This morning sitting at my computer and trying to decide what tidbit of homestead life I might try to capture for my diary, I looked at my monitor and realized I had a problem with my mouse. The problem was it had two teeny eyes and whiskers and was staring at me as I typed. It was an old fashioned baby mouse that somehow had come out of a hidden crack in the molding and was fascinated by the clacking of the keys on my keyboard.
Cute or not I couldn’t have Mickey running around the room I slept in. Now I outweighed little Mickey by a factor of several thousand and my reach was dozens of his body lengths. But Mickey had nimbleness on his side and I quickly decided that there was simply no way I was going to catch him with my hands, baby or not.
Being a clever dude, I instantly knew what I needed to do. Get a cat.
I ran downstairs, slamming my bedroom door behind me hoping to keep Mickey confined, and grabbed the first cat-like creature I saw – Dove. We rescued Dove from a shelter as a very young kitten. She had the softest gray fur I had ever felt and was the shyest of our three felines. But under all that kitten softness and timidity I knew there was a cat waiting to get out.
I ran back to my bedroom with Dove and looked at my computer desk. Mickey was still there, sniffing the keys on my keyboard presumably trying to decide how to spell cheese. I put Dove on the desk and waited.
Dove looked at the ceiling, she looked at the monitor, she looked at me as if to ask why I was letting her explore my desk when every other time she jumped up I’d shoo her away. I pointed at Mickey, I actually said the word mouse several times hoping she would somehow figure out what that meant. Nothing.
Mickey went on sniffing the key caps and Dove turned around to see what was on the other end of the desk. I turned her toward Mickey and ran my finger from her nose to the keyboard. She stared at the tip of my finger and then at me with a kind of SO? expression on her face. This wasn’t going the way I expected.
Just when I had given up hope Dove’s body stiffened, her tail stood straight back, her ears flattened, and her eyes got a laser-like focus. She’d noticed Mickey. This was her first mouse. She had discovered her purpose in life. There wasn’t a hair on her body that didn’t by instinct know exactly what it was supposed to do.
Dove took a small, stealthy step towards Mickey in that spooky way cats have. She pounced. It turned out Mickey had a few instincts of his own. He leaped from the desk into a pile of shoes and boxes on the floor of my closet as Dove stared at the spot he had been. She finally jumped into the mess after Mickey but I looked at the scramble of items filling the eight foot long closet and realized it was hopeless.
I needed more cat.
I ran back downstairs, slamming my bedroom door on the way to keep Mickey and Dove confined, and grabbed Eowyn – our shorter haired, quicker, more mischievous, black and white kitten.
I ran back upstairs and opened the door to my bedroom, lowering Eowyn to the floor. Eowyn stared at Dove. Something looked different about her. Maybe it was the little pointy tail sticking out of her mouth.
Dove was startled by our entrance and apparently opened her mouth just a bit. Mickey, sensing that now would be a good time to make his exit, leaped backwards out of her mouth and ran a couple of feet across the floor before Eowyn scooped him up in her mouth. Mickey undoubtedly thought New cat, same problem.
Seeing the expression on Dove’s face, Eowyn decided to make off with her prize. She ran for the stairs with me in hot pursuit. There was no way I was going to catch up with her. But I had a secret weapon. I shouted down the stairs to Delphine, “Eowyn has a mouse in her mouth and she’s headed to the dining room.”
Delphine, thinking fast, grabbed a paper towel and ran into the dining room just in time to intercept Eowyn. Meanwhile Chase, our Sheltie, and Kendal, our Chihuahua-Rat Terrier mix both wanted in on the game. Delphine shook Mickey out of Eowyn’s mouth. Chase barked. Chase always barked. Kendal’s inner Rat-Terrier took over and chased Mickey in a tight circle until Mickey was staring once again at a new pair of tonsils, tail sticking out the side of Kendal’s mouth.
Delphine shouted Drop! at Kendal, who reluctantly obeyed but really wished she would catch her own mouse. Delphine picked Mickey up with the paper towel, turned to me, and said sadly, “I think he’s dead.”
She took Mickey outside, whereupon he freed himself from the paper towel, leaped, and disappeared under the kitchen porch – no doubt to record the entire adventure in his mouse-blog for the pleasure and amazement of his rodent friends. Given his curiosity about my keyboard I would guess the title of his posting was something like A comparative study of the difference between canine and feline tonsils.
Delphine passed out consolation treats to the kitties and doggies that made the story possible and I went back to enter this account in my diary.
Just another morning on the farm.