Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Off topic, one of my short stories; "Mouse In Boot"
A while ago I was curled up in my bedroom with a book and a blanket. The rain was lightly falling outside. Peace reigned. Enter my 12 year old daughter Crystal. She perched on the edge of the bed and began to regale me about what all her super-pony Mike had done that day, yesterday, last year AND what this perfection of a pony might do in the future. With a sigh I closed my book and turned my attention to her.
Behind Crystal was the open doorway into my room. I saw Crystal's cat saunter into view. The kitty plopped her bottom down exactly in the doorway and sat looking at me with the piercing stare that all cats get when they have a "prize." My own gaze sharpened when I noticed the "prize," in the form of a mouse, dangling limply from Kitty's mouth.
Teaching moment; In point of fact this "mouse" was a vole. There are some minor differences between a mouse and a vole, such as the vole has a shorter tail. I really don't care about all that, it looks like a mouse and for the sake of this story I will refer to the tiny rodent wrongly as a mouse. (See photo above.)
Anyhow Kitty suddenly relaxed her jaw and the mouse seized this opportunity to run for its life! It scampered across the floor and wriggled under the closet door with Kitty and Crystal in hot pursuit. With squeals, screams and some various meows from Kitty, the door to the closet was flung open and Crystal and the cat dove in.
I managed to snatch up the cat, which tried to free itself from my grasp with a series of eel-like writhing maneuvers. I squeezed the protesting cat harder. It emitted faint little mews of excitement. At this point my attention returned to the closet. Shoes, boots and assorted clutter was flying from the interior of the closet and had become a menace to my health and safety. Particularly the high heel pumps, which, if jettisoned from a closet at a high rate of speed could cause serious bodily harm!
So there I was, my peaceful pursuit of languishing in bed forgotten in the heat of passion. That is, the heat and passion of a 12 year old girl and a cat chasing a hapless mouse! I was ducking and dodging trying to escape injury, keeping a death grip on Kitty AND trying to gain some kind of control of the situation! Crystal would periodically corner the mouse, and the mouse would, quite understandably, jump high in the air, squeak and instantly insert itself into some other corner of the closet. When the mouse jumped and squeaked, Crystal jumped and squeaked and the cat renewed its efforts to escape.
Picture me in my robe, avoiding missiles lobbed from my closet, while clutching a struggling cat to my bosom! Kitty would first try to back out of my grasp by pressing its back paws against my arm, spinning its tail in circles and trying with all its might to pop its head backwards through the crook of my arm. Then it would suddenly try to dart out forwards, placing its itty front paws along my arm and straining, it's back legs struggling to gain a purchase against my back. Did you know that a cat's body can turn almost 360 degrees at any point along its spine? All the while its cat face remained turned toward the exact spot where the mouse was, its ears tuned in to the tiny scratching noises mousey made in its valiant efforts to survive the encounter. Kitty was still making plaintive noises, albeit with a slightly breathless and muffled tone... My closet was being emptied at an alarming rate.
At length the mouse took refuge in one of my darling high heeled ankle boots and it was caught! Trapped like a rat! Keeping the cat firmly under my arm, I tried to take possession of my chi chi boot from Crystal. No dice. Crystal had no intention of relinquishing the mouse (nor the boot) to me. The mouse had run up into the tippy toe of the boot and BRACED itself in. No amount of Crystal's tapping could dislodge it.
At this point we are going to have another teaching moment; Never, ever stick your hand up inside a boot to grab a rodent, mouse, vole or otherwise that is wedged in there... They BITE! They have GERMS along with sharp teeth! Of course this is exactly what my daughter tried to do. As she shoved her hand into the boot, I screamed "STOP" at Crystal and startled her so badly that she immediately dropped the fancy footwear.
My reflexes are pretty fast, so, still tightly gripping the cat under my right arm, I seized the boot before the mouse even knew what was happening. Impacting violently with the floor didn't budge it! The mouse was still firmly ensconced in the toe of my boot. I transferred possession of the still squirming cat to my daughter with an admonition that there was a death penalty involved with letting the cat loose.
I beat the heel of the boot on the table long enough to dislodge the mouse from the toe and take the above photo. Then I took the boot containing the mouse out into the lovely pasture and set the mouse free, where it belonged. It seemed a little addled, which would be expected after this kind of treatment, but the last I saw of the little vermin, it was high tailing it (literally) into some brush.
Two pairs of reproachful eyes greeted me at the door when I got back from my errand of mercy. My daughter had wanted to keep the mouse as a pet... A wild, exotic-germ infested OUTDOOR mouse... Oh yes, that will happen in MY house! The cat was angry that I had rudely appropriated its toy. Not to mention the whole detainment thing that I had subjected it to, thereby destroying all of its cat fun with the mouse! You just can't win in these situations and I don't even try. "I'm the mom, what I say goes." Problem resolved.
Crystal, still in a snit over the release of the mouse back into the wild from whence it came, didn't want to talk about the pony any more with the likes of ME! Brat. The cat was sulking too! I swear it pooched its cat lips out at me, pouting. After one more baleful backward glance, as if to say "I've got your number pal," kitty flounced out, as only cats (and teenagers) can do, outrage exuding from every inch of its body.
I returned to my bedroom alone, to my blanket and my book. Peace reigned once again in my house. Oh yeah, and it took an hour to pick up the debris from the closet emptying exercise. Guess who got to do that? If you guessed Crystal, you are wrong. If you have ever had to deal with a twelve year old girl in a state of high dudgeon, then you know that some things are better just left alone...
PS Now Crystal wants a HAMSTER! It never ends!