Mischief Incorporated: Mouse on the Ceiling?
How High Can a Mouse Climb?
I’m awakened by sounds of scuffling and the burbles that Starlight is famous for uttering. It’s 1:30 a.m. I’ve been sleeping on the sofa due to my ascension symptoms, so I’m right there in the living room.
The sounds are soft, but don’t stop. What is the Mischief Team up to at this hour?
My first reaction is to complain. Why are they waking me up? Starlight is perched on the back of a chair staring up at the ceiling.
“Starlight, get down.” I insist. Starlight, who usually is very attentive and does as she’s asked, ignores me. Hmmm. What’s going on here?
So I get up and grab the spray bottle full of water. Starlight hates being sprayed and I’ve agreed not to ever spray her as long as she responds to my requests. She’s ignoring me. I shake the bottle. She still ignores me.
Well, now I’m up and I don’t really want to spray her so I shuffle over to where she is. What is she looking at? I turn on the floor lamp and to my utter astonishment, there is a mouse on the ceiling.
OK. So the mouse photo is blurry, but it’s 1:30 a.m. and I’m not really very awake, but there is the mouse wishing it could go higher. I’m speechless. And I don’t have a clue what to do.
Starlight keeps making her sounds of frustration – little “Errrs” and “Erms” that indicate how much she really, really wants to get up there. But Starlight doesn’t like heights as much as other cats, having been a horse in her last life. So she finally gets off the chair and Melissa takes over.
Melissa is sizing up the situation. She’s not vocalizing at all. She’s calculating just how high up the mouse is, just how much of a leap is required. Can you see the wheels spinning in her head?
Melissa jumps. She lands on the wooden beam just inches below the mouse and begins to slide downward.
The mouse is terrified. It leaps into the top of the floor lamp. (See photo below of floor lamp.)
Melissa arrives at the floor and jumps onto the back of the chair again. She knows where the mouse went and is eyeing the lamp. Now I’m concerned that she’ll jump up there, too. I really don’t want that lamp destroyed and it will go down for sure if she lands in it.
Fortunately, there are incandescent lights in that lamp, and the mouse is finding that spot too hot for comfort. Before I can grab Melissa, the mouse leaps down onto the floor and Melissa goes right after it.
Now the chase is on once again.
Do I have sympathy for the mouse? Not much. The cats are young and are doing their job – keeping other animals out of the house. They’re well fed and won’t kill or eat the mouse. They’re just making sure that rodents don’t hang about here.
So the mouse soon got away. It got into a corner of the baseboard radiator. Where the pipes come in there’s plenty of space for a mouse to squeeze through.
The cats finally settle down. I praise them highly and go back to bed after awhile.
I have taken mice away from Violet and Sakhara when it seemed the mouse would be injured during exhuberant play.
This is not a situation where a cat is hunting for food. The Mischief Incorporated Team is doing their patrol duties. If they do them well, the mouse will have learned that coming into my house is just not worth the risk and will go about it’s life elsewhere.