Just As I Thought

House Mouse

When I’m awakened in the middle of the night by cats, it usually means one thing: they’ve brought me a gift, generally a snake, a bird, or a mouse. Four nights ago, it was the latter. So, at 1am, I was up and trying to catch a fast moving field mouse around the house, desperate to corner it and get it back outside.
It was too fast for me. And the next night, despite the strategic creation of a corridor with boxes, it once again evaded me.
I knew it was still in the house by the constant vigil of the cats, who indicated that it was somewhere in my bedroom, but I couldn’t see it. Last night was quiet, I sadly decided that it must have died and that I’d search for it in the morning.
But just a few moments ago, the cats were sitting together with their noses under my bed, just watching and not making any moves. I shooed them away and discovered the little mouse, hiding under the bed very still. He moved slightly and I knew that he was still alive, but he was no longer running — when he walked, he tipped over as if drunk or dizzy.
The poor thing had spent four days without food or water, and I was heartbroken — finally I caught him, scooped him up, and took him outside, where he barely moved. I took him over to a puddle, hoping he’d drink… he didn’t but he mustered enough strength to climb over the curb and up into the grass, where I finally decided to leave him, to walk away and stop urging him on. I’m back inside the warm house, worried about the small mouse outside in the cold.

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