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Mpls, MN, United States

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Incidents & Accidents

Friday, October 26, 2007

Mom & April, you might want to skip this one, or, The Drama

So recently I've been hearing phantom scritchings and scratchings in my kitchen. That is, they were phantom until yesterday. Yesterday I came face to snout with the perpetrator, who was perched on the edge of the garbage can under my sink and who didn't even have the good sense to run after I opened the door. That is, until I shrieked; then he skittered back into the depths from whence he came. I sat back down at my computer, figuring I'd scared him away at least for a while, but moments later, there he was again and we replayed the scene.

Trembling, I knocked on my neighbor's door, and she was already scooping Sappho up as she asked, "You wanna borrow my cat?" We brought her over, and I was embarrassed at the state of my under-sink cupboard. I keep my recycling there, so it was crowded with paper bags. It was dusty, and my murine visitors had also left traces of their debauchery. Sapph did some stalking, but we decided to bring her back after I'd opened things up a bit.

I pulled out all the bags, took my recycling to the street, and cleaned and disinfected the cupboard floor and my trashcan (they had gnawed a hole in the bottom of the liner, apparently to get to the tasty coffee grounds and squash peels). With the formerly cave-like interior now bright, shiny, and smelling of Lysol (and, I hoped, replete with lingering cat memories; they'd had ample opportunity to see and hear Sappho), I closed the doors and sat back down to work.

But they came back. Once again, I threw open the doors and yelled. I left the doors open this time when I sat back down. It came back again.

So I knocked on my neighbor's door again, and this time we brought not just Sappho, but her litter box, food, and water; she was going to sleep over. I picked her up and dropped her in front of the sink, where she almost instantly detected the scratching and went into huntress mode. Meaning, she crouched in and just outside of the cupboard, staring, for at least an hour. Intently watching the mice run along the back of the cupboard.

Finally, one comes to the very edge of the cupboard, nose to nose with Sappho, and she pounces. I close my eyes, and when I look up, she has the little guy in her mouth. I run to the back door, fling it open, and frantically call to Sappho to come. She trots defiantly in the opposite direction. I open the front door, and am relieved that she exits and heads down the stairs to the basement. I cross the landing to my neighbor's apartment, knock on her door, and am breathlessly trying to explain what has happened when Sappho prances through the open door behind me and into the apartment, the mouse still in her mouth.

We both shriek and jump back, which may startle Sappho; she drops the mouse. It makes a beeline for the heat machine, from under which Sapph is unable to extricate it. My neighbor grimly cranks up the heat.

But the transported mouse seems to have vanished; Sappho gives up circling the heat machine and we get on the floor but are unable to locate the mouse. We figure if it is somehow still in my neighbor's apartment, Sapph will get it eventually. There are still mice in my apartment, so Sappho comes back to my place for the night.

I feared there would be corpses this morning (apparently she doesn't generally eat her catches), but when her yowls awakened me this morning I was relieved not to find any; last night's drama was plenty for me, and apparently one conquest was sufficient for Sapph. When I returned her to my neighbor this morning, we decided that traps would probably be more efficient.


I Hope So said...

GROSS. i have to hand it to you for trying to take care of things "naturally". but i think the no-see-no-touch traps are much easier on the stomach... but then again, they probably wouldn't provide you with the same caliber of blog material. heh.

Curly Sue said...

I say the neck snapper traps are the way to go. A dab of peanut butter and you're in business. I had a mouse last year and the peanut butter cleared up the issue right away.

april said...

remember how one ran across mom's FOOT back in the day? eech.