Cats Are Great Mousers, Right?

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We live in an old farmhouse in Maine. We have mice. We have five cats. What mouse problem, right? Wrong. When we moved to this farmhouse, surrounded by a large lawn and open meadow, I figured we might be visited by a few mice, especially in the old pantry off the kitchen. What self-respecting field mouse wouldn't go for a nice morsel in the pantry when it's below zero outside?  But I knew my cats would take care of that problem.

OK. They're all full-time indoor cats. The oldest two are fifteen and the youngest is about two. The others are thirteen and seven. So, OK, the older ones may not be into mouse hunting, but the younger two, ah, they're the hunters! (I was so sure of it...) It was only a matter of time before a mouse showed up. My wife and I work from home and I remember well the time of the Mouse Caper.

It was snowing (again) and I was hard at work testing software for my employers based in Massachusetts.  My wife was out of the house, hunting for antiques, and Genny was curled up on the cat perch in the window, watching the snow fall. The other cats were nowhere in sight.

Then it happened. A clatter arose in the kitchen that (I swear) sounded like a bird had got in the house. A high, twittering sound, that didn't sound good. Genny sat up straight and then tore off for the kitchen just in front of me.

There they were the posse: Abby, Emmy and Teddy.  They had surrounded a small field mouse that had made it in, somehow. The mouse was twitching and squealing, terrified that it's final moment had come. And there was Emmy, gently patting it on the rump, trying to figure out how to get this new cat toy to move, while Teddy was gently patting it on the head, probably trying to get it to be quiet.  And Abby?  Sitting off to the side, watching the whole thing unfold, with no apparent interest in touching live meat.

Well it was all too funny, but, being the softy I am, I grabbed the cats and let the mouse run behind the fridge.  I kept checking all day but I never saw that poor mouse again.

But I just have this image of that mouse, back in it's burrow with other mice, trembling and scared. Whiskers twitching, he relates his adventure in the big house, telling the other mice: "whatever you do, don't go in the house!  They've got cats that'll pat you to death!"

While they might not be great mousers, they seem to be earning their keep. That's the only mouse we've seen so far. Of course, if Genny had been there, we really think she'd have played it to death.  And then left it for me to find beside the bed... yuck.

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This page contains a single entry by JeffAdminist published on January 20, 2009 11:24 PM.

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