A Mouse in the House!

We have five cats of various ages, all rescues with checkered pasts. They are coddled and doted over,  fed the finest cat foods and treats and now and then driven to a kind veterinarian for checkups and annual shots. They doze all day on our king-sized bed or a living room recliner, nibble snacks from a clean bowl, lap fresh water, get cuddled and brushed and entertained. Sparkle even sleeps under the blankets with her head on the pillow next to mine.

With all this easy living, I sometimes wondered: If a mouse ever got in the house, would the cats know what to do? Or would they turn over and go back to sleep?

Turns out they know what to do.

The other night I kept hearing odd sounds, not the usual bangs or meows or LittleBearischasingmeagainsaveme screams from MacyGray. These were random clunks emanating from downstairs that started and stopped. There was silence, then more bonks, then silence again.  After I went to bed, the clunks came upstairs. I shifted Sparkle off the pillow so I could get up and turn the hall light on and investigate, being careful not to wake Ken.

Scooter, an adopted feral from a local shelter, hunkered down at the opposite end of the hallway.


MacyGray, adopted from a former vet because the cat’s owner had abandoned her in the back yard, was on full hunt alert. (I suspect MacyGray was the mastermind in this escapade).

LittleBear, our youngest cat, who was adopted four years ago from a group who rescued him from the streets of Newark, came swaggering down the hall like he had just been elected King of the Universe. His amber eyes gleamed. In his jaws was the slack body of a field mouse, its tail dragging across the floor.

I gasped.  A MOUSE IN OUR HOUSE! But I was careful not to scold as Little Bear carried his prize into our bedroom and dropped it on a sweatshirt left on the floor.  He tapped the mouse with his paw as if expecting it to jump up and play.

Oh, Little Bear, I gagged. Good boy…. (How-do-I-get-it-away-from-you…)?

I got a paper towel but Little Bear grabbed his mouse and ran into the dining room, then turned and glared at me:

You are not taking my mouse. I will fight you.

I recalled a recent dog training session I attended at the animal shelter where I am volunteering.  It included a discussion about animals who really, really do not want to give something up. Don’t try and grab it, the trainer advised. Offer them something else, something they want at least as much, if not more. A distraction.

I grabbed a bag of cat treats. I’ll trade with you, Little Bear.

Forget it. This is MY mouse.

Look, Little Bear: Cookies…! cookies… ! MacyGrey, Scooter and Simba came to collect but Little Bear was not buying it.

I stepped closer and poured a pile of treats a foot from his nose.

He dropped the mouse and went for the treats. Oh yay, Creamy Dairy Flavor “Temptations.” I would spit out a dead mouse for you too.

Little Bear quickly realized what was happening to his prize and dashed back to find another pile of treats left where his mouse had been. It was enough.

But now we have to call him Your High Mouseness, your RoyalScamperFeet, your Gracious Catnip and so forth while his servants pull guard duty.

This entry was posted in animal shelter, cat treats, cats, rescued, training. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to A Mouse in the House!

  1. That's a very funny play by play of what happened with his royal highness. I'm glad he caught the mouse and even better that you tricked him out of eating it in front of you. Ugh! At least he didn't drop it on your pillow as a present.

    We had a cat once that would bring them home and leave them on the step. When my mom came home from work in the morning this blood curdling scream would alert us kids to a new “present”.

    I think that even though they are so well fed and pampered instinct plays a large roll in how they react. Good kitty.

  2. Oh, my, word! I am laughing so hard. I absolutely thoroughly enjoyed this post! From the swagger, to your bait and switch, to the names you now call him…a perfectly-written tale.

  3. cynmccune says:

    Oh, this made me chuckle.

    I adopted a cat a couple months ago. The other night Abby the Tabby charged up to the sliding glass door, her back arched up and her fur all poofed out. She'd spotted a raccoon trespassing on the back deck. She must have looked pretty fierce, 'cause that critter skedaddled.

    Now I call her my sweet little guard kitty.

  4. OMG — too funny!! When I next visit I will be sure to bow before his Royal MouseNess. Molly once caught a little mouse and totally traumatized the little baby thing. Once the mouse froze in fear, Molly didn't know what to do next so she laid down beside it and there they rested until the Big Bad Momma (me) came and helped the baby mousie find a new home! Good kitties!

  5. Bevson says:

    What? No blood and gore? The last time the cats at my house had a mouse; half was stuffed under a radiator for me to find in the morning. The time before it was like a slasher film. Ugh.

  6. His royal highness for sure! He' deserves all that and more.

    I know what it's like to try to retrieve that prize. LOL Good thinking on your part, I'll have to remember it.

    We did have one cat who knew how to catch them but not how to kill them. Every time she put the mouse down, it would scurry off and she'd catch it again. I think she finally frightened it to death. Effective but sure torterous for the poor mouse.

  7. Caro says:

    Just hilarious! Thank you for the story!

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