This is how Mooch spent most of Friday night:
Shortly after the Featureless Saint and I finished watching Dr. Who*, I looked over to notice that both cats were intently staring under the bookshelf. Near as I could tell, there was no reason to do this. The bookshelf has moved by itself for a good long time and does not need minding.
My best guess was that Mooch was just messing with us, which he does. Trout, being a simple creature, fell into his trap as well. Still, I stared with them for a good five minutes, just to make sure -- and nearly jumped clean out of my skin when a little mousie snout poked out at us.**
Scott, because he seems to love this sort of thing, went hunting for a flashlight and pointed stick, which is what one needs to deal with a mouse 'round these parts. The only flashlight that currently works is the kids' cow flashlight. It's shaped like a cow, appropriately enough, and moos every time you turn the light on.
You'd think that there are plenty of pointed sticks in a knitter's house. You'd be right. But a) they aren't long enough and b) I don't want mouse innards on them. While we were hunting about -- a paint roller extension pole thingy was deemed a good mouse herding device -- the mouse in question skittered from under the bookshelf to under the tv, pictured above. The cats acted like teenagers at a Beatles concert. And were too excited to do much good.
Scott secured a path for the mousie to get from his hiding place and out the dining room door. My job was to keep Mooch from killing it while it ran.*** I armed myself with a broom.
Scott shoved the entertainment center out of the way. We waited for the mouse. No mouse.
We shoved it more. Looked around with the cow. No mouse.
Lather, rinse, repeat. No mouse.
We looked for holes that the mouse could have escaped through. No mouse.
Since I already had the broom in my hand, I swept behind the entertainment center, where I found enormous dust balls that looked like mice and missing puzzle pieces and a rice cracker. No actual mouse.
We gave up. Mooch was convinced the mouse was still under there, despite all evidence to the contrary.
Just as Scott was coming up to bed, the mouse darted out from under the tv, where some kind of wacky space/time portal must be hidden, and darted into a coat closet, where he still may be.
Mooch, however, spent the rest of the night staring under the entertainment center. Remind me again how cats ever survived in the wild?
* This first few episodes of this season left me meh. The Edwardian-era teacher one picks up quite nicely, however.
** I would have though that the local mice had learned a Very Important Lesson after the last incident. I was wrong.
*** We didn't want to chuck Mooch outside because he would simply stake out the door and jump on the mouse as soon as he could. We couldn't chuck him upstairs and shut the door because the kids were sound asleep and he would wake one of them up just out of spite. Trout, however, did what he does in times of stress, which is hide in the basement.