Psycho Cat & Houdini Mouse
Posted by sodaklady on August 16, 2007
My story starts with Bess, our psychotic cat. She’s funny and cute but full of neuroses. If you look in the dictionary under “scaredy cat”, her picture is there.
She likes attention but she doesn’t like to be held. She gets the creepy-crawlies and flies around the room, only to stop somewhere with her skin dancing across her back as she tries to lick it away. She runs for cover whenever the dog barks. And she doesn’t like to be outside like the other cats unless it’s dark. Here’s where the tale begins.
When she first started going outside at night, she decided it would be fun to bring her new-found friends in the house to play with her. We have a pet door so this caused her no difficulty since she didn’t have to get past a bouncer at the door. Her first friends were night-crawlers, those lovely fat worms that fishermen prize. It’s only by sheer luck that no one accidentally stepped on one that she’d left lying helpless on the kitchen floor.
She’s also brought home moths and large, black beetles as houseguests but they were shown the door–just as soon as we could catch them. That was excitement enough for us humans but she had to step it up a notch by bringing in her newest friends, mice. Yes, most people have cats to rid their homes of mice; I get a cat that brings them in. Even that would have been bearable if she hadn’t lost a couple that turned out to be smarter and faster than she is. Our Corgi, Tucker, snatched one away from her one night while I stood around wondering what the hell to hit it with or catch it in. He also helped us hunt one down that managed to get into a closet. A closet!! Take a look at most people’s closets and you can imagine what fun that was.
This brings me to Houdini mouse. This one somehow managed to get into a kitchen cabinet, the corner one with the brilliant design whereby the floor of it does not reach the next cabinet. What a wonderful home, he thinks. Safe and secure with easy access to the rest of the cabinets via the underground.
Right! It’s time to get a mousetrap. After all, we humans should be able to out-maneuver a mouse; tactics and strategy, man. But I refuse to use one of the old-fashioned, smash their little necks and leave gore all over the place traps. I wanted a humane, catch and release trap. And here you have it. A teeter-totter trap. Put some peanut butter (recommended, though I don’t know why. Do mice routinely go hunting for peanut butter in the wild?) in the very back, the mouse goes in, over-balances the trap, and the door falls down. Brilliant, no?
But Houdini mouse has eaten the peanut butter twice without being caught! Is he a light-weight who doesn’t over-balance the trap? Does he have an exceptionally long tongue? Is he huge and his behind is still in the door when it falls down? Does he have a lock-pick under his tongue? Maybe–tell me it ain’t so–he has an accomplice! Anyway, he’s still safe and cozy in his under-cabinet home and we’ve moved on to mousetrap design number 2. This one is larger with a hallway and a single room. The hallway is a teeter-totter which the mouse has to walk up to get to the peanut butter (again with the peanut butter), it teeters over to let him in the room and then totters back to lock him in. We’ll see who’s smarter now, Mr. Mouse. (Please let it be the designer of this trap.)