There’s a live shrew under the clothes-dryer.
At least there was this morning. I assume that it’s still there, and still alive, where someone “accidentally” dropped it and let it run under the dryer, and then left it.
I wonder who that someone could be?
Could her name begin with S and end with Overeign?
This little cabin in the woods, as it turns out, is Cat Heaven. There is an awesome abundance of shrews, moles, voles, field-mice, and a rodent I hadn’t actually seen until the other day, when Sovereign brought one near the house and released it intact — the Pacific Jumping Mouse (a beautiful creature that has a local children’s therapy center named after it — I had always just thought: “Nice name for a kid’s program,” not “Oh yeah, I’ve seen those.”).
Our kitteh, who is active and middle-agish, always tried to be a hunter in town. Turns out that being a blazing-white cat is not the best strategy for bird-hunting unless you live in the Tundra — but she tried, bless her heart, she tried. We were glad she wasn’t all that great at hunting birds, because we like bird-watching and domestic cats are a serious threat to some endangered song-birds.
Here, though? I’m beginning to think the rodents might be color-blind.
Since day two of our arrival here, she’s been logging a couple of shrews or voles per day, AND eating them to boot, then coming in and demanding a dish of regular food. She’s turned into Jungle Kitty, and apparently, all this hunting stuff is hungry work and the calorie-offset for a tiny vole is negligible — but they’re SO MUCH FUN TO CATCH!!!
The man who owns the land we’re staying on is delighted. The voles did some damage to his food garden last year, and are in need of thinning, in his view. We’re not inclined to complain, either — and it’s very entertaining to see only the tips of her white ears poking out of the tall grass, then watch her leap like an Arctic Fox up and over the tips of the foliage, landing on her prey.
This bringing it into the house thing, though? Yeah, that’s not gonna fly.
Today was the first, and we’ve already had a talk (or two) about this practice.
Right now, she’s sitting in the middle of the room, giving herself a thorough washing, the shrew is still under the dryer, and I’m thinking: “When the house settles into sleeping quiet and the games begin again, please — PLEASE — don’t chase it over my face — that’s all I ask.”
I wrote the post above yesterday, and now, I’m glad I waited to put it up, as there are DEVELOPMENTS!
This afternoon, Sovereign determined that it would be best for all of us if she brought in a second shrew and released it in the kitchen, so that it could run under the refrigerator. It seems clear that she must be running for office, with the slogan: “A SHREW UNDER EVERY APPLIANCE!”
Note: Still no sign of the shrew beneath the dryer, so I assumed it’s in cahoots with the campaign.
I was working on my book, so I got up temporarily for the kitchen excitement, and then went back to writing.
About an hour later, I see Sovereign skittering out of the laundry room, chasing a squeaking shrew, which now ran under the floor cushion that is Ashielah’s “office chair.” Sovereign watched the cushion for a few minutes, and then asked to be let out (no doubt in search of more cooperative campaign staff). I let her out, and then began talking to the shrew, assuring it that I wanted to help — that I would catch it gently under this yogurt container and release it far, far away in the forest — I moved all the cushions and boxes and baskets and things around its last known location, but . . . nothing.
So now, there’s a shrew in the office. I’m fairly certain that it is quite alive, and hopefully, not in my purse (which was on the floor during the kerfluffle).
(Nature Note: Shrews have very small voices. I suppose this makes sense, since they are, themselves, very small beings, but still . . . very. small. voices.)
And now, because both politics and hunting are such hard work, the cat must be coddled and cared for: