If you've been reading from the beginning of my blog about six months ago, you might remember this post, or this one, about mice that my cats have captured in the house and how they escaped with their lives (the mice, not the cats) (wait, that sounds like the cats died, but honestly, they didn't).
Well, it's that time of year again - autumn - when the nights get crispy cold and the days aren't all that warm either, and all Mother Nature's critters get a little nervous about the coming snow and ice and lack of food. The spiders and the mice seem especially worried, or at least those are the critters that seem to want to get in our house the most. The spiders I'll leave to another time, or maybe never, because my friend Chicken has a thing about spiders, and not in a good way. Although she does write hilariously about them, and it would be worth your while to read that link, if you haven't already.
Let's hope that this mouse story will be the one and only mouse story this fall, although it's early in the season, so optimism may be unwarranted. This happened a couple of weeks ago, but it came to mind again today when one of our cats was being extra inquisitive in the living room, sniffing around under the furniture. Cats are usually our early warning system for small intruders. He kept poking around, so I felt the urge to poke around, too, and while gingerly feeling under the coffee table (the kind that goes almost to the floor on all sides) I found three toy mice (one pink, one blue, one grey) but no real ones, and while I'm glad I didn't find a live mouse, I'm also hoping I didn't miss finding one.
While the mouse I set out to write about never actually got in the house, it sure seemed like it wanted to. My husband and I had just finished supper and were chatting in our den, which has a regular door with a sliding screen door opening onto the deck. We had the door open to air out the house a bit, because I may have burned something while cooking. Eventually I happened to look up, and there was a tiny grey mouse near the top of the screen door, hanging on for dear life and trying - I just know it - to find a hole, any hole, to get inside for some of what we had cooked. Even bad cooking smells good to a critter, apparently.
I wasn't too sure that there wasn't a hole somewhere big enough for it to squeeze through, so after admiring its cuteness for about a second, I hastened to shut the door, got my camera and went out the kitchen door to the deck. My husband told me the mouse jumped down in the meantime, and it was nowhere to be seen by the time I got outside.
Probably just as well. It might have run up one pant leg and down the other, like a mouse did to my father when he was a young man. He worked in a commercial hen house, and there were a lot of rats and mice around because of the hen feed, but still - the nerve of that rodent! Dad still shivered telling the story sixty years later, and from the way I felt just thinking about that mouse maybe being on the deck with me, I'm pretty sure I understand why.