Very early this morning whilst dreaming about John McCain's angry, rolling bug eyes and the phrase "the failed (insert your favorite issue here) policies of the last eight years", at approximately 2:34 a.m., I heard a thud followed by a scurry and then Isabel's anxious whirring and howling. Scurry under the bed, scurry around the bedroom. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle. More howling and a little whining. I figured she just had a bad case of the midnight crazies.
"Isabel! Shut up!" (Yes, we know yelling at the cats really is not all that effective a deterrent, yet for some reason we do it anyway.)
By now, Ryan and I were both wide awake and wondering what the hell was going on. Something had Isabel ALL worked up and it was obvious we would not be sleeping until this issue was resolved.
"I'm turning on the light."
I peered over the end of the bed, blinking as my eyes adjusted to the sudden assault of light. Isabel was hunkered down, crouched over something. And then, under her paws, I saw the little tail swish. And then she let the poor thing go and it took off. We watched Isabel play a cruel game of catch and release with the creature until Ryan got out of bed, captured the thing, took it downstairs and let it go outside.
This is the second time this month the cats have proven themselves to be at least halfway decent mousers. A few weeks ago while Julia and Matt were visiting us, the cats discovered and chased a cute little brown one all over the house. The darn thing ran up Ryan's pant-leg to get away from everyone. Ryan ran outside, clutching at his jeans, to let it go. About a half an hour later, when things had calmed down a bit, we were sitting on the couch in the living room when his face paled.
"I think it's still in my pants, " he said.
We went out to the back porch. He took off his jeans and shook them and out dropped the mouse. We let that one go outside, too.
At this point, mice in our house are no big deal anymore. As in, I know they're around and I don't freak out about them. Though they seem to have a relatively high entertainment value, I just don't want them pulling out the couch stuffing. I thought the buggers were coming in to the house from the cellar by way of the water pipes under the kitchen sink. I had jammed a bunch of steel wool under there, so either that didn't work, or they're infiltrating from elsewhere.
Please let me know if you have any suggestions for humane pest control.