Where? There on the stair, right there
So there we were, 2:30 in the morning, stark naked on all fours on the bed. Me with a ladle in my hand and Sophie clutching the bedside lamp …
Half an hour earlier, all hell had broken loose. Rumpole seemed to be trying to work her way behind the bedside cabinet. “awwwww chasing a spider”, we thought, “the big daft lump.”
We couldn’t see anything, though, so shifted the cabinet, ever so slightly.
Still nothing, except an increase in enthusiasm from Rumpole not usually seen for something as innocous as a spider.
Then I saw a couple of feet.
Very small feet.
About the size of feet a mouse would have, say.
The mouse disappeared sharpish under the cabinet, leaving us with one of those dilemmas only guardian-reading, tofu-knitting veggie tree-huggers have. Should we let nature take it’s course, with the Predatory moggie munching the mouse or do the decent thing and save little Jerry from a painful demise?
This was a bit of a moot point as our dimwitted moggy appeared to be incapable of something as interactive as catching a moving target. Come to, that, Rumpole was trying to stare the little critter out at one point, the mouse sensibly ducking out of trouble at the first opportunity.
More for our own benefit than anything else, we put Rumpole out of reach of the mouse and tried to find it again. The clever money was betting on it being behind the bedpost as Holly, another of our cats, was currently trying to get both paws round it and slobbering.
With her also safely locked in the bathroom (along with, I might add, a cowardy-custard female of the 2-legged walking upright species), I started to try and grab the little blighter before it disappeared under the skirting boards.
This proved trickier than I’d expected. The mouse was small enough to get into gaps where my hand wouldn’t fit and moved surprisingly fast. I tried grabbing its tail but it saw me coming and swished it out of reach.
My choices were getting fewer. I’d given up on the idea of the cats doing nature’s work, mainly as they’d lost interest and gone for a kip. Sophie was coaxed from the bathroom with the threat that I was happy to leave the mouse at her side of the bed unless she got here arse in the bedroom and gave me a hand. Once she’d actually seen the thing and done a bit of “Awwww”-ing, she was quite happy to hold the lamp and keep an eye on it while I looked for something to catch it with.
You know, it’s amazing how useful a good, big spoon can be.
Sophie wondered aloud whether it might actually be a shrew. I wondered if there was any set of circumstances where I might care. Having spent the afternoon reading Neil Gaiman, I was picturing myself as the benevolent god of small creatures and hoped the little furry was appreciative of my lack of smiting and compassionate heart. Once I finally got the plastic tub over it and a book under it (now, what would have been an appropriate title to use – “Of Mice and Men”? ), I took it outside and let it go in the grass. With a small shove, it was on its way and I was trying to ignore the owl-like hooting coming from overhead.
If anyone wants two useless cats, I’ll swap for a skateboard or a Scalextric.