The old rhyme goes:
Hickory, dickory, dock,
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down,
Hickory, dickory, dock
Only in our case the mouse did not run down.
Kitty, one of the cats our late mother had at the time, brought home a live mouse, he evaded the cats, ran under the grandfather clock in the corner of our living room and took up residence inside.
He must have climbed up the pendulum as he popped out to sit on the top but then disappeared inside again. We knew he was in there but could never catch him. The cats were on standby for when he did. How he survived we don’t know, but he did for a few uneasy days and nights for us, it’s not nice knowing a rodent is sharing your house.
Then one morning we saw a little bump under the fireside rug, Mickey must have ventured out in the night and was pounced on. Sad for him but there wasn’t much we could have done. Kitty and Bert weren’t the best of mousers.
An elderly couple of neighbours had a mouse in their house one day and asked our mam if they could borrow our cats. So off they went to do the job. But did they? No, they made themselves at home there, they curled up in front of the coal fire and went to sleep. They showed no interest in catching that mouse and were sent home in disgrace, their street cred in tatters!
One day Bert brought one into the garden and sat on it until he got tired of being outside, so he stood up, strolled in for his dinner and the mouse ran away.
Years later we had Ebony and Popsy, they were quite good mousers, but like Walter and Jozef do now, they would bring home the mouse, dead or alive and that was it, their duty done.
Jozef is an expert mouser but he stands looking in the window with his catch in his mouth and we know not to let him bring it in, although sometimes he fools us by laying it down then grabbing it when the window opens.
So thanks to Jozef we ended up one day with a very lively mouse in the kitchen. Babz is terrified of them. I’m not too keen when they run, since one ran up my leg in my first vets days of being kennel maid, so amidst both of us screaming I managed to chase it out of the open door with a brush.
It was not so easy the morning Walter sneaked in with one! We didn’t know until we saw him paying attention to a tiny hole in the wall, by the front door, we thought maybe it was a spider he was watching, but no it was a mouse. He reached in, grabbed it and ran upstairs and chaos ensued in Barbara’s bedroom. The bed was upended, us two searching for the elusive mouse while Walt and Jo looked on for a while with great interest, then went off downstairs.
Eventually we discovered Mickey’s hiding place and corralled him and took him outside in a bucket. Babz was very brave that day…..or desperate, maybe..lol as she had to go to work and didn’t fancy coming home to an extra bed mate.
It’s sad when mice are caught and sometimes killed but that’s Nature and the world would be overrun with rodents were it not for cats.
Ruth aka Kattaddorra
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