The Cat in the Hut and a Mouse in the House

Living in the country, as we do, folks learn to expect unwanted visitors. I've written about brushes with bears, but so far none have invaded our cabin or my baby blues.

We do have insect homesteaders traipsing about the abode, although our cats have gallantly performed their duties as sheriffs to the varmints.

Well, except for Morty, who thinks crickets are the best cat toy ever.

He knows all of their secret boudoirs and camouflage tactics. He lives to play hide-and-go-pounce and leap-Gryllidae.

This cat becomes surreal whenever a moth flies across our threshold in search of light. His eyes bug out (ironic, huh?) as he goes into a deep trance of attention riveted to the insect's flight pattern. All of this fascination is musically accompanied by Morty's spooky chattering noises.

I half expect Bela Lugosi to materialize from the shadows, fracture some English, and needle mark my armchair.

Recently, there was a frantic tapping noise coming from under our stove.

"Aha," I said, grasping a fresh explanation of another of Morty's peculiar behaviors. He had been spending long periods of precious nap time seated in front of the oven, awake and observant. He knew something was afoot .

It was a field mouse, connoisseur of Skippy peanut butter that it was, cornered inside a humane mousetrap baited with the creamy goodness.

We try to catch and release our trespassers outdoors. That goes for moths and meeces, and everything in-between and census takers.

So, I escorted the frightened rodent to my car and we motored down the lane. We talked cheese.

Far from the residence, I placed the trap in a patch of grass near the woods and raised the lid. The paroled mouse sped away. With eight fast bounds of freedom, he was out of sight.

Sorry, Morty. I'm sorry you couldn't keep the *toy* mouse, surely the greatest thing since sliced bream.
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