It’s not that I live in the wilderness, I live with the wilderness and the wilderness has the upper hand most of the time. It’s not enough that I experience the wilderness outside my door. Field mice, ground squirrels, scorpions, and even some sort of alien like centipede creature have all from time to time squirmed their way into the singlewide. Critters manage to find holes that I can’t even see let alone spray. I keep things under control for the most part. After a year of living here I’ve been through the seasonal cycles and know when and where to put out the appropriate traps and don’t have too many critter issues. Mice are a problem from time to time but I have a secret weapon, my Arizona Wildcat, Kitty.
Kitty took on the job of mouse catcher soon after we moved here, astonishing since she, like me, is a city slicker. Back in Chicago Kitty got bored easily and as any cat owner can tell you a bored cat is a troublemaker. She’d knock things off the shelves, scratch the furniture, cry to go out on the balcony and in general demand my attention every single second of the day. I purchased every cat toy on the store shelves, rolled catnip balls for her, turned on the nature channel so she could watch the birds, and moved her food around so she’d have to hunt for it but nothing worked. She was bored. Then we moved to Arizona.
If there is ever a rodeo for cats Kitty would win the mouse wrangling category hands down. I always know we’re in for a wild night when I come across Kitty staring fixedly under a cabinet or at a closet. Like a rodeo roper in the chute waiting for the little doggie to be released, Kitty waits patiently for the mouse to chance a run across the floor and then she flies! Hot in pursuit she never gives up until she catches her prey, batting it around until the mouse dies from fright or exhaustion whichever comes first. She’s got her timing down and can nail a mouse in seconds flat. I am proud of Kitty and how well she does her job. Sometimes it gets annoying, like the time Kitty brought her catch up on to the bed, but over all she’s better than any mousetrap. But every once in awhile some mouse comes along and gives her a run for her money. This week a particularly fat mouse gave Kitty her biggest challenge yet. I have never seen such a fat mouse before and assumed the worst.
“Get that mouse Kitty! Before it has babies!”
We both sprang into action. When the mouse ran behind the sofa I shoved it away from the wall. When it ran behind a waste basket I picked up the basket. When it ran under the bed I ran to the other side to flush it out the other way. I did everything I could to give Kitty a clear path to her prey. Through it all Kitty was quick but fat mouse was quicker.
“Are you really going to let that fat mouse get the better of you?” I yelled.
Kitty ignored me too wrapped up in the chase. This went on for three days. Each morning I’d wake up; look on the floor before putting on my slippers but no mouse. All was quiet and I assumed either I’d come across the dead mouse somewhere or maybe it finally decided to look for safer quarters. But then when I’d least expect it all hell would break loose.
”Haven’t you caught that mouse yet? What the hell is taking so long?” Kitty yawned in response showing her fangs, her way of saying “All in due time my dear.”
This morning as I walked out the door to attend to ranch responsibilities, all was quiet in the singlewide. I went about my business not giving much thought to the status of fat mouse. This evening I realized as I came back home that I had waited a tad too long and urgently needed to pee. I ran up the steps, threw open the door, and made a beeline for the bathroom. Quickly I unzipped my jeans and sat down. You know how you always look at what’s in the toilet after you’ve done your thing? I’m not sure why we do that. I think it must be some holdover from potty training when we proclaimed ourselves to be big girls and boys proudly showing off a full toilet bowl to our moms who always responded with wild applause and M&M’s. Imagine my surprise when this time as I turned, looked and hit the lever in one quick motion I saw one dead fat mouse drowning in a sea of urine.
“EEEAAAYA! OOOOHHHHH! EWWWWW!”
I screamed every vowel in the alphabet while jumping back from the porcelain vessel of death. My skin crawled with goose flesh. I couldn’t get my jeans up fast enough. My second instinct was to stop the flush….impossible to do once set in motion.
“Damn! Don’t you plug up the plumbing you fat mouse!”
In response fat mouse swirled around and around and finally went down. The bowl filled with fresh clean, clear water.
I am quite certain Kitty had a hand, or rather, a paw in this. I imagine her chasing fat mouse and cornering her in the bathroom. Fat mouse must have been exhausted when she somehow managed to get on top of the toilet. Little did she know Kitty can jump much greater heights than a mere toilet bowl. I’m not sure if Kitty actually pushed fat mouse into her watery grave or if fat mouse simply fell in while trying to escape. I imagine Kitty sitting on the rim casually combing her ears while watching fat mouse struggle desperately for air. Once again the Arizona Wildcat won. It was a gruesome end I’m sure. Our moms always admonished us to go before you go but I’d like to update that. Go before you go and look before you pee.