November 12, 2004
Guest Author: Ron Reese, A Mouse in the House

Ron, one of our victims fuse holders blog-sitters during our summer vacation, had a rather... intense... home invasion experience. Which sounds pretty ominous, until you realize the invader was small, brown, and furry. Can seven "riding the short-bus" cats defeat a creature with a brain the size of a thimble? Can two college educated, otherwise reasonably well adjusted* people stop them in time? Will Ron ever get to play Halo 2? Read on to find out.

* Well, aside from the compulsion to paint everything blue and silver. But we don't talk about that in public. Much.

The Great Mouse Chronicles, part the fourth
(Defective cats)

Well, it’s winter. And that means it’s cold outside. Which also means that, if you’re an outside animal, you want to be warm. And, well, mice are outside animals.

So, Amber and I are happily sitting on the couch. She’s watching TV and I’m reading my official Halo2 ™ manual. Life was good – and then Amber sort of jump/squealed. She doesn’t do this too often, just when something scares her. Then, she grabs my arm – dislodging the official Halo2 ™ manual – which is what actually got my attention. I look down the hall. Uma, our resident obese kitty, looks down the hall. Bogey, our other resident obese kitty looks down the hall. Yoda, our inert kitty, ignores everything. We all see it – another little brown mouse with big black eyes, stealthily attempting to move down the hall. Unbeknownst to it, many a predator is watching…

This little scene continues for about 30 seconds or so. Then, Bogey slips off the edge of the couch (and by slips, I mean this orangeish-tan mass of fat kitty thumps onto the floor) and trots down the hall, belly swinging from side to side. Amber is rather quick to follow – something about being squeamish when mice become food. The mouse darts into the bedroom, where there are 4 cats just hanging out.

As has been our general modus operandi, we decide to try and catch the little bugger and set it free. Now, driving the sense of urgency on this is the fact that our best man and his bride our on their way here from Cleveland and should be arriving any moment. After arming ourselves with a large plastic cup and a wet dishtowel (no, I don’t know why it was wet), we proceed to stalk the mouse. It’s trapped under some dressing table-like piece of furniture. The basic problem here is that this furniture has space between it and the ground, so we can’t wedge it against the wall and catch it that way – we have to scare it and try to trap it while it’s on the run. Like the true hunters we are, we employ our combined 10 years of college and decide to put one of us on the first route out, the other on the second. We spook the mouse one way and it runs and tries to get out until it sees the other of us. Then it runs back. And we spook it the other way, it sees one of us, and it runs back. After about 5 minutes of this, it decides to run up the back of the nightstand or whatever it is, and across the top of the table. Now, normally, this’d be a good sign. The top is flat, exposed, and there isn’t anything in the way to grab the little bastard. However, this isn’t normal. This is our house. So, there are my glasses, a ring holder thingee (also glass), and many, many other things in the way. We chase the mouse and it just goes back to the floor behind the nightstand (I’m just calling it that from here on out). So, after about three more attempts at this scenario, I get the bright idea (6 of the years of college are paying off…) to clear the top of the nightstand. Murphy being the ass that he is, this means the mouse never ever went to the top again. Go figure.

So, we attempt to corner it again. What we actually do is chase it out into the main room. It bounces (multiple times) off the mirrored closet doors (yes, the closet doors are mirrored. Yes, that can make for fun during certain moments. No, this is not one of the moments. Perv.). Finally, Stinky, a not quite obese cat, notices the mouse – a fun, furry, moving cat toy. And she gives chase. So, the scene is now Amber yelling at Stinky to stop chasing her natural food, Stinky happily ignoring her while chasing the mouse, a mouse running for its dear life, and me chasing the cat. Kippers, the orange tabby with socks, decides to get into the chase as well. This should bode well for being able to corner the bastard, but please remember, our cats are broken. They chase the mouse under the bed. Amber dives to the ground, cup in hand, on the other side of the bed. The mouse comes flying out, hits her hand, and gets serious air. Of course, this gets the massive squeal coupled with the “ohmygodohmygod” sound, followed by hyperventilation and laughter.

At this point, I’m plain amused. This is starting to get fun and has all the precursors of another mouse trapped in the shoe incident.

So, after chasing the bastard out from other pieces of furniture, it gets cornered back under the nightstand again. Amber is lying on the floor, looking under the nightstand trying to spot it. We spook it and out it comes. Right at her face. From my viewpoint, it looks like it runs smack-dab into her face and turns right. Again, very amusing. Amusing to the point where I stop trying to catch it and start cheering it on (note to self: Cheer the mouse on inside your head. This is something to think about, not to say…). All of us (two cats and two intelligent people. Well, we thought we were intelligent, at least.) start the chase again.

Then the mouse sprints for the bathroom – a great thing because there aren’t that many places to hide there. We all rush in, just in time to see the tail disappear into a small hole between the side of our tub and the drywall.

So, in spite of 10 years of college, 4 cats efforts, and several chase scenes worthy of any bloopers reel, it got away. Into the wall. Where it will likely re-emerge at a later time and the whole scene will start all over again.

Kinda like Groundhog Day, don’t ya think?

Posted by scott at November 12, 2004 09:11 AM

eMail this entry!

OMG - that was just too funny!

Posted by: bogie on November 13, 2004 07:34 AM

Just one question: In what universe has anyone ever seen a nightstand with nothing atop it? Thanks for the LMAO tale.

Posted by: Cop Car on November 13, 2004 08:54 AM

LOVE this story! Let me edit it (few spelling errors) and sell it! You'll get rich, a movie or TV producer will call and ask you to direct a whole new reality show, for which they will pay you big, big bucks! I'm still laughing...and remembering a totally similar incident involving myself, a fat cat, a german shepard, and a wiley mouse...which eluded us for almost an entire winter! (finally caught it and put it in the neighbor's yard...which is only fair, since it probably came from there.)

Posted by: Yvonne DiVita on November 14, 2004 04:00 PM

Yvonne, I love the reality show idea, that would be one to watch.... contestants versus a mouse. Scott, that was a great story!

Posted by: Jimmy on November 14, 2004 10:04 PM

I can see what's coming our way. I discovered a mouse in my bedroom. Being a sensible, adult person, I assumed that they had chewed through the drywall in the closet. I got down on my stomach and checked out every square inch of the baseboard without finding a mouse hole. Where the heck have they made an entrance??

Great story!

Posted by: Buffy on November 18, 2004 07:43 PM

the only need a 1" opening to make it in. This could be on any exterior wall. Then, the whole on the interior wall doesn't need to be near the exterior hole - the little guys can run up walls, burrow through wood if needed, etc.

Unless you've got cats, I'd suggest a "Have a Heart" trap. It mechanically traps the mouse, but doesn't kill it. You can then take it to the local field and let the mouse go.

Posted by: Ron on November 19, 2004 06:45 AM
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