A few days ago I got up at my usual 5:45 a.m. and made my way downstairs in the dark to flip the switch on the coffeemaker. I got into the kitchen and stumbled over something … looking closer, a little fuzzy in my coffee-deprived state, I realized it was the cats’ water dish. In the middle of the kitchen floor. Briefly wondering why it was there instead of its usual place against the wall, I assumed the cats had been bored overnight. I found the coffeepot and, once fortified with caffeine, I switched on the overhead kitchen light to move the water dish back where it belonged and mop up the spilled water.
The water dish, which used to belong to the dog, has a hole cut in one side to make it easier to pick up – the sloped sides of the dish made it difficult to grab. So I picked up the dish by its “handle” and was surprised to see, underneath, a small pile of cat food and … a little brown mouse looking up at me! I think he was as surprised as I was, and we just looked at each other for a few seconds before he scurried away to another part of the kitchen.
This made me laugh – he really had a good thing going here. Apparently he’d crawled through the hole in the dish, and had been ferrying pieces of cat food from the food dish to his little hideout all night. I could just picture what must have been going on: one (or more) of the cats must have discovered him and tried to get to him, only to find that the bowl would not do anything but scoot across the floor. (Everyone seemingly had “midnight snack” on their mind.) It must have been frustrating for all involved, although at least the mouse’s food supply went with him!
I didn’t see the mouse again, so maybe he was smart enough to exit the house the same way he got in. For now, though, when I say goodbye to the cats in the morning when I leave for work I also include the mouse. If he was smart enough to survive a night in a house with four cats, he’s earned my respect!