Though we’ve always had mice living in the attic and basement of our one-story home, there has only been one mouse dumb enough to venture into the living space - and a younger Pippa quickly and proudly killed that mouse. Until two weeks ago, when the world’s dumbest mouse moved in to cohabit with us and our two cats. At least, I thought the mouse was the world’s dumbest when he first showed himself, running around fully exposed and unprotected in our dining room as Ophy chased him with what looked like bloodlust in her eyes. But we soon learned that Ophy doesn’t have the faintest idea how to kill a mouse, and frequently loses sight of the mouse when she’s tracking him. If the mouse pops behind the living room door for a second, Ophy will spend a half hour back there trying to find him again, while the mouse has moved on to safety in other parts of our house. Then there was the classic moment of the mouse sitting in the middle our porch, munching happily on Ophy’s regurgitated kibble breakfast while Ophy sat a foot away watching him.
And Pippa? Well, at age fifteen-ish, Pippa has looked me directly in the eyes and communicated via her best cat Jedi mental telepathy the following statement, “Look, Abby, I know you’d like me to catch that mouse, but, honey, I’m old, I’ve done a lot of hunting in my day, and right now I’m really enjoying sitting in your lap doing nothing. I’m retired. Deal with it.” One doesn’t argue with Pippa.
So we’ve been living with this damn mouse in our living area for two weeks. We can’t put out mouse traps anywhere the cats go, because we know what would happen if we did. And I worry that if we put a mouse trap in our very small bedroom, one of us is going to walk right into it with a bare toe in the middle of the night.
Part of me thinks that I should be the Creative Children’s Librarian and turn this situation into the next great piece of juvenile fiction. Maybe Ophy and Pippa could become allies with Fred the mouse and together the three of them will defeat the evil beagle next door named Bridget. Or maybe the mouse works his clever rodent magic to trick, fool, and otherwise confound those two lazy house cats. Or maybe the two cats, formerly rather antagonistic roommates, will bond and become best friends as they work out a plan to catch the mouse that is so annoying their beloved people. Or maybe the two people of the house will go completely stir crazy from the stress of worrying about the stupid rodent running over their bed in the middle of the night, be hauled away by the folks from the insane asylum, and the cats and the mouse will glory in their new-found independence and hold a huge and raucous party, with lots of catnip and cheese. Wait, that might be the young adult novel version of the story…