What's Better than Morning Coffee? Certainly not a Mouse.

Some people like to wake in the mornings with a warm cup of coffee. I do too. I did just that this morning, and it was so good. But then I got that extra, unexpected double espresso shot that wasn’t quite as enjoyable as if it were a real double espresso shot.

Since it’s been really cold outside, not only are the humans staying inside to keep warm, the little field mice are moving inside for the very same reason. I can’t blame them, I suppose. They don’t have little mouse-sized scarves to keep them warm.

Most people with cats don’t have to worry about rodents, but mine are not country cats. They came from the city where things were very different and they simply don’t chase mice. They did little more than chase a fly every now and again in the city.

Flora’s failing health and loss of sight gives her a good excuse to not be a mouser, but Frey, on the other hand, is just plain lazy.

Lydia is far too big and clumsy to be of any use in the rodent control department.

But Oliver is just right for the job, or at least he’s applying for the position.

We thought something was amiss a couple days ago when he began stalking the shelf by the front door. I keep my chicken snacks on the shelf and a big, lidless can of dog food next to the shelf. It’s convenient for me during my cores, and apparently, it’s a convenient snack bar for a mouse. David discovered last night that was what the stalking was about when he actually spied the little varmint, but he couldn’t get hold of him.

This morning Oliver was back to mouse duty. As I was scooping food out of the very bottom of the can to fill the dogs’ bowls, I was thinking to myself how convenient it would be if the mouse just fell in the can and since he wouldn’t be able to get out, we could simply scoop him out and serve an eviction notice. It never actually crossed my mind to turn on a light and look in the can to see if he was actually already there. Upon entering the kitchen with the scoop of dog food and bending over to pour it into the dog bowl, that is when I learned that is exactly what had happened and suddenly I found myself eye ball to beady eyeball with a mouse as he ran straight up my arm and right toward my face. I screamed and swung my arm, sending him sailing across the kitchen. I started yelling Oliver’s name as the mouse stood, stunned, in the middle of the kitchen. Jumping and pointing, still calling Oliver, the mouse got away. Oliver never moved from his spot but just looked at me. In my panic, the poor little guy took my screaming to be directed at him instead of calling him, and he thought he was in trouble.

I felt terrible about scaring the poor dog, but after some comforting and hugs, Oliver’s tail is wagging again. I even got a nice kiss before I left for work.

And that is how my morning began.

Also, I am now at war with a mouse.