After living in Northern Ca. for over 34 years, technology and the entitlement that goes along with the money and privilege associated with that technology, has forced me to re-evaluate my opinion of my once thought of paradise that I call home and pack it in and go north to cooler temperatures and less people. A friend of mine who moved out of the area herself a year ago volunteered to help me in my pursuit of such a formidable task, and I gratefully accepted and spent a week on the road looking at various cities for the Princess and I to call home after her retirement.
On the evening before I was to fly home after my house-hunting expedition, I got 2 back-to-back phone calls. One from my older brother, Anthony, telling me that his wife’s Dad was not doing well, and that they were disappointed and apologetic, but that our plan to get together and head to Mendocino for some camping and relaxing when I returned home was not doable for them and that it was unfortunate, but they’d have to cancel. The other phone call came from my distraught, out-of-breath partner, who animatedly informed me that my bedroom had been turned upside down and that there was an F-ing mouse somewhere in the house.
Accustomed to my cat’s mouse-gifting behavior from previous adventures, I tried to calm her down and assured her that the chances of a small mouse surviving the evening with two cats in a tiny house were slim to none and asked her, “Where are the cats right now?”
“Boo’s chowing-down and Molly’s spread-eagle on the couch,” she answered while gasping for breath. “And I’m not feeling so protected by these fur balls right now. If the truth be told, I’m feeling kinda freaked-out and that lump on the side of my head is totally throbbing. I’m not looking forward to going to bed with a mouse in the house, Lucie, and these cats aren’t making me or my throbbing head feel any better.”
Concerned with the fact that she said she had a sizable knot on her head, I asked, “Hun, how in God’s name did you get a bump on your head?”
“Well, she began, “Do you want the short version or the long version?”
“I just want the version that tells me if the mouse was involved,” I answered, while taking in a deep, cleansing breath. “Just give me the abbreviated version, please. I’m already on emotional over-load right now with my phone calls tonight, so please be succinct.”
“Well,” she again started. “The mouse ran. I chased it. Boo chased me and after the three of us were thoroughly pooped-out, Boo cornered it between the back of the desk and the front room closet, and then pinned it in the corner with her paw. I figured I could grab its tail and capture it and crawled under the desk to do just that; and when I did, Boo released the mouse and it jumped, scaring the hell outta me, and I smashed my head on the underbelly of the desk, losing the mouse for good.”
“I don’t know where the hell that flippin’ mouse is right now, Lucie,” she continued, “and I’m exhausted and my head hurts. I don’t know where it went, and it’s freaking me out. I need to go to bed, but I’m afraid the damn thing will end up curled up snoring next to me, and it’s making me crazy just thinking about it.”
“Listen to me,” I said to her aware of her fragile state of mind. “The fact is: you have TWO cats in a very tiny house with you tonight. You’ll be fine,” I said trying to assure her, but wondering where the hell the mouse went and praying that it wasn’t establishing residence in my thoroughly messed-up closet.
“Keep Boo hungry and go to bed. I guarantee you, Hun, you’ll be fine,” I continued all the while thinking to myself, “With her luck, the damn thing is gonna end up sleeping with her, and I’m not feeling too keen about putting our house on the market with a resident mouse.”
So, we hung up and each went on with our evenings, and I eventually went to bed. The next time I heard from her was via a cryptic text at 12:45 a.m.: “Everything under control. Woke up to blood-curdling squeak. Turned on light. Saw mouse belly-up under kitchen table. Think it died from fright. Had startled look on face. Both cats with me when we heard last squeak. Oh well… Have a good flight home!”
Yep. Just another day in our crazy, wacky lives.
Have a great day, People, and I’ll catch ya the next time, looking at life from my shoes!