It seems I have a new house pet. I had seen it out of the corner of my eye a few times and knew intellectually that we were sharing house space, but it wasn't until last night that we met formally.
I was cleaning the kitchen and all of the sudden there was a mouse looking for crumbs on the floor under the coffee maker. It noticed me noticing it and froze. Tiny wheels spun in its tiny mouse head as it weighed the possibility of me as a threat. It decided I wasn't, and carried on. My own tiny wheels spun in my own head as I decided that it WAS a threat and called the cat, who sat less than five feet away. The cat ignored me. I think he had already eaten his fill and was all, "oh, I just can't eat ONE MORE MOUSE." Instead he rubbed his belly to aid digestion and initiated a nap. The mouse and I both shrugged our shoulders and went about our business.
Lucky for me, I'm not afraid of mice. There are, however, things related to mice which I am afraid of, such as stepping on one in the dark when I am barefoot. I am also afraid of extra work, including but not restricted to cleaning my pans before I use them just in case.
As I put things away in my kitchen and estimated how long it would be before I routinely washed everything, I became sort of hypnotized by the mouse. I figured since I was just standing in the kitchen watching the mouse make itself at home, I should grab my camera and take a few nature photos. In case National Geographic calls.
I took one picture of it peeking out from under the table and then waited for it to come out. It did. I tried giving it some direction - run towards the camera, hold your tail still, chin to the left - and it tried to oblige. We were both so busy with the photo shoot that we failed to notice Hunter S. Tomcat, who had awakened from his nap and was careening straight down on the mouse like Tom Cruise in that scene from Mission Impossible.
Except Hunter didn't stop before he hit the floor. He caught the mouse, dropped it to adjust his grip, and lost the mouse. The mouse squeaked in a most convincing way and darted back under the table. Hunter patrolled the area but came up empty.
mouse - 1
cat - 0
So now we have five adults, four chickens, two children, one cat and one mouse living at our house.
Ha ha ha ha ha! Did you hear that? I said we have ONE MOUSE. As if while the one mouse is being all charming in the kitchen there aren't another eleventy hundred of its kin developing gated communities in our walls, starting businesses and sending their kids to charter schools.
So they must go, or we must move them into a habitrail.
Any suggestions that don't involve spring-loaded splattering?