It was 45 years ago, after all.
But strangely, it is the exact phrase that runs through my mind whenever I think about mice. If I see a mouse, or a picture of a mouse, or someone talks about mice, I automatically think, "mus, mi, mo, mum ..." Isn't it odd how our minds work?
Anyway, I wrote awhile back about one mouse that got in our house and lived to tell the tale. That was quite a feat, considering we have three cats.
But it was not a one-off event, by any means. We've had other mice, and once our cats spy them, then I take over, and by hook or by crook I've been able to get them back outside without any casualties.
In a couple of cases, our fiercest cat even had the mouse in her mouth and was carrying it triumphantly to the next room when I saw her.
The first time it happened, I picked her up, mouse and all, and headed for the back door. When I paused to open the door, she dropped the critter and it ran under an edge of the cushion flooring next to the door jamb.
After closing the cat in the bathroom, I lifted the edge of the flooring and found the poor tiny creature flattened to the thickness of a dime. But when I poked him gently, he decompressed into his natural shape and lodged himself into the corner furthest from me, where the wall met the cupboard. Eventually I was able to get him into a bucket and took him outside. I left the bucket on its side and when I checked a few minutes later, the mouse had vanished into the warm night.
The next time it happened (same cat), we repeated the trip to the door, the dropping of the mouse at the last moment, and the hiding of the mouse under the floor covering. This time it was late fall, and outside the snow had been falling for about an hour - big flakes in the quiet night, leaving a light fluffy blanket on the deck beyond the open door. The mouse was determined to stay under the flooring, evading my finger-prodding as he went left, then right, then left again. Suddenly he seemed to spy his escape route, and scampered to the centre of the doorway and hopped up on the sill.
For a moment he paused, then - just like a cartoon character from a Disney movie, I swear - he made a flying leap onto the snow-covered deck, then a series of leaps through the snow that took him to the top of the steps - and just like that, he was gone.
Only his miniature footprints in the snow were left to show that he was more than a figment of my imagination.
It was truly a magical moment to witness, and a memory that is bright and clear and warm in my mind.
Not so much for my cat, but that's okay. She got over it.
Fugit mus. Feles oblitus.*
*The mouse escaped. The cat forgot.
Courtesy of Google Translate, English to Latin. Because it's been 45 years since I constructed a sentence in Latin. And because we never got to write cool sentences like that. Instead, we wrote about "agricolae" and "urnae" (farmers and jars). I've never once wanted to write about farmers or jars in those 45 years. Just mice.
|"I didn't forget. I'm just ... busy."|