The Mouse I Took to Starbucks
It was a hard day in technical support and I had to stay late at the office to do a couple of employee reviews. I stopped by Trader Joe's on the way home to pick up some miscellaneous groceries and didn't get home until about 8:45 pm. I heated up a bowl of chili and curled up on the couch to watch Criminal Minds. I turned off the television at ten and a bit later settled into bed feeling tired and drained.
As I lay there on my side with my arm under my head, I felt my cat Shadow prodding my hand with her sharp pointy claws trying to get my attention. I had just fed her and I didn't understand why she was being so persistent, usually she just curls up next to me and goes to sleep. Finally it got to be so annoying that I rolled over to say something. I didn't see her right away, but I figured that the fur ball had leaped from the bed and dashed into the hallway ahead of me hoping I was on the way to her food dish. I thought, well that is a good place for her. I shut the bedroom door and headed back to bed.
About five minutes later Shadow was back, prickling my hand and pulling on my hair. Annoyed I rolled over and flicked on the light. It took a minute or two for my brain to work out that the door was closed, that the cat was locked out of the bedroom, and the logical consequence of this is that it was not my cat that was pawing my hand. A quick survey of the room revealed no cats in the house that I was unaware of. My brain sometimes works a little slowly, but by now it has worked out that if it wasn't my cat and it wasn't some cat that wandered into my house, then it probably wasn't a cat at all.
Okay, at this point I am completely awake.
I ran the possibilities through in my mind, squirrel, mouse, rat, or worse? I was not thrilled as I pondered the possibilities. I grabbed my flashlight and started looking around the room. I peered under the nightstand, under the bed, under the desk, behind the desk, and bingo! Shining the light down behind the desk I saw a large mouse looking up at me.
I realized that I was standing there barefoot clad only in cotton red plaid boxers. What does one do in this situation? I decided that the next right thing would be to put on some jeans and a pair of sneakers. After dressing I paused and considered my next move. Just going to bed and ignoring the situation didn't really seem like a valid option. The mouse might devour me completely before dawn rolled around. If I just went out and sleep on the couch, who was to say the mouse wouldn't follow.
I considered the matter. How does one trap a mouse in one's bedroom? I could throw my cat in the room, close the door, and let gladiatorial combat commence, but that seemed a little blood thirsty for such a late hour. I looked around the house for answers. I wandered in the kitchen and grabbed two large clean empty yogurt containers from the dish rack then put them back. I decide they were not quite what I was looking for. I wandered into the guest bedroom and perused its shelves of random objects.
I spotted the vacuum cleaner and went so far as to drag it into the bedroom and plug it in. As I stared at the nozzle I thought to myself, not exactly the most humane way to do battle. But then again, I was not down with spending the night with a mouse loose in the house. I wandered back into the guest bedroom and noticed some empty plastic shoeboxes. I thought maybe I could catch it with the vacuum and get it into a shoebox without causing it too much damage.
I headed back into the bedroom where I started to plug in the vacuum. As I leaned over to plug it in I noticed the cover on the heating pad on the floor by the bed moved. I saw a nose peaking out of the cover. I quickly covered the lump inside the heating pad cover with the shoebox and carefully slipped the lid under. I had captured the mouse.
Now I couldn't figure out the etiquette of the situation. Here was an invader of my home that had crept into my house, in my bed, and had been nibbling on me! But safely encased in a clear plastic shoebox my uninvited guest seemed a good deal less threatening. In fact, as it sat there nonchalantly grooming itself, it was kind of cute.
With the culprit safely apprehended, Shadow wandered in to see what was going on. I am going to have to talk to that cat about exactly what her role is around the house and let her know that this incident will show up on her next evaluation.
I taped the lid on the shoebox and stowed my prisoner in the linen closet for the night. It was at least a couple of hours before I settled down enough to go to sleep and admit to a bit of restlessness as I lay there in the dark listening to every little sound. I wondered if mice ran in pairs, if there was a whole gang of other mice that were hiding in the closet just waiting for me to fall asleep before they could fall on me like the Lilliputians fell upon Gulliver. Eventually with only a few scant hours to go before the alarm would wake me, I fell asleep.
This morning I awoke and left the house with my plastic shoebox in tow and my guest none the worse for wear. I had to ponder a bit about where to leave my furry guest. The parking lot at work didn't seem ideal and as amusing as it might have been to set it loose inside the call center, that didn't seem the humane or prudent course of action.
I remembered that next to a Starbucks I frequent there is a fenced and wooded gully. It is a pretty substantial bit of greenery in an area that is mostly concrete and asphalt. And should I happen to be dropping a mouse off then perhaps it would not be such an inexcusable thing to stop in for a latte.
And that is the story of the mouse I took to Starbucks.