Per usual, something terrifying happened in my house recently. BUT, believe it or not, it didn’t involve bugs!This time it involved my cat, Albus, and another four-legged creature. Yes, you guessed it; it was a mouse.
I was working from home one Friday afternoon, minding my own business, enjoying the sunshine streaming in through the windows. The door in the basement was propped open, so that Nellie could go in and out as she pleased (i.e. so I didn’t have to get up every 2-3 minutes to let her out).
Over the summer, we bought a magnetic screen door for this purpose. It was an excellent solution, but there was no way to keep Albus from also going outside.
People have different ideas about kitties and whether they should go outside; Albus does (now), but thankfully he doesn’t go far. He likes to hang out in my neighbor’s bush, and if he hears any loud noises, he comes running back inside.
Thus, on the day in question, Albus was also going in and out through the magnetic screen door.
Again, I was working along, rocking out to the Hamilton soundtrack when I noticed Albus was playing with something near my feet. I looked down, assuming it was a leaf or something, and noticed that it was furry.
“Oh, he found a toy,” I thought to myself, and then I looked down at Albus lovingly (as I usually do) and remembered that he doesn’t really have any toys. And that this toy that shouldn’t exist had a tail.
“Albus,” I said slowly, “is that a mouse?”
He looked up at me like, “What the hell does it look like?”
That’s when I started screaming. That’s also when Albus ran away.
He ran into the laundry room and hid under the sink. I did two things: I grabbed a broom to try and shoo him outside, and I grabbed my phone to send photographic evidence to my husband.Albus was not amused by this. To spite me, he lunged for his litter box. He hopped on top of it and dove into the crawl space. (The laundry room and crawl space are connected, and there’s a small space where the edges of the walls don’t quite meet. Albus loves it because he can sneak into the crawl space to escape Nellie, other visiting dogs, or small children.)
What seemed like an eternity passed. I went back to my desk and tried to work, but all I could think about was Albus and the mouse. I kept getting up and peering into the crawl space, calling his name. He ignored me.
I was getting really worried, and feeling a little irrational…
Then, when I’d started to give up hope that Albus would ever come out…In that moment, I wasn’t sure if I was relieved or disgusted– both, really. Of course, in this delicate state, I started shouting again.
Albus was not happy to hear more yelling, so he ran away. Further into the house. Which encouraged me to yell louder. I chased him and the mouse upstairs.
Albus ran into the spare room and immediately slid under the bed. I shined my flashlight on him and calmly stated something along the lines of, “ALBUS STOP BEING AN ASSHOLE THAT’S REALLY GROSS BRING IT OUTSIDE RIGHT MEOW!!!!!!!”
I nudged the bed with my knee to try and startle Albus out. No dice. Then, I pulled the bed away from the wall. Nada.
I really had to pee, so I walked out of the room, shut the door to keep them inside, and went to the bathroom. When I came back, Albus was no longer under the bed. Rather, he was crouched down just in front of it. He wasn’t moving. I couldn’t see the mouse.
I gulped and asked, “Albus, did you lose the mouse?” He didn’t even look at me.
I was starting to think the mouse had gotten away. Albus hadn’t moved for a long time, and was staring at the dresser. I poked my broom under the dresser, but nothing happened. I moved it over a little, and still nothing.
I turned to look at Albus, “Where is it?” I demanded.
He looked up at me like it was my fault he’d lost the mouse.
I sighed and went back down to the basement. I decided not to tell my husband just yet about the possibly-loose mouse in our house.
I’d just gotten settled at my desk when I heard some commotion.
Albus came flying down the stairs, past me, and out the back door. I ran over and shouted, “Did he get out?”
Nellie came down to see what was going on. “I think the mouse escaped,” I told her. She looked briefly out the door and went back upstairs.
I carried on with my day– I finished work and went out for a drink with a friend. Steve woke up, we had some dinner, and then he went to work. (He was gone a lot that day; I think he’d worked a double and then had to work again that night.) I settled myself on the couch for the evening to watch some Netflix.
At some point, Nellie rang her little bell to go outside. (Yes, that’s a thing– it’s called the Go-Go Bell. It’s amazing.) I went downstairs to let her out, and I found… this…
Wasn’t that so nice of him to leave it for me there? And, of course, Steve wasn’t home, so I had to clean him up!
It was a traumatizing experience, but I didn’t want to discourage his instincts– I’d rather him trap and kill a mouse than allow it to live in the house– so I told him he was a good boy and gave him some pets. But honestly, I still can’t look at Albus the same way.
Oh, and the head never turned up…Ok guys, there’s gotta be some good stories out there– what sort of “gifts” have your pets brought you?!