Monday 26 Sep 2016

Cat and Mouse
Matt Seinberg

Daphne, the cat, became a sort of hero this past week, when she caught one or maybe two mice. For loyal readers of this column, you will remember “Mouse Tales,” from September 2011, when we had a 7-mouse invasion in the kitchen.

One night last week I hear squeaking and other noises in the dining room, so I get out of bed to investigate. It’s around 11:45 pm or so, and I’m getting ready to go to bed. Marcy is already asleep and dead to the world.

I see Daphne under the dining room table with a little gray mouse in her mouth, and I’m quite proud of her, now that she finally has some interest in catching these little critters. She then proceeds to run into my bedroom!

Daphne drops the mouse in a pair of Marcy’s jeans that are on the floor, and I quickly pick them up, and go outside to let the mouse go. I certainly wasn’t going to smash her jeans on the concrete and get them dirty with dead, squished mouse parts. She wouldn’t appreciate that too much.

I didn’t tell anyone about that incident, as I didn’t want the three females in the household to freak out again. Once was quite enough for me, thank you very much.

A couple of nights later, I hear the same noises, and, again, I see Daphne under the dining room table with another mouse in her mouth. I implore her to drop it so I can catch it, but she once again runs into our bedroom, and drops it on the floor. I try to pick it up, but it scurries away. I couldn’t tell if it went under the bed, or behind some furniture. The other possibility is that Daphne caught it again and killed it.


Of course, the three females are freaking out, and Melissa wants to sleep at her grandparent’s house. I try to calm them down, and get everyone into bed. Marcy is afraid to get out of bed, as she thinks she may step on the mouse.

I proceed to put glue traps out with peanut butter on them, with two in the dining room by the radiator, and two in the kitchen cabinet where we originally had the problem. The next morning the peanut butter is gone from the traps in the dining room, but not the cabinet. I put some more on and go to work.

When I get home, all the peanut butter is still intact, so I’m hoping the mouse is gone. I check again sometime during the night, and there’s no action. When Marcy checks the next morning, all the peanut butter is gone, and she thinks Daphne ate it. I have never known Daphne to eat peanut butter, so I’m not sure what happened.

How did the cat open the kitchen cabinet? Did I leave it open during the night by accident? I haven’t heard any noises, or caught any mice, so I didn’t put any more peanut butter out.

To be on the very safe side, Marcy and I did a very thorough cleaning in our room today. We moved all the furniture, and even lifted the bed and vacuumed under and behind everything. Luckily, we didn’t find any mice, dead or alive. I did however find one of Daphne’s toy mice, and threw it at Marcy. Boy, did she JUMP! She didn’t think it was funny, but I did.

Daphne is finally a mouser and, like most cats, she likes to play with her catch and present it her parents. I don’t mind, but Marcy hates mice. As long as Daphne keeps up the good work, I’m like a proud Dad.

Now, she just has to present them to me in the dining room and I’ll be happy.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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