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Cat Tales

Taming of the shrew

Around 2 a.m. on Sunday morning, I was laying in bed and was still wide awake. Thank you insomnia! Thankfully, Monday was a holiday. As I browsed through videos to numb my brain, I heard a loud squeaking sound.

It sounded like a bird had gotten into the house. I thought ‘what did the cats bring in now’?

After investigating, I found three cats in the bathroom, Latte the calico, Pumpkin the orange tabby, and King the house panther, eyeballing something behind the toilet. Latte lunged and I heard the squeak again. I moved the obstacle of cats out of the way to get a better look at the source of the sound. It was a little gray mouse-looking thing. It had a short tail and very tiny eyes. I later learned this was a shrew.

Rodents don’t scare me. I’ve had mice, rats, and hamsters as pets in the past. But I did not want this thing to bite me. I stepped back and the cats just stared at it. They made no attempt to kill the rodent. Latte patted it a few times...lightly. So it was up to me to capture this thing since the cats were useless and just wanted to play with it.

I grabbed a plastic disposable cup and returned to the bathroom where I found it wedged between the vanity and the wall. I attempted to pry it out of the space and into the cup. It wedged itself in deeper while biting the brush handle I was using as a pry bar. “Bitey McBiteface” was not cooperating.

The rodent broke loose and took off out the bathroom door and into the hall where I lost sight of it. It had either gone into the hall closet or mom’s room. I wrangled a few by-standing cats and released them into the bedroom to find the thing. All of a sudden I realized Pepper the dog had it pegged in the closet.

After cleaning out the bottom of the closet, a feat in itself, I didn’t see anything. Pepper stepped in and pointed at a spot where the trim was lifted. I looked again and there it was, wedged behind the loose trim.

With a hammer and crowbar, the loose trim was removed and Bitey McBiteface was exposed. It ran back and forth between the small gap from where the trim was and the wall. I wrangled King, the former outdoor cat, and Mocha the Siamese supreme hunter, and neither of them had any interest in messing with this thing. So, I was back at it with the brush.

After what seemed like ages, it finally came out of the gap and I trapped it with the cup. Then the cats were interested in it. It was too late you useless furballs.

I slipped a thin piece of cardboard under the cup and flipped it over, feeling something moving. Yep, I had it. I took it outside and let it go. Bitey McBiteface glared at me through those beady eyes. I had just saved the little critter...and that’s the thanks I got? I could have stomped him.

The cats and dog watched the whole scenario play out from the doorway. Seriously...five cats and a dog...and none of them stepped in to do their job. Instead, they left it to the human...again. Thanks for nothing furballs.

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