Well, there was a stranger in my house! That's right, Karen and I had a perpetrator enter our home sometime between 11 pm Thursday evening and 7:22 am Friday morning. The trespasser rummaged through our pantry, went into our refrigerator, terrorized our cat Howard and led to a wild chase that involved tearing at least part of our house apart! But, finally, as of 8:20 this morning, the perpetrator has been caught, tried, found guilty, and sentenced to death.

So since Karen is pregnant she finds it hard to get comfortable in our bed. We have a Temperpedic mattress that is awesome, but apparently when you are pregnant it is really hard to move, shift positions, or otherwise find an appropriate position for sleeping. So Karen has slept one of two place for the last several weeks; either in the guest room bed or on the couch. Such was the case on Thursday night. I am usually off on Fridays, so Karen and I had big plans to go and do some shopping for Thomas. First, however, Charter was scheduled to come between 8 and 10 to repair our Internet (stupid Charter....that's another blog post in-and-of itself!). I set my alarm to go off around 7:45 so I'd be ready for the Charter folks. Well, an alarm went off at about 7:15 Friday morning, but it was not my clock radio. It was a shrill voice screaming "Matt! Matt!! Wake up! Howard is chasing a mouse!" That's right, the perpetrator who breached the threshold of our comfortable safe little home was a fury, beady eyed, nasty little mouse.

Well, half asleep, I stumbled out of bed to see what all the racket was about. I was greeted at the bedroom door with an old broom and a greeting of "Here, kill it!" Well good morning to you too honey. Immediately I saw Howard running in the living room. She had the mouse running back and forth from underneath the couch to underneath the couch-side table. It was the ultimate game of cat and mouse! Well, a couple of times, the stinking cat caught the mouse, held it in her mouth, then let it go so she could....I don't know...play with it I guess. Stupid cat. Over the summer she would go outside and bring us mice all the time....she'd drop the dead carcasses on the doorstep as though they were a gift. But get one in our house and all she wants to do is play with it. So I grabbed the broom and got in on the little "game".

Of course, to appreciate this, you have to know that while I like to think of myself as a true man (who am I kidding) mice and rats really give me the creeps. Makes my skin crawl. Ick! So while I am altogether interested in putting an end to the aforementioned game, I am also altogether interested in killing the mouse without ever actually having to touch it. So, I jump into the game already in progress and get a couple of failed swats at the mouse. Seeing me now involved, Howard is now completely uninterested in the mouse, so she goes and finds a comfortable seat and just watches. Stupid cat! Honestly...what good are you?!?!

Well I swat once more at the mouse and he (or she...I didn't take the time to find out) takes off from the living room into the kitchen and scurries underneath our pantry door. "Great!" says I! Our pantry floor has all manner of supplies, storage bins, platters, saucers, plates, and other nonsense. So, guess what I do next. I clean out the pantry. Karen jumps in on the fun and helps me get everything out except for one lone little serving platters. Well, I know the mouse has to still be in the pantry and there is only one place he can hide. So I take the broom and gently lift up the platter.

You know to be so small, mice are deceivingly fast. I mean they can really move! Speedy Gonzales on Loony Tunes was not really that far fetched! So I lift up the platter, using the broom.....this means that the broom is occupied, and I have only one free hand to use as a weapon, and well this disease carrying, nasty little rodent shouldn't be touched (more for Karen's sake than mine....what!?!?? She's pregnant!!!). As I lift up the platter, Speedy takes off, toward the refrigerator. But he's not just running out in the open. Nope! Not only is he fast, but he's also smart. He runs right along side of the cabinets, just under the lip of the cabinets actually....meaning that by the time I realize what has happened, transfer the broom from platter lifting unit to weapon once again, it's almost too late. Almost! I did get one swipe at him. Kinda like those swipes that the jockeys give their race horses...you know, makes them go faster. Little pat on the hiney type thing. So I basically just help the mouse make it faster to his next point of hiding. That point? Underneath our refrigerator! So now, not only is the mouse fast and smart, but he is obviously able to change from a solid state to a liquid so he can just slide under the fridge. I mean really...this mouse was multi-talented!

So here we go again! I unplug the fridge and pull it out as far as I can go. No mouse. This is the part where I learn the inner-workings of a refrigerator. And you know the best way to do that right? Take it apart! Well, actually I just took off the back panel, but with my propensity towards handiness, you realize what a chore this actually was. Well, by this time it has been about 30 minutes of chasing Speedy The Amazing Morphing Genius mouse! I can't seem to find him, and all I can think is that if he dies underneath my refrigerator, that is going to be one awful smell. The chase takes a halt, and Karen and I decide we'll go ahead to town and do our shopping and along the way grab some mouse traps. So we get ourselves ready and we are in our bedroom and Karen tells me to be quiet. She hears something. It's a scratching noise....like the kind a mouse or raccoon makes. For our purposes we'll assume it was a mouse. Sure enough, after much searching with only our ears, we discover that the scratching is coming from.......OUR AIR VENTS!!! Holy Houdini! This mouse is good! Either he can throw his voice...eh em... his scratches, or he has somehow worked his way into our vent system. So I did the only thing I could think to do. The only thing any of us inventive types would do. I cut off a hunk of cheese, pulled an old shoe string out my an old pair of shoes, tied the cheese on the string, and dangled it in the vent. What mouse doesn't like Cheese? Speedy the Magician Mouse apparently.

So we gave up, took off for town, and shopped all day. We did pick up some mouse traps, and put them out. But when we arrived Friday night, we didn't hear another peep out of Magic Mouse. Nor did we on Saturday. Nor on Sunday.

HOWEVER, this morning, I wake up to the same alarm I did on Friday. Karen screaming "Matt! Matt! The mouse is back!! Howard is chasing the Mouse!" My first thought....."oh great". My second "worthless cat!". My third "Oh its on little mousy, it is SOOOOO ON!" (Actually it may have been more like "uhhh uhhh huuh huuhhh"...I don't do mornings!). Well Karen has my weapon ready, and Howard has once again engaged in her little game of catch-the-mouse-let-him-go-then-chase-him-back-and-to-from-the-couch-to-the-table. At least that's what she called it.

To make a long story even longer, I got in on the action, Howard decided to watch instead of help, I took a few futile swats at Magic and he scurried underneath my recliner. Apparently Howard's playing may have done a little damage because Speedy look like he may dropped a cylinder or two. He was limping. But limped underneath my recliner nonetheless.

This is the part where I learn the inner-workings of a Lazy Boy recliner! Turns out, Lazy Boys have this cool design, I think specifically for mice, where they have drilled a quarter size hole in the sides that allows something to go in between that actual side of the recliner and the upholstery. So, there is the wood side of the recliner, covered by fabric, and there is just a little space in between. So guess where the mouse went. Well, I beat, kicked, turned, pounded and shook the recliner to no end. Finally, all of the abuse must have taken its toll on Genius, and he started to ease his way out of the hole. He looked a little worse for the wear, so I grabbed my new trusty weapon, a wooden spoon from the kitchen, and knocked him out of the hole. I'll give the mouse credit, he was a resilient little critter...cause he hit the ground running...well limping....but even at a limp he was fast! But alas, he hit some open ground with nothing to protect him, and I wielding my trusty broom took one last fatal wallop (or two or three).

Killed that sucker! Threw him out of the house! Case closed!

Speedy the Genius Magician Mouse is no more!

My one question though is from Friday morning to Monday morning, where did that mouse go? Or I guess I should ask where did he stay? I mean, was he in the house the whole time? Was he just watching us walk by, while he laughed and planned his next move? And even worse, what good is it to have a cat if she can't sniff out the little varmint and take care of him? Really?!?!

So, to conclude this story, Karen and I survived the break-in, and we now have a Free Kitty to Good Home add in the paper! Any takers?

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