Doing battle with daily dragons

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Mouse in the Pants

So, a funny thing happened to my mother-in-law this morning. Stepping out of the shower after morning ablutions, she bumbled back to her bedroom in search of underwear. She had only just pulled on a pair of pants when Moggins strolled into the room, nice as you please, with a mouse. This, in my opinion, completely disproves said m.i.l’s theory that the cat hates her. Surely she wouldn’t bother with the ritual presentation if she didn’t harbor SOME respect in her grudging little acorn sized heart. At any rate, there they were; 63 year old woman in pants versus 14 year old moggie with mouse.

My m.i.l is not faint hearted. She grew up in the midst of the Blitz in London and was a rather stern ward sister in the 60’s and so, consequently, is tough as nails. Mice, dead or otherwise (the mouse in question was either dead or hedging its bets, but at that precise moment in time, she wasn’t entirely sure which) hold no terror or “ick” factor for her. Still clad only in bathrobe and pants, she chivvied the cat onto the landing, calling out to enlist my brother-in-law’s help in catching the little ball of fur and razors.

After managing to corner the little beast on the landing window, m.i.l pinched her nose shut to make her drop her prize, which she duly did with great deal of complaining. By this time, b.i.l was in the hall, having just emerged from his bed. Mother and son, cat and mouse had all converged in the hallway when m.i.l realized that the mouse, having been granted an unexpected 11th hour reprieve, had taken refuge in the safest possible place; inside her bathrobe.

My guess is that it’s human nature, whether you’re a 63 year old ex-ward sister or an SAS commando, to flail and holler like a wild monkey if something small and alive makes its way underneath your clothes, because this is exactly what m.i.l did. My brother in law was precisely no help whatsoever due to the intense trauma of seeing his own mother running down the landing wearing only a pair of pants, and open bathrobe and the gifts that god gave her. Dignity was all he could contribute to the situation as he averted his eyes.

“It’s the only time I’ve ever heard her scream like a girl,” he remarked later.

Damn, life is all ABOUT stories like that.