Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Monday Morning Fun

The following story is True. No names have been changed to protect anybody.

February 28, 2011. 10:41 a.m. EST

So I come downstairs (from the upstairs office) to get a bill I need to pay and throw a spring for Eris (because it's her favorite toy), because she's following me around because she's bored... and this doesn't usually add up to productivity for JAM... quite to opposite, it usually means a lot of "Eris, get down from there, " "Eris, I'm trying to type can you get off the keyboard?" "Eris, can you... okay, what? You need to sit on the arm of the chair and look out this window, right now?" "Argh. Why don't we get you a spring, sweetie..."

Thus I find myself in the living room to get the electric bill and then I find a green plastic spring to toss for Eris. Where's Eris?

I look around and I see she's wandered into the kitchen where she has joined Morrigan who's running back and forth by the secretary next to the window. Now what? I grab a flashlight and go into the kitchen. I get down on hands and knees and I shine the light under the secretary (which because of its woodwork has a number of openings on the bottom large enough for a cat's paw, and even a cat's face, but not their whole head, and thus, not their whole body...) As I'm doing this, I notice that someone (likely Morrigan, since toy mice are her favorite toy) has brought a black mouse and dropped it in the (wet) food dish. Ew. I extract it, hoping it hasn't absorbed too much water.

Then I shine the light under the secretary and see four or five more mice. Okay, I wondered where they'd been getting off to... So I get up and walk back in the living room returning with the stick we keep around for fishing things (mostly toys) out from under furniture (mostly couchs). Morrigan is still moving from one side of the secretary to the other, but it's not unusual for them to get excited about whatever the toy du jour is. Get back on the floor and start fishing with the stick. White mouse with obvious teeth marks in it, franken-mouse* that is white, powder blue and black, the grey mouse that had previously landed in wet food and thus was disintegrating from the inside out (cardboard core...) And, I think there was one more...

Bear in mind, I'm not looking anymore, I'm simply scooping with the stick, based on my memory of where all the mice were. There's one left. I think it was gray also, and it's in the far back left corner. *Scoop* *Squeak* No mouse. I try again. *Scoop* *Squeak* No mouse.

At this point though, the noise registers. Wait... why was there a squeak? Did I scrap the stick that firmly against the underside of the secretary? Pause. I mean none of their toy mice make a sound other than a rattle... Let me try that again. *Scoop* *Squeak* Mouse shoots out into the center of the kitchen and kinda screams.

Three cats (Morrigan and Eris are now joined by the ever-attentive Artemis) pounce... mostly into one another. Cats yell. I scream (hopefully not like a little girl). It's a mouse-mouse, not a toy mouse! What do I do? What do I do? Think, man! I don't want to grab the mouse, because I don't want to get bit (which can happen, but apparently -- I found out later from a favorite redhead -- is nothing compared to what a shrew will do to you...)

I grab a plastic cup and knocking cats away left and right from what is now the best toy in the whole world ever... And I realize, hell, mice are hard to catch. But this one was shaking SO much that I had the advantage because he wasn't running all over... it simply went to the corner of the cabinets and made itself hard to get, but I eventually got the cup over it.

Then I called the aforementioned redhead for animal advice, and... promptly got her voicemail. I leave a reasonably calm message for me under the circumstances and then return to the kitchen to realize that my cats really don't have object permanence down... I also brought a file folder and managed to get it under the cup and thus was now able to carry the mouse outside.

I put him down near a bush out front and he was just shaking, shaking, shaking. And I'm all, "Hey, little guy, get under cover... there's predators out here..." And he eventually stopped shaking... or at least shaking so much, and kinda wandered under the bush (he really did not seem to be in a hurry), no doubt off to warn his mouse brethren, "Hey, do NOT go in THAT place, man... it's crazy."

For myself, I had to realize that sometimes when the cats are staring randomly, it's not random at all... their senses are better than ours. Also, today I find myself staring at every toy mouse extra long... just to be sure.

It's never dull...


bzzzzgrrrl said...

You're back! Fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Jonathan, this is great! Glad you came through your mouse-mouse encounter unscathed. Remind me to tell you about my old mouse encounter next time we talk. I will show you my trophy :)


Annah said...

OMG mice! I'd die.