A long time ago, I had a great outdoor cat named Tickle. He was the best cat. Legendary in our household, well-known and well-loved by all. Being an outdoor cat, he was pretty low maintenance. But being the wonderful cat that he was, he would bring his treasures to me. Headless rats, birds, and rabbits, almost daily. One day, Tickle disappeared and I thought he was gone forever. But he returned a couple of weeks later, worse for wear and with a severe head injury. That’s when I decided it was time to bring him indoors and let him retire with grace and peace.
Tickle lived to be about 15 years. In his lifetime, he saw many other cats come and go, outliving several of them. At one time, we had 6 indoor cats. Among those, would be our beloved Monster and Nuptial (our wedding day cat), and now, our only two surviving cats.
Monster is about to turn 16 years old, and Nuptial turned 13 back in November. They’ve been our last two cats for the past 5 years or so. In their golden years, they pretty much enjoy a life of ease. These days Monster enjoys wearing his Christmas sweater and sitting by the fire or on a warm lap. He adores my pregnant belly and wants to cuddle with the belly every opportunity he gets. Monster is losing weight and definitely slowing down. Nuptial, on the other hand, is getting chunkier by the day. He really doesn’t get a lot of snacks, in fact, we rarely ever give the cats snacks or wet food. But he’s most definitely obese.
Regardless, we have two indoor cats. While both are getting older in their years, both are still quite agile and active. Having indoor cats has kept indoor pests to a minimal for as long as I can recall. I can only think of one other time when we had mouse in the house. It’s such a rarity given that we have had indoor cats for the past 20 years. So imagine my surprise when Nuptial caught a mouse a few nights ago. Much like Tickle used to do eons ago, Nuptial brought me his spoils and set it right in front of my feet.
It was such a sweet gesture: Nuptial giving his trophy to me. Except for one minor detail.
The mouse wasn’t dead.
So when Nuptial set the mouse at my feet, little brown mouse kicked it into high gear and ran underneath the piano. Despite having 2 cats, 2 adults, 2 kids, and a variety of brooms, buckets, and boxes readily available, the mouse gave us the slip.
We spent the better part of the evening looking for the mouse with no luck. The next day, we were keeping our eyes open for the mouse, but no luck. By the time we were going to bed, Nuptial was stalking around the entry of our home. He kept going back and forth to two cabinets that he could not crawl under. We searched in vain for the elusive little stinker, eventually giving up hoping by morning we would find the cat to be successful in our absence.
The next day, Nuptial was stalking around the kitchen trash can. We did what we could to prevent the mouse from running out from the area. We cleared out the area except for a few small boxes, hoping to use them to help corral the mouse. Ah-ha! We finally had it trapped in the corner behind the little boxes. And then as we moved the boxes, the little Houdini had escaped again!
We discovered, that behind the boxes, where the pantry cabinet meets the wall, is a gap, with more than enough room for a mouse to hide in. Outsmarted by a mouse. Again.
So we had to up our game. We taped off an area to trap the mouse in this little corner and limit the access to hiding spaces. Thankfully, little mouse did not evade us in the walk in pantry (behind the bifold doors) because that’s currently where our animal feed is stored. No one wanted to haul 50-pound sacks of chicken feed and dog food out.
After thinking about this while waiting for the mouse to reappear, I discovered two things that could help our odds of catching the mouse again. #1, we added the trash can back to the area so the mouse would have a place to hide without running back behind the pantry again. #2, once the mouse came out from behind the pantry, accessibility to the openings would have to be closed off.
I did my best to ignore the situation for about 10 minutes. When I returned to look at things, I saw the mouse sitting by the trash can. So I got the broom and set it between the trash can and the pantry to encourage the mouse to run underneath the can. It worked! And then I began the process of folding and taping up cardboard boxes over the escape routes.
Now all I needed was extra hands to assist.
I texted dear husband to let him know that Showdown3 was about to go down. A few minutes later he was ready with his gloves, egg basket, and broom. The two big boys came running, excited to see the mousecapades. One boy brought Nuptial up. We felt he deserved the honor of catching and killing the mouse, since it was his prize after all.
I knew without a doubt that the mouse ran under the trashcan. So husband picked up the can. And there was no mouse. What? You’ve got to be kidding me! I watched it go under and there is no way it got out, I haven’t taken my eyes off of the trash can!
But upon closer inspection, we saw the mouse hiding! We, as in the humans. You may notice Nuptial’s backside is facing the trashcan/mouse here!
We turned Nuptial and showed him the mouse and thought, ok, things are about to get exciting and the mouse is about to meet his sweet Jesus today.
Except for one minor detail. Nuptial was no longer interested. The mouse ran right past Nuptial, and the cat didn’t move. He watched it and didn’t move a muscle.
The little rascal tried to run back to the known escape route, except, I had outsmarted her this time! She was trapped. My husband was able to reach down and grab her in his hands. Sorry, no picture of that part.
And being the gentle giant that my husband is, he cupped the little mouse in his hands, walked out into 21 degrees without a coat, carried her to the woods, and gently laid her down next to a tree.
Fifteen minutes later, Nuptial was crying and whining. Because he was stuck in the mouse trap and couldn’t get out.
So that was the excitement around here. When things calmed down, the big boys and I sat down to pray and begin our homeschool day. We thanked God for the little mouse that brought some excitement, was spared multiple times by the cat, and then again by a gracious man who could have easily crushed it in his hands.
That gracious man, by the way, I get to call him the best love story of my life. The boys and I had a great Biblical discussion stemming from the boys witnessing their dad gently carry and release the mouse, showing mercy when none was deserved, and offering thanks for allowing us to witness how the smallest creatures on earth do the will of the Lord.
Thanks for stopping by today and going on a little adventure with us!