Mickey At The Piano

I descended the stairs Thursday, in the early A.M., to release Torvald and Agatha the junior cats, who overnight in my rather palatial laundry room. At the foot of the stairs are two small druggets, one of which no longer boasts anything like a non-slip backing and is routinely found contorted into some form of Rug Origami by pelting felines.

I am an OCD housekeeper, the kind of person who hangs gym baggies over a proper hanger, and I straighten out rumpled rugs as soon as I see them. Out of this one darted a dark shape, one which at first lit up my brain: “OMG is that the world’s biggest cricket/beetle/cockroach?” But no, it was Monsieur Mouse, gimping a bit on his off foreleg but brisk enough to disappear under the Steck spinet that occupies my interior basement wall (talk to home inspectors, piano tuners and movers, and they will tell you to position the piano on a foundation floor and away from the perimeters).

I looked at Agatha, half way up the stairs and agog for canned food. “Agatha! It’s a mouse! Live! Scampering!”

Her returning glance suggested I was smoking something.

I don’t know if there are mice nesting in the piano or peeing in it or what and I haven’t mustered the gumption yet to play the Dukas Villanelle (since 1976, I lack a hornist, anyway) or Debussy’s Cathedrale Engloutie, which ought to tell me for certain. (Don’t ever ask to hear my halting, rusty attempts at these pieces, but memory is green, and I thought of them as I frantically imagined ways to extrude the mouse.)

I had a long discussion with my staff about labor relations and contracted services but so far, no one is actually producing a carcass. News as I get it.

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5 thoughts on “Mickey At The Piano

    • Well, they never eat what they kill, but up to now, I have rarely seen a mouse before it was dead. And Agatha kills all the cat toys twice a day; she’s very bloody-minded. Most of the time.

  1. If the cats do not cooperate, here is a very easy way to catch a mouse. Obtain a jar, and a paper tube — the type that supports wrapping paper works well. Put something tasty in the jar. Nuts work best. Insert the tube into the jar, and leave it out, preferably with the tube running parallel to and up against a baseboard. You will have a mouse in the jar quite soon, and he can be dispatched with all due ceremony.

    • Now I would never have imagined that would work. How snugly does the tube have to fit into the jar, and how long can you leave this device unattended without risk that the mouse will figure out how to game it?

      I think my mouse may have fled outside again, as appears to have happened a couple of times in the past when wandering rodents realized their mistake.

  2. When I did this, I used a jar with a fairly small neck relative to the tube, but you could also just use some duct tape to cover the rest of the opening. The reason this works is that the cardboard “tunnel” makes them feel safe enough to go into the jar. Mice aren’t very smart, so you can catch the same mouse over and over and over this way. I used to have pet mice, and would sometimes let them out while I was cleaning their cages, and caught them repeatedly with this method. The trick is to put something in there that they really like — I used peanut butter on a cracker. Super exciting for the mouse.

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