There are mice living in our basement. They're not rat-like mice with beady red eyes and scaly tails. No, they're fairly cute, furry little grey mice. I probably never would have realized they were there if it weren't for Oreo the Mouse Hunter cat who thinks it's great fun to catch them, carry them upstairs to the living room and play with them until she either kills them or they escape and run under the entertainment center only to jump out at us when we've forgotten about them and are naively watching the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition where the cute little girl has cancer and wishes she could be a baby again so she had more life left to live. Oh, you know the episode. They're all the same really, designed to have you blubbering like an idiot while simulteously trying to figure out if you could withstand the pain of cutting your own leg off so you too could get a house with a dollhouse bedroom and a swimming pool in your backyard.
But I digress. We've gotten used to these little surprises that the cat keeps on bringing upstairs for us so you'd think we'd all be ok with it by now. Wren doesn't understand how a person like me, who used to have pet mice living in cages in her bedroom and would put her hand in the cage and let them crawl up her arm and then put them on her bed and lay there reading a book with 9 mice running across her legs and stomach, can freak out and scream like a little girl at the sight of a big black and white cat walking into the room with a tail hanging from her mouth. I guess he just doesn't get it. Those were pet mice. These are real mice. You know, the plague carrying kind. (And if you tell me that the plague was started by rats, I will personally send my cat to your house armed with 20 of these little mice to prove you wrong.)
The girls are afraid of them, of course, but so are the boys. That shouldn't surprise me since Hunter won't even pick up our little toy pomeranian-poodle and set her on the floor when she's in his way. He'd rather stand there and try to lure her out of his spot on the couch with a cookie (she's a weird dog and would rather eat sweets than hamburger, unless it's properly spiced, of course).
So yesterday when Boogie started telling me this story about how Oreo brought a mouse upstairs while we were sleeping and she locked them in the bathroom with her, then picked up the mouse (presumably dead) by the tail and threw it out the bathroom window, I really didn't believe her. I'm not stupid, I promise. I just had a hard time believing that she would ever pick up a mouse, dead or otherwise, not to mention the fact that the cat always tries to rip Wren's hand off when he takes her playthings away from her. I kind of just brushed off the story until about half an hour later when I went in to pee and I thought, well, you know, she could have been telling me the truth.
Sure enough, I opened the bathroom window and poked my head out to find a little, grey, fuzzy, quite dead mouse laying on the stack of chairs under the window.
And I couldn't help thinking about our old cat Lynx who used to catch mice and eat them but she'd leave the head behind as a "present" to us, usually right on the floor next to my bed so I'd be sure to step on a bloody mouse head when I woke up in the morning. And then I started thinking about how Boogie has started leaving me "treats" on my pillow so I'll be sure to see them when I wake up. You know, things like cookies or chocolate eggs or pieces of cheese.
And all I could think of was that I'm really glad that my 5 year old had the common sense to throw the dead mouse out the window because if I had woken up with that plague-carrying creature on my pillow, I may have thrown Boogie out the bathroom window.