so i live on the first floor of a lovely old house in the deering area of portlandtown...lovely because it's all hardwood floors, tall ceilings, lotsa windows, working fireplace. old because it's, well, old. i don't know when the house was built, but surely it's been around for close to a century. i instinctively know that such places may indeed house a mouse on occasion, and i learned this morning that there's a little fella co-habitating with me. good freaking gawd.
like all good card-carrying dykes, i have two cats, willie and oscar, whom i've written about before on The Slant (see label: Dykes Love Their Pets.) i discovered our new roommate this morning as i was sitting on my couch sipping my first cup of coffee and watching an especially rambunctious and acrobatic willie chasing around what i sleepily thought was one of his cat toys. only this cat toy was, um...animated (when did i buy a wind-up toy, and who the hell wound it up??), and willie seemed unusually engaged with it (he normally has a very short attention span, and cat toys are interesting to him for about 2 minutes).
when the coffee finally kicked in and it dawned on me that this was not a cat toy but a real. live. mouse, i suddenly became Darlene the Wimp Dyke and went from sitting on my couch to standing on it and sort of jumping up and down (wtf?). and making noises that were likely interpreted by neighbors as Darlene-has-a-talented-overnight-guest OR Darlene-is-being-murdered. um yeah. (amazing how those two very different situations can elicit similar gutteral screams. and THAT, queers and gents, is just a whole different post altogether.) annnnnyway, i quickly shifted from screech mode to catatonic state (nice, CAT-atonic) for the next five minutes, just standing on the couch, speechless and unable to move. brilliant. once i worked myself through this short but powerful episode of post-traumatic stress syndrome, i stepped off the couch, very, very carefully, to plot My. Next. Bold. Move.
i vacillated between rooting for willie (please euthanize this little rodent) and being a good Buddhist who should save the little fella's life. only there was no way in hell i was even going to attempt to grab the damn thing myself. not gonna happen. there was a little glass bowl sitting on my dining room table, so i thought, hmmm, maybe i can trap him underneath the bowl and figure out how to slide him along the floor to the door. yeah. right.
the ensuing scene was just. utterly. ridiculous. willie and i both were clearly outmatched by the mouse. i was better equipped to follow his trail (willie is cute, but not savvy) but the mouse was very good at finding little things to hide behind. in one frantic moment, i was almost certain i had him cornered, and had my bowl in hand, ready to pounce, cover, and slide. then willie jumped in front of me, swatted a paw at the mouse and missed him by a good three feet...at which point i gave him the "what the fuck willie?" look and he gave me the "oh and you're faring so much better than me right now, asshole" look in return. and the little guy, recognizing the overall lack of a concrete plan and current infighting of his enemies, seized the moment, ran at about a buck-forty into the kitchen, and found the narrow, conveniently-mouse-sized-and-otherwise-unreachable space between my sink and counter, where i assume he is now hiding. and let me say, he seemed to know exactly where he was heading, enough so that i'm certain this was his predetermined evacuation route. i admire the smart little shit, no doubt about it. willie seems to be keeping vigil in that general area, looking defeated yet determined, but it's been 30 minutes, and no sign of Mr. Mouse.
which means there is now a mouse inside my house. in most scenarios, it would bode well for my team...two cats and a dyke, right? but i'm not sure we three are well-schooled enough to outsmart this guy. and i am more than a little disturbed by the notion that he could emerge at any time, particularly while i'm standing at the sink doing dishes or something pseudo-domestic. i cannot believe i am this intimidated by a creature no bigger than, well, a really small mouse. but i am.
what to do, what to do. co-habitation is not an option i want to consider because it's just, um, freaky to me. and it can't be sanitary. eh. i suppose i should just leave it up to the cats. but there is still that Buddhist-love-all-creatures-and-do-no-harm thang nagging at me. i wish i could figure out a way to trap him and release him to the great outdoors and wish him a happy independence day. literally.
suggestions from Slant readers are whole-heartedly welcomed. (for some reason i feel like Dawn from MDI is gonna have one hell of an entertaining comment.) in the meantime, i'll just be here, on beacon street, standing on my couch. really, i'll be fine.