I’ve suspected on multiple occasions that there is one or more mice sharing my house with me, but I’ve never actually known for sure.  Once I found a bag of flour that had been nibbled, but no other real evidence.  When I expressed this notion to someone, they immediately countered with “Have you seen droppings?  They always leave droppings!”  I had to admit that I had  seen no droppings, thus my thinking I had a house mouse was reduced to simple paranoia.

Last fall, Wee Watson (kitty), starting spending nearly all of his time sitting in front of the fridge staring at it.  He would sit for hours, and sometimes get up close trying to look under it.  I found this alarming, but didn’t really know what I could do about it– so I did nothing.  Watson has always been the type of cat to get very fixated on things, so I figured there’s really no harm in him becoming obsessed with a real or imagined mouse.

About a year ago, after Watson destroyed my mother’s dinette set, she gave him a partial declawing as a “Christmas Gift” (let it be noted that this was the first, and only christmas or otherwise gift that Watson has ever received, so her phrasing it this way was strange to me–still is).  Watson no longer has his front claws– can he still mouse?

A couple days ago, Jewish Friend and I decided to take ourselves out for a lunch of delightful Indian food.  Since I had just gotten off the treadmill and needed a shower, I asked her to come to my house.  Once I was out of the shower, and wearing my robe trying to pick out an outfit, I noticed that Watson had something hanging out of his mouth.cat-and-mouse

He was running around the apartment in a playful way, and I was worried that he had found a broken rubber band and would swallow it.  It was not a rubber band though, it was a mouse, and Watson took my advancing toward him as an invitation to drop the still-living, and completely unharmed vermin on the floor.

It scurried into my bedroom, and hid itself under the piles of laundry that had been piling up on my floor since the dryer broke.

Then the situation turned into a slapstick routine.

I screamed, “Jewish Friend!  Oh God! Watson caught a mouse!  eeep! eep! What should I do?!?!?”

Jewish Friend: Find a dustpan, I can get it.

Me: But it will crawl out of a dustpan, should I get some kind of tupperware?

Jewish Friend: It’s still alive!?!?  Eep! I dont’ know what to do with living mice, my cat usually kills or maims them.

Me: It’s alive, it ran into my room!

We went into the room and found Watson stalking the mouse with a very determined look on his face.

Jewish Friend: It ran behind the table! (the table is a folded card table in my closet).

Me: Well get it! Can you get it?

The mouse ran out of the closet, past diligent Watson, I screamed like a girl and ran away, Jewish Friend screamed like a girl and ran away, my robe popped open, and I seriously contemplated jumping up on the chair.

Finally, I saw the mouse cowering on a Gap back that was lying on the floor.  By this point, Watson had proved himself to be a totally useless hunter and was stalking the wrong part of the room entirely.  I took the dustpan, and the tupperware, trapped the mouse, carried it outside (in my bathrobe and sandals), threw it into the tall grass, and ran away screaming.

Not my finest moment, but not Watson’s either.

I am reassured that Watson can actually catch mice, despite not having front claws.  I don’t know if he can actually kill a mouse, or if he just prefers the chase.  While I’m glad I didn’t find decapitated mouse head in some corner of my apartment, I’m still not pleased with this turn of events either.  Conundrum.