Scurry

A few years ago a friend of mine did a weekly series called "What's This Doing in My House Monday". I played from time to time but since I was living one of the smallest apartments I've ever lived in there wasn't a lot of stuff lying around. Then one afternoon I was minding my own business when I found something in my apartment. Something that did not belong. There was... a mouse. A mouse which Piper didn't notice for a long time -- until it ran directly between her legs. At that point she chased the mouse out of the apartment, though she didn't realize it. I watched the mouse run underneath my door and was on the phone with my landlord about what the heck to do about it (it was now in the common area and happily his problem, not mine) while Piper was still staring at the last place she saw the mouse and would stay there for the next two hours. Piper has many skills but that day it was decided that "mouser" was not one of them.

Flash forward six years to 2012. Piper and I have added Lee to the family, have moved a few times and now have this house that you could fit my old apartment into four or five times over. That's a lot of domain for a cat to own and she thrives on owning every inch of it (except perhaps that place where the vacuum and steam cleaner are stored). Anyone who has ever owned a cat knows full well what I mean when I say that our house is actually her house, she just allows us to live here as long as we keep scooping the litter and open cans of food at regular intervals.

A few days ago after I finished work I went downstairs to play with the Wii. While I was down there I heard something moving around in the ceiling. Now, in the basement we have ceiling panels and I could have easily popped one open and peaked inside but are you crazy? You know darned well if you do that you are going to discover a gremlin that someone fed after midnight and it will launch itself at your face. No, thank you. I much prefer to stick my fingers in my ears and go, "Lalalala I'm not listening. Nothing to see here. Move along."

When Lee got home that night and joined me downstairs I didn't say anything. It was quiet and he already thinks I'm nuts. I hear things all the time and he doesn't. Granted, I work from home so I'm here a heck of a lot more than he is and probably a bit more in tune to our house noises. I don't know if it's because I lived alone for so long but I'm very tuned to notice "not normal" noises (that is probably why I sleep like hell the first night in any hotel). I didn't forget about it but over the next couple of days I convinced myself that the noises I heard were outside, not right above my head. Denial, it's a wonderful thing.

Last night we spent some time emptying our bedroom of just about everything because today we are starting the great De-Popcorning of the Ceiling and Overall Master Bedroom Makeover of 2012. (Yes! A project! That I meant to take before pictures of and then forgot until almost everything was out of the bedroom. I rock at this blogger thing.) It's going to be a busy weekend and we're going to be tired. We'll be spending the next couple of nights sleeping in on our mattress on the floor of the office. We were looking forward to a good night's sleep before everything began.

2am. Everyone was tucked asleep in their bed and no one was scurrying... except for the mouse and the fourteen pound cat chasing after it. Now, when the banging and the sound of a fourteen pound cat running around on the main level woke me up at 2am I didn't know it was a mouse. I just suspected. And kind of hoped. After all, a mouse is better than say, a rat. Or mole. Or a squirrel. I sat straight up in bed while Lee slept on soundly, not having heard the cat sound like it was destroying the kitchen. Lee sleeps through everything.

I heard Piper run down to the basement (the fake cat has a bell, we can hear her move around which I'm sure annoys her but it means we step on her a lot less). It got quiet. I exhaled but stayed alert. Minutes passed and I started to relax. I rolled over and began to ease my head down to the pillow when I heard it. Piper was moving around. She was no longer hell bent on destroying things but I heard her come upstairs and into the bedroom.

My brain at that moment was saying, "Oh shit. Shit, shit, SHIT. Turn on the light. I don't wanna. Piper, please do not jump up on the bed. Please, please, PLEASE. Shit. TURN ON THE LIGHT."

I turned on the light. I took one look at the corner and turned to Lee, who was still sound asleep and oblivious....

"WAKE UP! WAKE UP! MOUSE! PIPER'S GOT A MOUSE! WAKE! UP!"

Lee bounded out of bed, stood in the middle of the space between our bed and the corner with his hair standing on end, his arms outstretched and ready to tackle an intruder. "What? WHAT'S GOING ON? WHAT'S HAPPENING? WHAT DO I DO?!"

I pointed at the cat, the mouse told him to take care of it and then hid my head under a blanket. But not before I grabbed my phone and tweeted, "Omg. Mouse. Fake cat. Mouse. Fake cat. Bedroom. HALP!"

mouse tweet
 

I sure as heck didn't know what to do. Lee didn't know what to do. The cat was looking at us as if to say, "WTF? I brought you a present." Our commands that she recapture the damned thing were met with silence and glares. Possibly because we were shrieking them at her. If it got more than a few inches from her she slapped it down but mostly just looked at it and then looked at us with a smug expression.

There was a lot of banging (which I didn't want to think about too much) and a broom seemed to come out of nowhere (ditto) and then next thing I heard were words that I did not particularly want to hear. "Where did it go? I can't find it."

I cautiously peered around the end of the blanket and found... nothing. Just my husband standing in his underwear in the middle of the room with a broom at the ready and nothing around him. No mouse. No cat.

I peered around the edge of the door and there was the cat staring at the linen closet. "It's in the closet," I said. Lee started to open the doors to our bedroom closet and I stopped him. "No, the hall closet. The one the cat is standing sentry in front of."

Confirmation quickly ensued followed by, "So... I've got it cornered. What do I do with it?"

Damn good question. It was decided a shoe box was the answer. Once it was obtained the mouse was captured and somehow Lee managed to flip the box over and get a cover on it. Then he had the fun of putting on clothes in the middle of the night and running the box outside to the woods and releasing it. Then he came in, washed his hands, gave the cat a few treats (much deserved) and promptly fell back asleep.

Meanwhile I was on high alert and jumped at every noise. Piper had done another few laps of the house by that point and I took the fact that she was now curled up at the foot of the bed, very proud of herself, as an all clear and finally fell asleep sometime after 4am.

 

 

Today, Lee is at work and tired. I am at home working and tired. Piper? Is doing what she does every day. Sleeping. I'm thinking about running the vacuum but I fear that she would retaliate by bringing the mouse into the bed next time.  You win Piper. We will add "mouser" to your skills.  But please, keep them out of the bedroom.