Although there are at least four, maybe five, cats on this farm--the newest addition arriving yesterday in all his lovely free-kitten-from-the-grocery-store-parking-lot glory--clearly they are on summer vacation. And by "vacation" I mean they aren't doing their mousing duties.
This can only explain why a mouse ended up in and under and (what sounded like) on top of the house.
I'd heard her scratching in the heating ducts for a couple days and hoped that she would find a way out of the house and into the field where life would be so much more pleasant for both of us. But it was not to be.
On Friday night, when Jason went into the kitchen to get a snack, he saw the mouse in the kitchen. He saw her. She saw him. And then she skittered into the vent. Jason relayed the news to me. I was unsettled.
The real kicker, though, came later that night as I was getting ready for bed. I could hear Miss Templeton--that's what Sydney had decided to name her--scurrying around behind the bathroom wall. There I was exfoliating my face, and scratch scratch scratch went Miss Templeton. I rinsed my face, holding my breath as I turned off the water. Scritch scratch. Sounded like more than just moving around; sounding like nesting.
"There's a mouse in the bathroom wall," I said to Jason, who had just fallen asleep but woke up to hear my complaint.
"Okay," he said, and went back to sleep.
I reached for my toothbrush, and then I heard it: a soft thump. A whisper of a thud. right. beneath. the. sink.
Carefully, I opened the cabinet doors and peered inside. Rustling.
I peered under the sink. Saw a flicker of movement. Stepped back. Held my breath. Nothing. Closed the door.
As quietly as I could, I finished brushing my teeth, and then cracked open the cabinet door again.
AND THERE SHE WAS. Sitting on a bath towel. Her nose twitching.
"JASON!" I hoarsely whispered so that I wouldn't wake up the girls. "JASON! The mouse. It's right here!"
He was so not interested.
I persisted and eventually woke him up. "GET UP. GET UUUUUP. Get the mouse. She's right here."
Jason got up, but he was tired and he wasn't happy. "What do you want me to do? What...what...what am I supposed to use?"
I whispered loudly, "THE MOUSE IS RIGHT HERE. Kill it!"
Jason walked down the hallway, and came back. "I can't...what...can we do this in the morning? What am I going to use?"
"Uhhhh..." I mentally searched the house for usable unpacked items, "a fly swatter?"
"A FLY SWATTER? A fly swatter will not kill a mouse."
I didn't want to leave the mouse unattended, but knew that Jason would need some help finding a suitable killing object. I started opening drawers in the kitchen. "A hammer? A newspaper? How about this wooden spoon?"
"You'll have to throw that spoon away, you know." I hesitated. It was a solid wooden spoon, one of my better ones. I remembered a less sturdy one was in the drawer. "Use this one," I said.
Of course, by the time we got back to the bathroom sink, Templeton was gone. Jason cleared out the area under the sink, at which point I realized that the little mouse had been using my, ahem, under-the-sink items as nesting material. Fabulous.
She was gone. Jason, bless him, kissed me and went back to sleep. The wooden spoon lay unused on the dresser.
It was a long night.
To be continued.