Sunday, June 21, 2009

Catch and release

He was almost a cat's mouseful, but now he's free to roam the forest.

Recently I was telling you about all the mouse casualties I’ve been encountering around the house.

And then, when I least expect it, there comes an unexpected save.

I wandered into the bathroom a couple of mornings ago and immediately noticed something was amiss.

Little Carreen -- who spends her nights safely tucked into this room -- was sitting on the countertop watching me as I investigated. The fleecy brown blanket that feathers her wicker bed was in disarray, and bunched into itself.

I started to straighten out the blanket, surmising that she had decided the bed was a convenient litter box.

But when I pulled out the blanket to fluff it up, I was surprised to find a tiny field mouse bundled and trembling inside.

This pipsqueak was too small to have engineered a self-bundle. There was only one possible explanation.

Little C had her fun with the mouse, then put him safely away like a plaything in a toy box. She showed species-defying compassion.

I took him outside and sat him on the grass. He didn’t run away. I petted him a little and offered some soothing words, but he just sat there shaking, too terrified to leave my side. Finally after an hour I left him alone. When I came back 15 minutes later, he was gone.

I left Mr. Mouse a dollop of peanut butter. A snack for the road.

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