I settle down on the sofa to relax a bit, been looking forward to this. I see the shadow of a cat at the door. "HEY, Lil' G! Would you let Harriet in?" "Yes, Mommy!" He replies, all 6'1" of him. He flies to the door, lets Ms. H in, and then flies over to the kitchen to have his eighth meal of the day. Harriet, I suppose, saunters into her favorite boy K's room. I hear an "ACK! She's got a mouse!" "Well, K, thank her for the gift! Isn't that sweet?" I reply, forgetting that he just said there was a member of the rodentia world IN MY HOUSE. I jump up and run to K's room. There is Ms. Harriet with a big, fat, mouse in her mouth. It looks dead. "Hon, I think that's a rat." I tell him.
"Mom, it's a RODENT!!"
"Oh, yeah. Looks dead. Isn't that sweet?? She brought it right to you." I am obviously in some big state of denial.
Harriet drops the mouse. It squeaks. It's not dead. It scurries past me to my Danish Deco china cabinet that is inhabited by pre-WWII Japanese dolls. Great.
After corralling 3 cats and a disinterested Labrador, we try to hunt the "mouse" from under the cabinet. "I don't want to empty this thing! It's got glass shelves!"
"Mom, we need to move it." I have already barracaded the one side, K has gloves on and a small plastic bin to scoop the thing up. There is no talk of killing the poor thing. He's so cute. Maybe he is a mouse. He just doesn't have that rat look, his nose is so MOUSE...but he is so BIG!
"MOM!! It doesn't matter if it's a freakin' mouse or rat!!"
After a few pokes with a yard stick and some maneuvering, we proceed to empty the china cabinet and the glass shelves. I move the cabinet, and the mouse starts scurrying around. K finally captures it with the bin. "The lid!! Where's the lid??" Slap that lid down and we're good to go.
I decide to take it down to the creek. I start walking, but one of my cats starts following me like a doggie. She walks with me sometimes, around the block. I call K to come get his cat, whom I have scooped up and am now carrying with a plasic bin of rodent, and a flashlight. I say "scooped" but it would be more like "hauled" because the cat must tip the scales at about 12 pounds. K rounds the corner and I ask him to hurry. That scares the cat, and she claws me and takes off. "Never mind." I say, and luckily she wants to go away from us so as not to be taken home. I head for the creek and find a nice spot to let the "mouse" out, and off he goes. He seems in a hurry. The trees start shedding some of the earlier rain. They are REALLY shedding the raindrops. Hmmm. I start walking back to the house, because I am old and cannot run. It starts pouring down on me. In fact, it is a "torrent," a word that I was just explaining to my little Mexican friend at work today. I'm soaked and K comes around the corner in the car. He rolls down the window and tries valiantly to hide the smile."I'm too wet, but thanks, hon, I'll just walk." I cut across the neighbor's yard, absolutely soaked. What luck. He's standing on his porch.
"Hi." I say, nonchalantly, carrying a flashlight, empty bin, and my glasses completely steamed and speckled with rainwater.
"What are you doing?" He replies.
"Gettin' wet." I say.
"I can see that." He says.(Nothing gets past him).
I open the door, and of course am greeted with a bit of laughter. Yes, it is very funny.
Time for a hot shower. All better, all warmed up, so I make some decaf to settle down with. Did I mention the Heineken during the shower? :-D
I get my coffee cup all full and steamy, and notice the cats are gathered round the china cabinet. "BOYS! I thought you cleaned and sprayed around the cabinet!"
"Yes, mommy, we did."
"You guys rock. Thank you. But that mouse must really have a scent. Look at the cats! Isn't that cute?? They are still hunting him even though he's gone!"
We marvel at the olfactory giftings of the common house cat. It's truly amazing. They are growling and trying to get under the un-kitty-able-to-get-under-cabinet. I notice that K has forgotten one of the Japanese dolls that I left on the enclosed porch, so I go out to get it and glance at the small space behind the cabinet. Oh, I see. They're hunting that snake lying there. SNAKE?!?!? I make an attempt to grab it, then think better of it. It looks like a copperhead, and it's been raining, which can drive them in.
"G!! Is Twix in his cage?"
G replies, "Uh oh!! NO!"
Great. Here we go again. Repeat most of the motions completed above for the mouse hunt. K herds the snake, which is half out and half under the cabinet, into seeking refuge under a blanket, and the rescue is complete. Twix isn't the sweetest snake, not like our other one Ekans, but he is very happy to be caught. After taking the opportunity to clean his cage he is safely deposited back home. One of the clips had broken off. Corn snakes are great escape artists. Duct tape does the job til a replacement can be had.
Okay, it's 10:30 and I can't relax, but I try to watch a little TV. The cats start gathering around the cabinet area again. AGAIN!! I look over the couch and they have corralled one of the biggest spiders I have ever seen. "GUYS! There's a huge spider out here now!" I say, mostly just to get the great news out.
"You know what?? Just leave it."