March 2022 SOLC–Day 15
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A loud squawk reverberated through the house.
“What was that!?” Lydia asked from the kitchen.
“I don’t know! It sounded like a chicken,” I said, more than slightly alarmed, “but it came from the living room.”
“Was it the cats?” Kurt asked.
Lydia, the intrepid sort, walked through on her way to investigate. I followed at a safe distance behind.
We flipped the lights on in the living room. We looked around. There, in the middle of the rug was Squirrel, one of our four household cats.
“Squirrel, was that you?” Lydia asked. We both looked at her suspiciously.
Then, as our eyes adjusted to the light, we both added, “Oh….”
There, in the middle of the the rug in front of Squirrel, was a little mouse body.
I bent over to scoop up Squirrel. “Is it still alive?”
We peered at the mouse.
“I think it’s dead,” I said, while Lydia simultaneously responded, “I’m not sure.”
“Could a mouse have possibly made that large of a noise?” I asked, looking at the mouse with concern.
“I don’t think so,” Lydia answered doubtfully.
We looked at the mouse.
We looked at the cat.
Neither gave anything away.
“Well, do you want to keep the cats away or deal with the mouse?” I finally asked, nudging another curious cat away from the carpet with my foot while struggling to hold a squirming Squirrel.
“I’ll deal with the mouse,” Lydia decided and went off to the kitchen.
A moment or two passed. Another cat slunk around the edges of the room.
“Lydia, what’s taking so long?” I yelled.
“I’m trying to figure out something to put it in.”
“Just grab the broom and a dustbin,” I called back, “It’s getting tough to keep the cats away.”
“But I’m not sure it’s dead,” she said, walking in the room with a small Tupperware container. “I needed something to slip under it, too.” She held a stiff piece of paper in her other hand.
We both bent down to look more closely at the mouse.
Was it alive? It was hard to tell. The little body was in the exact position we’d found it in, but the eyes were suspiciously bright still. It looked hooked into the rug with its little paws. Was it literally petrified?
No novice at this operation, Lydia deftly dropped the container over the mouse and slipped the flyer underneath, trying to get the mouse on top of it. It didn’t alter its stance, and the pushing flyer merely moved it up against the side of the container.
This wasn’t looking promising for the mouse.
Lydia tried again.
“Wait! I think it moved!” she said, as she successfully slipped the flyer under the mouse and simultaneously lifted her now-inhabited Tupperware trap contraption.
Holding it gingerly in front of her, she left the room.
I put Squirrel down and let the other cats approach the carpet, which they sniffed enthusiastically, while eyeing me balefully. I could almost hear their little unspoken cat curses.
Lydia came back inside a few minutes later.
“It was definitely alive,” she reported. “I felt bad. I’m not sure if I was saving it or dooming it, putting it out in the cold.” She paused. “So, I decided to let it out right by Dad’s outdoor office so it might be able to slip underneath and stay warm.”
We’re just not going to mention that to Kurt.