It’s 5:30 a.m. and we have finally captured little Stuart. He happily rests atop a piece of whole grain bread in an antique pickle jar (which up until moments earlier contained dry cat food).
WE -- because this was a team effort led by Rocky (cat) with Pita (dog) and Shadow (dog) bringing up the rear. The adventure began last night while we were enjoying the massive snowfall, from the inside looking out, of course. On the telephone in her bedroom, Katie loudly announced, “Mooommm… Rocky has a mouse!”
Despite Rocky’s attempts to catch and hold the fuzzy little rodent, he was so tiny that he quickly escaped the feline grasp. After Katie tossed me a large plastic cup to hold the wild critter, the five of us ran in and out of rooms throughout the house in hot pursuit.
So close so many times, but he eluded us! Our evening was filled with watching the snow fall, checking the news to watch more snow fall, and keeping watch for our furry friend as he scurried across the hardwood floor.
Finally drifting off to sleep around midnight, all was quiet… The dogs were nestled asleep on their beds; not a creature was stirring, not even… But WAIT! The soft pattering of cat paws became louder and more deliberate, as Rocky once again encountered his new-found pal. Rallying the troops, he soon chased through the dining room, into the family room, back through the hall and into the bedrooms, playing tag with Pita and Shadow and a not-so-willing little Stuart. Despite my attempts to put this game off until the daylight hours, the race resumed several times during the wee hours.
Shortly before 5, as one of the team members ran across my sleeping body, obviously taking a shorter route to catch up with his pal, I decided to join in. Through the hall, into the kitchen, back around to the dining room, around the boxes (note to self: finish unpacking or throw this stuff into the garage…), under the coffee table, behind the couch and between the blanket chest, little Stuart was getting tired. Not so for the team! With Rocky at one end and my flashlight and cup at the other end, I attempted to carefully poke a broom handle between the couch and chest to prod our furry friend into the safety of the cup. Without hesitation, little Stuart squeezed himself under the couch, turned around, and poked his twitching little nose out to see if we were still waiting for him.
Another chase behind the buffet, under the dining table, back behind the couch, and under the fireplace hearth led our buddy to safety behind a stack of suitcases on the floor. Again, with Rocky at one end and my flashlight and cup at the other end, I was able to slowly and safely move the stack away from the wall to expose a very tired, nearly sleeping, little Stuart. Gently, I reached behind the suitcases and carefully cupped my hand around this little creature and placed him safely into the plastic cup.
Rocky is still waiting at his end of the suitcase stack for his friend to re-appear. The other two members of the team, totally exhausted from the chase, are fast asleep on their blankets. And hopefully, sometime this morning when Katie finally rolls over on the couch (where she fell asleep watching the snow) and is face-to-face with the pickle jar sitting on the coffee table, her screams won’t awaken a sleeping little Stuart.