Last issue, I left our cat, Lloyd, chasing a bedraggled mouse into Jo’s bedroom. Seen no more that night, I decided it would eventually retreat to the kitchen and hide under the stove.
The next morning I turned on the shower, letting the water run warm before I stepped in. The wire mesh insert we set in the tub drain (with three girls’ full heads of hair so often in the shower, our fourth head of hair decided it might save his worrying with clogged drains) seemed to be full.
“The girls never bother to clean that filter.” I cursed to myself, when suddenly, I realized the ball of stuff that rose from the wire mesh with the running water had the form of a mouse. Yes!
The tiny form was moving and, since it was so conveniently contained in the wire “basket” of our drain filter, I left the surprise of the morning, stunned, ran to the kitchen for a plastic container, returned to the tub, lifted the wire basket with critter intact and dumped the doused mouse in the plastic box.
I watched it as it struggled to get its bearings after its ordeal. It was sopping. Its back feet looked flattened out at its sides, but it didn’t look hurt, just stunned, maybe? Had Lloyd carried it into the tub (he sometimes sits in there either hoping someone will be by to give him a drink, or just lying on the porcelain to cool off) and gotten bored with it after a while? How else would it have been in the slippery tub?
The basket of wire mesh would have made an ideal bed for a mouse to sleep in. It did have some hair left to cushion the wire but the air would have circulated through from the pipe below. Since no one had showered for several hours, it would have been soft, dry, and perfect for a snooze (or a much-needed reprieve after an encounter with the Lloyd beast).
Wanting to help it dry off, I laid a sheet of toilet paper halfway across the tiny gray form groveling in my plastic box and thought of the sudden flood of cold water that had drenched it. No wonder it was disoriented. Lloyd may not have hurt it, and maybe neither had the gush of water.
As the mouse wriggled beneath the paper, I saw a water line forming as it absorbed water from the mouse’s fur. I lifted it to peer under at my captive. The little thing was beginning to groom itself with its tiny “hands.” Its back legs were drawn a little closer to its sides; it was sitting in a more normal position. Was it all right? (to be continued)
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