The Hunter

4:22 am.  That tiny meow.   I turned on the light and the mouse that my cat had brought to me bolted, cleverly scurrying behind my dresser.  The cat sat on the far side, but, of course, the mouse stayed put. 

The dresser is too heavy for me to move, despite, on my neighbor’s recommendation, the Magic Sliders™ that I affixed to its legs.  ($14 down the drain.)  So I removed the jewelry box from the top (my, but the top is dusty!) and all nine drawers, full primarily of sweaters.  Then I pulled it out.  The darling little creature huddled, terrified.  (I should start selling them to PetSmart.)  I grabbed it and tossed it outside, into the rosemary.

Earlier in the night I had heard the scurrying of tiny feet in the bedroom, but I was only halfway out of a deep sleep and couldn’t be bothered.  I found the tail in the powder room this morning.  Cami had had a fruitful night. 

This isn’t the first time that Cami has lost a mouse.  In The Little House (the tract house two blocks away where we lived while building my present house) I noticed that the bag of flour in the pantry had a small hole in it.  The mouse had been hiding behind the refrigerator, for I don’t know how long.  Think that I extricated it with a yardstick.

Then there was the bird.  One morning I walked into the living room to see a curved-bill thrasher standing in the center staring at me. When I approached, it darted under a couch.  Ah, that is how it escaped the cat.  Luckily it was Sunday and I didn’t have to scoot off to work.

Birds are not as easy to catch as mice.  I decided to herd it out the door.  I closed the cat in the bedroom, rearranged the furniture into a chute, stuffing the open spaces with pillows, opened the sliding door to the patio, got behind the couch, and with  my trusty yardstick, prodded it out.  Poor thing had lost some feathers in its tussle with the cat, so it couldn’t fly, and wouldn’t last long in the desert, but I let nature take its course.

To A Mouse 
by Robert Burns

Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie,  
O, what panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi’ bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,
Wi’ murd’ring pattle!

I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion
Has broken Nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle,
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An’ fellow-mortal!

The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men,
Gang aft agley,

An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!

Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But Och! I backward cast my e’e,
On prospects drear!
An’ forward, tho’ I canna see,
I guess an’ fear!

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5 Responses to “The Hunter”

  1. LYN KAGEY Says:

    loved the poetry to describe your experiences. thanks

  2. Rhonda R. Fleming Says:

    I’m trying to decide about the safety of picking up Arizona rodents with your bare hands… Most likely, no problem, but there are some serious infections that the wee beasties might carry.

  3. lynne Says:

    What infections? Should I worry about my cat getting them? I guess I can leave my garden gloves next to my bed, if I need them.

  4. Jim Says:

    Havahart Traps, for relocating them, baited with peanut butter or melon work best.

    • notesfromthewest Says:

      I used to use a live animal trap for my packrat problem, many houses ago, baited w/ peanut butter on crackers. One day I neglected to check the trap in the morning and the packrat died of the heat. I felt bad about that. I also caught a ground squirrel, a curved-bill thrasher, and a cactus wren, which made a dreadful racket. Felt bad about those too.

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