Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Mouse That Snored, Part 1

D-L will be blogging about this as well: http://theexpatwriter.blogspot.ch/.

We were watching an episode of House of Cards, Season 2, our fifth in two nights, when I noticed some movement near the chair next to the stairs. My first thought was that it was the gray swish of the tail of Clea, one of J's two cats, which we are watching for a few days in Corsier Port. I expected her to come over to the couch looking for some stroking, but she wasn't there.

I noticed another movement, but about that time S, J's younger son, was emerging from the kitchen, so I assumed the flicker in the corner of my eye was the shadow of his motion.

Shortly after he ascended the stairs, more movement - this time the distinct shape of a small gray mouse, scurrying blatantly across the carpet between us and the television and ducking between the soft chair and the end table. I warned Donna-Lane: "We have a mouse."

There was no way to get at the critter without major furniture moving, and there were plenty of places for him to hide.

"Cheese," D-L suggested, so we went into the kitchen. There were several choices in the frigo. "What kind do you think he'd like?" "I'm sure he'd like the gruyere," she said. Switzerland's finest.

I sliced off a small piece, opened the door to the winter garden, and tossed the cheese on the carpet, hoping to lure the little bugger outside.

(My insinct is to smash the thing dead. Donna-Lane doesn't like to kill living things, including bugs.)

After a few moments, I spotted Mickey padding across the length of the carpet - in the opposite direction from the winter garden and the cheese. Our luck to get a mouse with a sinus problem. He snuck under the big antique desk before I could intercept him.

For several minutes, we hovered around the desk. I saw the mouse scoot one way, then the other, but along the wall and with too many obstacles to get at him. I got the sliver of cheese and put it on the carpet with enough room around it to give me a chance to drop a towel over the unsuspecting mouse should his cheese-sniffer kick in.

Our strategy wasn't working. It was time to get the cats and let them earn their keep. (A few weeks ago, Clea brought a bird in from outside, which we rescued, though it was too injured to live. I understand Clea and her sister Babette have also had some mice conquests as well.)

The cats were outside, so we rang the bell to call them in, and shunted them into the living room instead of downstairs where they sleep during the night. "Okay, girls, do your thing."

Babette spotted the open door - the one intended for the mouse to exit - and promptly trotted back outside again. Clea, less adventurous, stayed inside.

I placed Clea in the vicinity of the desk behind which the mouse was hiding. She wandered to the other side of the room, completely unaware of the potentially tasty intruder. (Actually, my plan was to let Clea capture the mouse, then snatch it from her before she could eat it, and toss it outside to freedom.)

I picked up Clea and again placed her near the desk. She noticed the gruyere and calmly ate it.

Maybe the mouse protested because finally Clea became interested in the area around the desk. She managed to get the mouse moving back and forth but even she couldn't get an angle to put a paw on him. One by one I moved some of the obstacles.

Then Mickey made a dash around the corner and under the huge china cabinet. Clea pursued him underneath but then seemed to lose the scent. I tried poking underneath with a broom handle, but there was no detectable movement.

Eventually we went back to our program, Clea crawled up on the couch as well and tongue-bathed herself, and Mickey probably curled up in a box under the cabinet.

Rather than lock the cats downstairs, we left them access to the living room for the night, hoping they might get hungry for a Mus Muris midnight snack. We went to bed, all the bedroom and bathroom doors shut tight.

Part 2 tomorrow.

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