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'Fraidy Cat

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Today, walking into the basement, I was brought up short halfway down the stairs by what was clearly a tiny mouse in the basement. He had likely come in from outside and was lost in our basement. However, in the interest of not having MICE instead of MOUSE in the future, and not having our pantry raided, and also not feeling that I was personally quick enough to trap a mouse, I stood stock still trying to figure out what the most reliable way to get rid of a mouse, dead or alive, would be.

Cats, of course. We have two, Linus and Lucy, and if I am correct it is the female cats that are much better mousers than the males. In my experience here, at least, Linus is a complete wuss, so I walked quietly upstairs and woke Lucy from a sound sleep on our dining room chair. She grudgingly let me pick her up and I carried her downstairs (where she's never been--we have a self-closing door blocking the basement from the cats). We got to about the same point that I had gotten to before and there, behold, the mouse still sat. I lowered Lucy to the stairs and pointed her towards Mr. Mouse.


She whined and looked back at me. I urged her forwards, pointing and most likely pointless talking to her. I pushed her another step down.

Nothing. More mewling and she took a step forward. At that point, she saw the mouse moving. She stopped and stared...and turned around and whined at me again, then walked up the stairs to me.

Undaunted, I carried her almost all the way down the stairs and put her right near the mouse. She looked at it. It probably looked at her (hard to tell...). And, with a bravery that belies the true nature of our cats, she whined at me and walked back up the stairs.

At this point, I gave up, found the vacuum cleaner, and eventually cornered and sucked up the mouse. As it was a shop vac, I took the mouse back outside and tossed it into the garden. I believe it's mostly dead (it was breathing, but barely), but if it's alive it can go free.

The cat, I glared at for a few hours, then went back to petting as she slept on the dining room chair. Fierce, that one.

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