Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sleeping On The Job

My husband gave me explicit instructions to go to the store today and buy lots of mouse traps. He swears he awoke last night and a mouse was on his arm. I must of given a, 'Yeh, sure!', look because he emphasized his point stating that he'd found a mouse turd in the bed this morning. It was probably the same mouse we'd seen twice in the kitchen and it obviously feels it has the run of the house.

(Sleeping on the job.)

Which I'm wondering why it's so comfortable scampering about when we have two cats for mouse control? Okay, let me restate that. Why should it feel so bold when we have Reginald, the great white and gray hunter who kills mice, rabbits (even full grown ones) and an occasional vole or bird? Anyone who knows our other cat, Bridgette, knows she's purely ornamental and Reginald is on his own. She is the queen, no not literally since she's never had kittens but figuratively, for she's the one who complains if her water dish isn't full, not half full but full, or her self feeding cat dish runs low on the assortment of cat foods I mix together for her dining pleasure.

So we know not to look to Bridgette to rescue us despite the fact that her mother was the best mouser we've ever had at the corrals and picked fights with dogs, big ones. Her father was a tramp, covered in battle scars and whipped every cat in the neighborhood, sending most of them to the vet at least once. Her parents may of been fighters but she's a wimp who hisses every time she goes down a dark hallway to see if anything responds to her threatening challenge. Not because she's itching for a fight but because she wants heads up so she can turn tail and run for cover.

Note the tufts of fur between her feet. She has fur with guard hairs on top and it spins well somewhat like the fur from an angora rabbit but not quite so flighty. I suspect that she is half Norwegian Forest Cat as she had the body type of a Manx when she was younger and the breed is suspected of being half Manx and half Mane Coon. The cats once guarded the Viking's grain bins. Bridgette is fourteen years old and we raised her on goat's milk with an eye dropper.

When I'd told our daughter we had a mouse and the cats weren't doing anything about it, she offered her husband telling me he was good at getting rid of mice. I remembered the story she'd told me a couple weeks ago. She'd been sitting on the couch relaxing after putting the kids to bed and suddenly screamed, "Toby come quick, it's an emergency." He came running up from the basement and when he arrived she'd told him that she'd seen a mouse in the kitchen. He took off and came back with a pellet gun and a small flashlight. The mouse who'd been moseying around the kitchen ran for cover. Toby pulled the dishwasher out from the wall exposing the mouse, positioned the flashlight along the gun like he was a member of the S.W.A.T. team, took aim at the cowering creature, and shot. The mouse staggered onto the kitchen floor and fell over dead. Our daughter hasn't quit laughing about it.

I thanked her for the offer of the use of her husband, one shot Toby - the deadliest member of the anti-mouse terrorist S.W.A T. team, but I was afraid it had been just a lucky shot, don't tell him I said that, and didn't feel comfortable letting him loose in my newly remodeled kitchen. So I'll just have to go shopping for mouse traps while I wonder where I've gone wrong.

Is it the fact that I've taught the cats they must not touch the newborn chicks that are in the cages in the basement each spring? Or has it to do with the fact I have brought home newborn piglets and placed them in a box in the kitchen to bottle feed? Maybe the cats just think any creature in the house must not be touched and belongs until I remove it. Then how do I tell the cats that the mouse does not belong in the house? I've verbally instructed them to, "Get the mouse." That always worked with our cat, Buttercup, but she's long dead and my Doctor Doolittle skills are obviously rusty. So I call upon you, oh wise and great new blog friends, - tell me - where have I gone wrong?

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