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.