Mouse visits now by invitation only

Nine years ago, I wrote about our first encounter with a mouse in our house. Our old, indoor cat was happy to take on a new roommate so long as it meant no interruption to his busy sleep schedule.

That cat, beloved, despite his universal indifference, has long since departed this world; may he rest in peace. Since then, we have been adopted by a youthful, indoor/outdoor cat, who is anything but indifferent toward mice, birds, and, to his periodic detriment, skunks.

Smokey, the new cat, is a top-notch mouser. It almost seems a shame, to him, that we have not been plagued by mice since he joined our family. It would make his sport perfect if he could have some indoor hunting available on rainy days so he wouldn’t have to get his toes wet in the pursuit of happiness.

Most cat owners can take comfort in the idea that their sweet little killers will help keep mice away from their homes. We were quickly disabused of this false security when Smokey began bringing mice home with him. Fortunately, these visitors were no longer in any condition to cause havoc by the time he brought them.

Not until last week.

Saturday night, Smokey showed up on schedule at the back door. It seemed a routine end to his evening until, after letting him in, we realized he’d brought a friend with him. This was a very healthy and able friend, the only impediment to his extraordinary vigor being that he happened to be held in a cat’s teeth. This condition was soon remedied when Smokey set him down and invited him to play another round of Chase.

Treats in the fridge for Dad, and under the fridge for Cat.

The mouse was game, and also significantly heartier than most mice who drop from cats’ mouths. Smokey might have grazed him in batting the right paw, but by the time the cat realized the left paw bat was a swing and a miss, the mouse was under the couch.

Thus began the humans’ night of playing Cat and Mouse with a cat and a mouse. We closed off the back room and commenced lifting every piece of furniture as the mouse juked the cat from one hiding place to the next. It turns out these games are not well suited to people, and the fun rapidly diminishes, though you might not be able to tell it by the steady increase in volume of their voices.

Eventually, the mouse took sanctuary in the underworkings of the minifridge wherein Daddy’s precious beer is chilled. Neither man nor beast could get him out. I picked up the fridge and set it outside. Mice don’t have fingers strong enough to pop the tab on a beer can, or the cat might have been in a lot more trouble.

Next day, the fridge came back inside—to our knowledge, without a mouse. The beer was saved, and so was the cat.


12 comments on “Mouse visits now by invitation only

  1. churchmousie says:

    Hahahahaha! I loved this story, though I am glad it wasn’t happening in MY house.

  2. Tom W says:

    You remember the book, “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie”, When I lived in an old house I discovered, they would find it on their own. They didn’t have to wait for you to offer. Sometimes they would even chew open the wrapper. As I get older I have a hell of at time getting some of that stuff open. Maybe I
    need a mouse!

  3. Liz Brenner says:

    I’m glad this happened to you and not me. One of these days, I’m certain that my dog will bring a dead rabbit into the house. You’ll hear me scream when it happens.

  4. Just Joan says:

    LOL, Snoozin. You’re right about housecats not having a clue when it comes to mice. The cat we have now is an orange tom named Peaches. Don’t let his sweet name fool you; he hasn’t found a mouse yet he couldn’t catch. He does just like Smokey, bringing still-alive “friends” into the house to further torment them (a mouse, a baby rabbit, and a sparrow). The baby rabbit only made it as far as the screen porch. We left the storm door cracked open and he let himself out. I hope. The bird panicked, repeatedly flying headfirst into windows and mirrors, knocking himself out, coming to, and flying around some more until we chased him into a bedroom, where we opened the window and shooed him out. The mouse was the craftiest. He hid beneath furniture too low to the ground for the cat to follow him. Peaches hung out and slept with his eyes half-open next to the doorway between the living room and kitchen for days, knowing that’s where the mouse would go when he got hungry. (That’s where the dog’s food bowl is, and she never finishes her kibble.) It took him five days to catch it, and I’ll bet he was regretting setting it free so they could “play” some more.

  5. Thank God the beer was saved! I was once tempted to get a cat, despite bad allergies, when we lived in a mouse-infested trailer, but I worried about what I might have to witness.

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