My Family And Other Animals Part 5
Spring Is In The Air
The daffodils are blooming. The hedges are beginning to turn green at the edges. The man who cuts our lawn has put the first stripes down for the year. Birds are nesting in the eves. It is light when the alarm goes off. And, it’s not always dark when I get home from work.
Birmingham City seem intent to throw away their automatic promotion spot. The car park has not resembled a swimming pool for at least a week. And, they are forecasting snow and an “Arctic Blast” for next week. So it is official: spring is in the air!
Actually, the fact that Maslow doesn’t kill the mice he catches is kind of the problem. They escape. He has a poor attention span. He loses them. He forgets where he puts them. Or they run away and hide. That is why, in the past, we have awoken in the middle of the night with a mouse climbing up the curtains of our bedroom. That is why we find mouse droppings behind the wine rack in the dining room. Once, we even found mouse droppings in the spare bed. That is why, when we had stripped the old kitchen out, we found evidence of a mouse nesting in the silver insulation of the boiler! And, that is why C and I are not content to let Maslow bring his presents without taking action. Action means catching the little critters and attempting to liberate them. Or giving the weak-hearted ones a decent burial. In the corporation dust bin.
Maslow brought one in last night. We had just finished dinner. C was stacking the dishwasher and I was in the lounge when C shouted. I rushed into the dining room and closed the door to the lounge behind me. C had already closed the kitchen door so that the mouse could not get at her. Maslow was whirling around the room in pursuit of his quarry.
This mouse was slightly bigger and older than the others that Maslow had brought in recently. It was slightly wiser and a lot, lot quicker. So, quick I couldn’t grab it. At one point I was lying on my front under the table, my head between chair legs, with Maslow flitting about before my very eyes. I grabbed for the mouse. I missed. I lost sight of the mouse. Maslow lost sight of the mouse. I thought that I felt the mouse run across my outstretched leg. And, then it was gone. Vanished. I looked everywhere for it. Maslow looked everywhere for it. I moved the bookcases. I moved the wine rack. I checked the pockets of my jacket that was hung on the back of a chair. I checked behind the radiator. Vanished. I checked behind and in the wellies by the cat flap. I checked under the draft excluder and under Maslow’s litter tray. Nothing. Mouse gone. Vanished.
C told me it couldn’t have escaped so we opened the back door (a path to freedom) and she and I retreated to the lounge, being careful to shut Maslow and the mouse behind us. We left it for a while. Until we got a bit cold in the draft. Then we both went to close the back door and to survey the scene. It was at this point that I felt something in my trousers. 😉 Ooh, er, missus. I felt something in my trouser leg. I shook my trouser leg. And, the mouse dropped out. Mouse fell to the laminate. Mouse was not well. Mouse was slightly flattened. Mouse was dead. It had not been a weak heart or the shock that had killed mouse. It was me. Obviously, when I thought I had felt mouse run over my leg, it had actually run up my trouser leg. Obviously when I had taken refuge in the lounge, on the sofa, I had sat on him. And, killed him. Sorry mouse.
This is quite scary. This seems to be further evidence that I am turning into my dad. I had nightmares all night about mice, and rats, and small dogs, and Maslow. This has reminded me of an earlier instance described in my post – My Family & Other Animals Part 1 (Deaths In The Family) – when my dad sat on my pet gerbil, Tom. Serial-killing seems to be genetic………..