Sunday, December 19, 2010

haphazard mouseketeers

living on the edge

As I was eating breakfast today, I noticed that the cats were nowhere to be seen. Usually after her morning eat-a-thon, Fatty sprawls out on the carpet and stares at me while I try to read the newspaper (at least a week old because I'm perpetually bad at reading it the day we receive it). I asked Charrow if she had seen the cats and she said, "yeah, they're both laying in the bathroom."

You might think, "oh how cute. They're having a slumber party." Do you know what I think? VERMIN. As in, a 4 to possibly 8-legged intruder has crossed the threshold, and they are hunkered down in a stakeout with an intent to maim, kill, and eat whatever they find.

I went into the bathroom and found Fatty in a crouch, staring at the cabinet that houses the 19 tubes of toothpaste I bought on amazon subscribe & save. I aimed the flashlight at the baseboard behind the cabinet and sure enough, I saw the distinct curve of a mouse tail.

My bright idea was to catch him. Charrow thought it was futile. We armed ourselves with square tupperware, barricaded the crack under the door with a towel (how awful would it be if we tried to save the mouse from imminent slaughter and then accidentally shuttled him out of the bathroom and into the cats' death pen?), and blocked the closet door.

Charrow moved the cabinet and the mouse moved with it. I saw the flash of a tail, but the mouse remained hidden in Fort Toothpaste. There was just too much surface area for him to stay under while the cabinet moved, so we didn't have any hope of catching him that way. Charrow was ready to give up the hunt, but I refused to leave it up to the cats, so I suggested we squirt him with water to flush him out. She humored me and squirted in the mouse's direction a few times, but instead of seeing a flash of gray streak across the floor, all we heard was a disgruntled squeak.

The next strategy was to lift one end of the cabinet, but then charrow would be rendered useless, and I would be responsible for catching the mouse. Neither of us thought that was a good idea, so instead, she started dramatically shifting the cabinet around. The mouse ran past her feet, around the litter box blocking the closet door, and disappeared. We thought he had somehow managed to squeeze into the miniscule crack beneath the closet door, but that seemed impossible, so charrow poked at the towel covering the escape route under bathroom door. Sure enough, the mouse was tucked into a fold of the towel. Charrow tried to get her tupperware around him, but the wily little guy managed to zip right out from under her and back to Dry Goods Manor. In a moment of weakness, I said "what did you do?!" which could have turned the expedition into a sour finger-pointing game, but Charrow took it in stride, and I realized it was ridiculous to think that I could have done a better job.

At that point, we both surveyed the futility of the situation. Large bumbling humans. Tiny, lightning fast rodent. But I couldn't bring myself to let the animal kingdom decide the winner of the game, so we kept at it. A few more nudges of the cabinet, and the mouse was back out in the open. I screamed involuntarily because this time he ran towards my side of the bathroom in an attempt to get out the door, but he got caught between the towel barricade* and an industrial sized bag of baking soda (for the litter box).

I don't know HOW she did it, but when the mouse found a way out of his corner and was headed back to the safe house, Charrow threw her tupperware over him and viola! the hunt was over. The mouse ran in frantic squares under the plastic cage, and then just sat there while Charrow slid a magazine under the tupperware to seal him in for the release portion of the expedition. We took him up the street a couple of blocks to the wooded area that divides the neighborhood road from the main Grand Army Plaza thoroughfare. Thankfully, the city that never sleeps isn't early to rise on Sundays. We didn't pass a soul in the elevator or on the street. When we got back to the apartment, Fatty was basking in the glory of the living room rug like nothing had ever happened.

*This would have been a very different story without that towel. It's a small apartment, but can you imagine trying to find a mouse the size of a lemon before two bloodthirsty hunting machines?

1 comment:

Spinning Ninny said...

Oh the sad thing is that if there was one...there's probably more. You just found a slow stupid one...