with her. Right. Since I didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday, I got the flashlight and immediately found the mouse under the nightstand trying to blend in with the extension cords and dust bunnies. We then called in the auxiliary cats, Brutus and Zoe Godzilla, and opened the sliding glass door that leads out onto the balcony. Brutus sensed his dignity was at stake and excused himself. Sean, armed with a yardstick, myself, armed with a towel, and Zoe combined forces. There was a lot of energetic activity, waving of sticks and towels, jumping and shouting, with the mouse appearing and disappearing randomly from view in a most unnerving way. Every time Zoe got close and faced down the mouse, he would turn on her, and squeak in his most terrifying mouse roar: "Back off, sister!" And Zoe would back away nervously, which made us fall over laughing. Eventually Sean impounded the mouse under a throw rug. While we were discussing how to catch him in something, he suddenly materialized from somewhere (not from under the throw rug), sped across the floor, out the door, across the balcony and flung himself into space. He landed in the bushes without a word of farewell. Brigid spent the next hour looking in vain for her lost playmate. Zoe still has not recovered her self-respect.
It's a story as old as time.


Marianne said...

Landed in a heap O'Giggles.
My, my, you have had such an interesting life :^)
I am forever thankful for having the opportunity to cut my teeth on those old cartoons, the art work, not to mention the fabulous music.
Chuckling away.....

crafty wee midden said...

"forced labor".......ROFLMAO ;)

catsmum said...

I am going to read this aloud to Sophie Oakley and MissC as a cautionary cat tale :]