“Wait. I heard a plural. Did you say mice?” I asked, un-beetled brows traveling north.
“Yup,” he said. “I saw two of them run across the floor.”
“Two?” I quavered from my new resting place atop the counter.
He nodded. “I scared the one so bad, he actually fell over onto his back when he was trying to run away.”
“No heart attack, then?” This in a hopeful tone.
“Nope. But I’m going to set some traps.” And off he went, looking grim, to forage in the pantry for the peanut butter.
Once again, I shared my angst. “Aack! And ick! Mr. Schrock reports seeing Christopher Churchmouse and his wife in the basement. I don’t care how good they think our school system is. They can’t just move into the district and take up residence here. Preparing instruments of death.”
Predictably, the friends hollered, then began offering to loan out various cats they knew. There was general commiseration, which helped, and then this from one harbinger of cheer, “You know what? Mice can have up to 18 babies in each litter. It only takes 20 days’ gestation, too.”
“Not helping!” I cried, then spent a good 20 minutes with my fingers in my ears, shouting, “La-la-la-la-la,” and looking for my happy place.
Our first big break came two days later. A triumphant Mister emerged from the basement, smile beaming like a klieg light. “We got ‘im,” he announced, doing a victory dance that would’ve gotten him penalized in an Irish end zone. (Oh, wait. That might have been me. But whatever.)
Once more, the Excessive Celebrator turned to words to mark the happy occasion. “Christopher D. Churchmouse, Northern Indiana, has gone to his furry demise. He was known, though not loved, for his scampering abilities and his productive little colon. He leaves behind a wife, Christina Churchmouse, who doesn’t know it, but she’ll be next. It is to be hoped that they never produced any offspring. RIP, little buddy.”