Wintermuse is a mighty hunter in her own mind. One of our nicknames for her is Agent Leopard Cat. She climbs up window glass for flies (how?!). She flips in the air like a gymnast for any bug. She gazes longingly outside the window at bunnies and birds.
Recently, all her wildest dreams came true.
Wintermuse caught a mouse.
We don’t know how or from where it came. We were sleeping, you see. It was 3:45 AM on a Saturday morning. The adventure started for us when she proudly brought the animal in to the bedroom. Lou, luckily, heard her before she hopped into bed with it.
He got up to see what she had and somehow deduced it was a living creature. Next thing I know, the light switch is on, and I blearily see Lou running around the bedroom.
I mumble something that, in my head, was, “What the heck are you doing?” but came out as “Blargggg.”
“The cat caught a mouse,” he said as she meowed a happy rejoinder.
I sat bolt upright, now wide awake. “A what?” I squeaked, my voice 4 octaves higher than normal.
“A mouse.” Both Lou and the cat scurried across the floor to find the critter, each with vastly different intents.
I jumped out of bed – gingerly – and did two things, in an order I won’t disclose:
1) I put the cat in the bathroom.
2) I ran to the living room and put on a pair of shoes.
My poor darling Wintermuse had to be put away so we could save the mouse. She meowed pitifully at me, pressing her furry face into the crack as I closed the bathroom door.
“Mom? Mom? What are you doing, Mom? There’s a live mouse in there, and we need to be celebrating and eviscerating, and I don’t know why you’re locking me–“
The meows continued as I walked away towards the bedroom.
Lou informed me that the mouse was in the closet. My closet. My glorious, wall-to-wall closet with a dozen pairs of shoes on the floor.
The mouse was in the closet because it was still alive.
Yes, she never killed the mouse. She did the Grand Parade around our house and our room with a live mouse in her mouth. She is a mighty hunter.. but a compassionate one. How the mouse did not have a heart attack at some point is a mystery to me.
So, Lou tries to rustle the mouse out of the closet – luckily, it seemed to be on his half. Then it ran out towards me. I jumped. I heard a high-pitched “EEK”. I realized it was me.
Now, I’ve given speeches before hundreds of people, climbed mountains, dangled over cliffs, once had a knife stuck in my hand, saw a live bear in the woods, and driven through Camden.
Yet here I am, squeaking at a little rodent, wishing I had a stool to stand on. The mouse blessedly runs back into the closet. I suggest that we box it in by removing shoes and inserting shoe boxes around the perimeter to trap it.
We do so, and it works. We rustle the critter out of the closet and into a box. Yay!
Then it escapes. I squeal again.
I leave to go check on the cat. She’s been crying at the door the whole time. I give her some treats to make sure she’s just whining and not injured. Rodent bites are full of disease. Luckily, she is fine, but trying very hard to tell me that it’s not fair that I’m keeping the mouse all to myself.
I return to the bedroom to find that Lou doesn’t know where it is. It’s somewhere in the bedroom. Under my clothing? My bed? In my stuffed animals?! Who knows! Luckily, I see it run into the hallway. It darts under my weight scale, the only cover.
Despite my occasional mouse-induced squeals, my brain still functions admirably. I suggest we put a box over the scale to trap the mouse. Then we slide a piece of cardboard under it. Then we slide that WHOLE THING into another box that Lou can take outside. To recap: the box holds a scale, a box, cardboard, and a mouse.
He can’t see the mouse in there so he’s just going on my word that it hid under the scale. I cross my fingers and let the cat out of the bathroom. She runs to the bedroom, still meowing plaintively. Do we still have a mouse?
Luckily, Lou comes back into the house. Success! The critter was in the box, and it was not only alive but completely uninjured, and he dumped it outside.
I check the clock: 4 AM.
I still have no idea where she got the mouse. I’m thrilled she considered it a prisoner and not food. I’m actually a little happy she got to engage her hunter instincts and do the kitty-strut without killing anything.
I like to think Mousey got home late that night and his mother was at the door to his mousehole. “Where were you? Do you have any idea how late it is, Junior?!”
“Mom, I was caught by a cat!”
“Oh, please, you don’t have a scratch on you!”
“No, really, mom, she caught me and walked us around for awhile, but the humans let me go–“
“What kind of cat?”
“It had black polka dots like a leopard–“
“Don’t be a fibber! There’s no such a thing. And even if leopard cats did exist, you wouldn’t survive one! Go to bed without supper, young man!”