Last week, we left my mousy intruder recovering in a plastic container on my kitchen counter. I put one flake of a honey and oat breakfast cereal on the plastic beside the mouse. Promptly picking it up in its front paws, it bit tiny morsels from the breakfast flake.
If I took it outside, it would probably come back into the house and become a prime target for Kitty Lloyd again. If it had already survived an ordeal with him, hadn’t this mouse earned a right to a better life? Was I foolish to waste my worry over a critter that Lloyd could easily have added to his list of kills?
Encounters with animals make me thoughtfully aware of our human place in the order of living things. Although we may be larger than some creatures or possess mental abilities that give us a broader scope of perception than most, we have potential power over their lives that usually makes me uneasy and always leaves me feeling unworthy.
I couldn’t kill this mouse. I punched holes in the lid of a larger container while I phoned my brother, Jim, to ask if he still had our old gerbil cage. Jim has adopted many dogs, cats, the occasional stray rabbit, and a great number (through the years) of poor unfortunates from the wild who needed to be nursed back to health until they could fend for themselves outside.
Jim is presently using one of our critter houses for a mouse he retrieved, alive and struggling, from a trap. He named her Vicki for the Victor mouse trap she survived. She now lives a luxurious life in our colorful Habitrail Villa complete with penthouse. If my mouse was a female, it could move in with Vicki.
As I tried gripping the phone between my shoulder and ear, I began the transfer, tilting the small container into the larger. My bathtub survivor was revived beyond all my expectations. To avoid sliding with my tilt, it jumped toward me, leaped from the counter’s edge, and ran for cover, of course, under the stove, to be seen no more for the moment.
It was only a few days until another furry lump lay lifeless on the hall carpeting. Lloyd had had another eventful night. I couldn’t be sure if it was the little friend I’d found in the shower. I consoled myself by thinking that this was the way things had to be. After all, our cat, little man Lloyd, is a mouser.
HAVE A GREAT FOURTH!
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