Saturday, August 04, 2007

Mouse update: Miff shame continues

I am typing a post about Brian Paddick for London Mayor when I hear a yell from J on the sofa in the sitting room.

'The bloody mouse! It's back! Looking at me!''

''Where?'' I say, rushing into the room.

''It's in the fireplace...now it's behind the TV. Right there. By the pile of DVDs.''

The mouse is indeed there, strolling about the book shelves behind the television. It does not look remotely bothered that we are shouting at it with such indignation.

J demands to know where the damn cat is. I suggest that she is likely to be sunbathing. This infuriates J and he rushes off, and comes back with the cat clamped under his arm. Miff emits a strange groaning noise like a pair of furry bagpipes.

''Can you still see the mouse?'' hisses J, crouching, still holding a struggling Miff.

''Yes'', I whisper, pointing behind the TV where the mouse is picking its way delicately over wires, jaunty tail held high.

J reaches to the side of the TV, leans down, and deposits Miff next to the mouse. She lands with a flump, like a heavy beanbag.

Miff looks surprised and indignant as she hits the floor. She does not seem to see the large brown mouse a few inches from her whiskers. Instead she goes straight to her food bowl which is a yard away to the right. The mouse swerves casually round Miff, and runs under the chest where we keep DVDs and and videos. I drop to the floor and squint under the chest. The mouse eyeballs me back. I can see its ears flicking as it blinks at me.

''Right!'' I shout, getting cross at the continued defiance from intransigent vermin. ''Grab the videos! Pile them round the chest! Block off its exit! Get ready with Miff!''

J and I pile videos frantically. When we have finished, we find Miff has vanished. She is discovered back into the bedroom, lying in a patch of sun on the carpet and purring. This enrages me. Miff is petted and adored and generally lives the life of Riley. All we require of her is that once a year she does something useful, and attempts to catch a mouse. I take Miff to task for her indolence. J is tasked with scooping up Miff and bringing her back to perform her feline duty. He carries her back, his jaw set, his back stiff, in a manner that suggests he has a serious plan. In his other hand he carries a long garden cane. He positions himself next to the chest, holding Miff firmly.

I lie on the floor again and insert the cane under the chest. Then I sweep the cane violently from side to side to flush out the mouse, whilst instructing J to remove one of the videos at the corner of the chest near his feet so the mouse has to run out of the gap.

Under the chest, in the almost-darkness, the mouse skips about, leaping nimbly over the stick as I wiggle it. But it becomes increasingly agitated and finally it runs out from under the chest where J is crouching with Miff in his arms. J carefully drops Miff right on top of the mouse. The movement is perfectly executed: Miff does not even need to extend her claws; she could kill the mouse simply by falling on it and suffocating it with her fat spotted belly.

''What's she doing? Has she got it in her mouth?'' I call, scrambling to my feet and spitting out dustballs dislodged from poking about under the chest.

''She's sniffing her bloody food bowl'' says J in despair. I turn my head to see the mouse. The mouse is pausing to stare briefly at Miff, then it trots back to the fireplace, and vanishes into a hole in the wall which leads to the next door neighbours' house.

Miff comes up to me, and rubs her face hopefully against my leg. She blinks at me, looking meaningfully at the empty bowl. Then she lies down on the floor and smiles at us, asking for a belly-rub.



'' You've got to be joking'' says J, shaking his head.
UPDATE: Further mouse shame

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19 Comments:

Blogger Hendo said...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/08/04/nmouse104.xml
It's all v serious y'know.

August 04, 2007 1:54 pm  
Blogger pierre l said...

Just as I was about to write another comment on original post pointing out that, at least, you'd got rid of the mouse, we get this. I also take note of hendo's statement about the dangers of mice (and the fact that we don't seem to have that many in Berkshire).
It seems to me that you have a lovely cuddly cat and you should stroke her and be nice to her and look for another method of vermin control. Perhaps she was injured by a mouse in the past... Definitely a Pacifist Cat in any case. Lovely pictures too! You should consider writing about your feline experiences in your next book.

I hope your mum continues to improve.

August 04, 2007 2:25 pm  
Blogger Davide Simonetti said...

If all else fails, you're welcome to borrow my cat to do the deed. He delights in torturing mice to death (not something for the squeamish to watch) and he's fast. He only charges one tin of tuna fish per rodent.

August 04, 2007 3:43 pm  
Blogger Henry North London said...

Oh at least the mouse now knows that a cat will be dropped upon it if he reappears.

I find chunky peanut butter has worked in traps before now and bits of mars bar.

But the traps have to be hair trigger sensitive or the mouse can escape. I once found a dead mouse with its foot caught in the trap having dragged the trap out of sight and therefore out of mind after about a week of thinking Im sure there was a trap here where's it gone.

Poison put into their holes where the cat can't get it and wire wool and polyfilla so they don't come back. The wire wool stops them from destroying the polyfilla-ed up holes as it hurts their paws and they stop making the holes.

Or you may come back one evening to find the cat ringed by several mouses singing I saw a mouse etc.

August 04, 2007 5:23 pm  
Blogger Graham the Funky Aardvark said...

Rachel North announces her new book

"Out of the Mousehole"

A tale of two kitty owners

"I couldn't catch my breath" Graham O'Mara

"I couldn't catch the mouse" Miff the Cat

Out soon, catch it before the mouse catches you!

August 04, 2007 7:33 pm  
Blogger zoe said...

when my ex and i lived in an appartment many moons ago, mice got into our cupboard full of tins of 'stuff'. we came back from holiday to find that every single tin had had it's label eaten off.

supper was interesting for about three weeks after that - have you ever had steak with pineapple, or chicken with rice pudding ?

not nice.

we bought mouse traps.

August 04, 2007 9:31 pm  
Blogger Kris said...

LOL Graham!

Rachel, didn't you say Miff was on anti-biotics? Poor puss!

Now see, I always saw myself as being more attracted to the prosecution side of things- and imagined you would be more for the defence!

August 04, 2007 9:57 pm  
Blogger wagga said...

Early bird gets the worm, second mouse gets the cheese...

August 05, 2007 12:21 am  
Blogger Clare said...

LOL Rachel the way you told that story was so good it was like we were there. Thanks and love the picture of Miff.

August 05, 2007 12:32 am  
Anonymous Beth said...

You have a real gift for comedy! Thanks for making me laugh - it's hard to do as I am a grumpy old cow at the moment! Love Beth xxooxx

August 05, 2007 11:34 am  
Blogger Philip said...

The title of this post is misleading. The concept of a shamed cat is epistemologically dubious and probably self-contradictory, and it is clear from her attitude that Miff, at least, understands this.

August 05, 2007 4:29 pm  
Blogger Andy Ramblings said...

Made me think of film Mousehunt

August 05, 2007 4:45 pm  
Blogger pierre l said...

I assume the vet says Miff wasn't allowed food at that particular time, but I hope you did stoke her tummy. She looks so vulnerable and trusting.

August 05, 2007 5:45 pm  
Blogger wagga said...

"Mouse Hunt" was filmed in Fresno, CA where I live.

Last month I had a mouse upstairs. Notified the Mog in Chief (Radar) who had a very entertaining morning. Don't know about the mouse, though.

Cheers - Dave

August 05, 2007 9:50 pm  
Blogger Mr Farty said...

LMFAO. Brilliant post, thanks Rachel. Tom and Jerry have got nothing on this pair.

August 05, 2007 10:16 pm  
Blogger Shinga said...

Send for Jack, the lionearted housecat. If he can tree a bear, I'd back him against a [insert appropriate collective noun if there is one] of mice.

August 06, 2007 3:53 pm  
Blogger seth said...

hi rachel,

i know having that unwanted furry guest is infuriating but you have to admit that its funny-even more so that miff is falling down on the job. maybe the problem is caused by neighbors who dont secure their trash or litter in the street. have you mentioned the situation to your landlord? you may want to consider getting one of those electronic pest repellant boxes;supposedly they emit a noise that we cant hear but drives the mice nuts lol :)

all attempts to resusiate my pc have been to no avail. i was told by several pc geeks that vista isnt compatible with many existing printers,etc. but its not easy to find an xp machine in the states-so im in limbo for now.

the last two weeks have been bloody hot with heat indices reaching 100 degrees F here in ny. then i saw the flooding in england,and wonder if global warming is really messing things up.

take care and hope all is well. seth :)

August 06, 2007 7:16 pm  
Blogger The Fool said...

Great story. I have a similar mouse story. It's called "Maus" and you can find it here... http://minstrelinthegallery.blogspot.com/2005_09_01_archive.html
Very nice blog you have by the way. Cheers!

August 07, 2007 2:34 pm  
Blogger Randall said...

R - I don't know... but you seem to have a much more interesting life than I. Our biggest gross out is a bagiliapede-thingy that arrives once in a while and hangs out on the wall. Our dog is damn near blind, and wouldn't know what to do with the jigger anyway; in any event it would never be quite so funny. Thanks for the laughs!

Pond|Randall

August 08, 2007 4:36 am  

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