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.