So another mouse got in.
We first noted the circumstance on Thursday night. That’s the night I usually see the Cute Engineer for dinner, it being client free, and young Miss Agatha was conspicuous by her absence the entire evening — such that we began to suspect something was afoot. Reconaissance in the cellar disclosed that she was staking out a row of shelves harboring sturdy storage boxes of comics.
I pulled out a long box of back numbers of Justice League of America. A small grey shape darted out. Agatha seized it in her jaws.
And dropped it. It sped away again. She seized it again.
“She’ll get it,” I said. But by morning, hampered by being locked up in the laundry room overnight, she hadn’t. I let her have the rest of the day, expecting a prey display any time I ventured into her territory downstairs. Nope. Friday passed into Friday night and Saturday morning. No sign of a slain mouse.
Just after my first client on Saturday, when I had already balled up the used sheets and pitched them down the stairs, I heard a bit of commotion and looked down the stairwell to see Agatha pouncing on the textile heap. Let’s get this over with, I thought, and trotted down the steps to lift the sheets away. A small grey form scooted out. She pounced on it.
And let it go.
Mr. Mouse — a small specimen, but lively — skittered away a few feet, then sat up on his hunkers and waved a forepaw aloft before scampering a few more inches.
She was no longer hunting him. They were playing Tag.
I threw up my hands, shut the young folks in the laundry room for their turn to retire — for those who need a refresher, I have two young cats and two older ones who regard the interlopers as anathema — and left life to its business.
“Oh, dear,” said the Engineer just as we were preparing dinner: he had volunteered to take the laundry baskets down the the bottom of the cellar stairs.
A carcass disposal ensued.
Mr. Ferguson sauntered up. “Some cats,” he seemed to be saying, “see rodents as sport, to be returned to the fray again and again. I honor the ancient compact between human and cat. You have observed the remains. I will accept a dish of the best cat food on the third upstairs step, thank you kindly.”