Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Of Mice and Lying Men

“This CANNOT be happening.”

My wife sat up in bed, blankets pulled up to her nose, alert, watching for movement. We had both been drifting off to sleep when we were awoken by the cat thundering around upstairs. I woke up just in time to see her chase something behind a bookcase.

“Oh…it IS happening. I promise you this: This is for real.”

Earlier that night, our cat had shown extreme interest in something behind a stack of boxes in my wife’s closet. I joked that it was a mouse. Stacy ran out of the closet. I looked around a bit but found nothing. But I am not the kind of husband who wastes an opportunity like that. I moved stuff around, made some noises, said, “Oh, Aha…I see.” I heard my wife nervously ask, “What?” But instead of answering, I bent over, put my hands near the ground, and pretended to chase something out of the closet, towards her.

“EEEEEEK!” And she was gone.

Some years ago, as I sat at the table eating cereal, Stacy discovered a mouse in the silverware drawer. Until that day, I didn’t know that some women do, in fact, jump up on chairs and scream when they see a mouse.


“What? Calm down. What happened?”

“Mouse. Mouse. There’s a…oh god! A mouse in the spoons!”

I looked down at my cereal bowl, at my spoon. Great. Well, is there protein in mouse shit? I hope so.

We feed our cat a packet of food twice a day and, in case she wants to graze, we keep a dish of dry food out at all times. Usually we need to fill her dry food once a week, but in the weeks leading up to the mouse discovery she had been going through it a lot quicker. It was now clear that, in addition to not keeping our house mouse-free, she was feeding them. “Help yourselves, boys. They’ll come with more if you empty that bowl. Here let me hold the door for you.”

Back in bed, I looked with fondness at our cat, perched like a hunter, the very picture of patience, doing her job, prepared to keep us safe, or at least mouse-free.

“Just kidding,” I reassured my wife, “False alarm. The cat’s just playing with a toy. Go back to bed.”

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