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Friday, December 8, 2006

The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men...

My friend, Natalie, paid me a visit last night at the Aspen Bungalow. Nat wanted a refresher course in knitting, as she would like to make her mom a scarf for Christmas. As we are knitting away to our heart's content, we hear my little Bastard cat Jack rustling around in my kitchen. I walk into the kitchen, and see him crouched down at my baker's rack in the corner. I bend down, and look under the baker's rack, expecting to see a bug, or an ice cube (one of Jack's favorite diversions), yet I find nothing. I can tell Jack is acting kind of strange, but I shrug it off and walk back into the living room to continue knitting.

Nat and I are having a grand ol' time, but we are becoming rather distracted by Jack's incessant him-hawing around. She gets up and walks into the kitchen, and finds Jack sitting on top of my wicker baskets filled with canned and boxed goods, on the lower shelf of my baker's rack. Nat picks up a box of microwave popcorn, and says aloud, "nope, nothin' under there." Then she picks up something else, and at once, a mouse scurries out, racing across the kitchen floor. Nat pops up and screams, "It's a mouse!" and I start screaming in shock. As we watch the mouse run around the perimeter of my living room, with Jack not far behind, we're still screaming and laughing, and yelling at Jack to catch the mouse. Of course, this is very distracting to Jack, and he can't decide whether to watch us freak out, or chase the mouse itself.

The mouse runs into my bedroom and behind some furniture. Natalie and I are encouraging Jack to do his job and earn his keep. We pull out my furniture from the wall, but much to our dismay, the little mousey is nowhere to be found. I could tell Jack was disappointed as well.

Mind you, Jack has never seen a mouse before (other than the little faux-fur, catnip-filled, mock-mice that are littered around my apartment). He's always been an avid bird watcher, and spends his days hunting the birds through my sliding glass doors. Mousey was a special and unexpected treat for Jack.

Nat and I give up the search, and go back to our knitting. We sit there for a couple hours longer, while Jack is casing the apartment suspiciously. Nat gets up to leave, and goes to the bathroom. A minute later, she emerges, and walks out very slowly. Quietly, she says, "don't freak out, but the mouse is in the bathroom, and he's on top of your shower curtain rod."

Where's Waldo?

I get up, grab my camera, and sure enough, see the little mousey perched frightfully on top of my shower curtain rod. Nat and I start laughing, and began to formulate a game plan. I go back into the kitchen and grab my 64 oz. insulated Diet Coke mug. We walk painstakingly into the bathroom, and shut the door. Each of us grab a bathmat and roll them up to place in front of the crack of the bathroom door and the closet door.

We kindly introduce ourselves to the mouse, and politely ask him his name. Nat asks if I'd like to keep him, and we start declaring names for the little mouse. Tucker! Stuart Little! Ralph! Later on, I think of Fievel and Mighty.

Could he be any cuter?!

Nat and I are now ready to make a move. She's armed with the jug, and I slowly start to pull the shower curtain away from mousey. In a last ditch effort to escape us, mousey leaps off the shower curtain rod, and onto the floor. At once, Nat and I are on our hands and knees, scrambling around the bathroom, trying to trap the little guy. We finally corner him, and Nat scoops him up into the jug. Success!

I open the bathroom door, and Jack is all up in my business, realizing that we have mousey in our grasp. Nat and I walk outside and down the steps to the grassy knoll below my apartment, an let little mousey go. You can tell he's a bit shocked at first at the cold. Afterall, he probably was just coming inside to get warm on a bitter cold Tennessee evening. I can't blame the little guy for that---but he made a big mistake and picked an apartment where lives a cat.

After Nat leaves, I walked into the bathroom and begin to put the shambles back together. In the corner where we finally pinned the little fellow, lies two small mouse droppings. I guess Nat and I literally "scared the shinkta" out of him.

In honor of this experience, I'd like to call to mind an excerpt from a famous poem, written by the late-great Robert Burns, titled "To a Mouse, On turning her up in her nest with the plough."

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o
' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An'lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!


Anonymous Natalie said...

That was one of the best nights of my life!! I'll catch mice with you any day girl!

10:42 AM

Blogger emilyb said...

Last night I was fortunate enough to get a re-enactment of this hilarious adventure. I particularly liked the part of scurrying around the bathroom trying to trap him.

Is anyone else shocked that a mouse can climb a shower curtain? I don't think I'll ever sleep well again.

11:50 AM

Blogger Kristen said...

You guys are brave. Seriously! I couldn't do that.

I am shocked and amazed that the mouse ended up on the top of the shower curtain rod. Good Lord.

1:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am amazed at your bravery! i hope jack doesn't feel like less of a cat for not catching the mouse.

1:49 PM

Blogger Amanda said...

I too enjoyed the re-enactment last night thanks to Nat! And I was looking forward to reading this blog all day today :o)

2:46 PM

Blogger Lauren said...

I LOVE mice. I just feel so bad for them because they always are getting killed or stuck in mouse traps, or chased by cats, etc. (Rats on the other hand I think are pretty nasty). That mouse was so cute. If it werent for the disease/lice/ticks associated with the rodents, I would have kept the guy as a pet.

7:52 PM

Blogger thesciencegirl said...

ha ha ha. What a great story. You guys really were brave.... I would've freaked out.

11:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been trying to comment on this one forever--it totally cracked me up. That mouse really is cute!

4:22 PM

Blogger Mary Anna said...

Who art thee anonymous?

4:23 PM


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