With two young cats around the house there are also lots of toys about the place. These include 4 or 5 ping-pong balls that they love kicking around. Minnie, especially, loves it when I throw one up the stairs to the corner where it hits the wall and, barely before it has the time to bounce off the wall, she is there. Kicking it between her legs, turning somersaults and chasing it down the stairs, trying to catch it as it bounces high in the air when it hits the wooden floor.
As you can imagine, these ping-pong balls are always disappearing under the furniture; two bookcases, a dresser and small plan chest of drawers. All these pieces have fishtail designs around the bottom, so it is difficult for the cats to get their paws in to scoop them out.
I know when one has gone under the furniture as Minnie, as it is nearly always she, sits by the bookcase or whatever, or sticks her
arm leg in, to try to scoop it out.
It happened thus, this morning. “Lost your bally?” (sorry, cat-talk), I said. Using the handle end of a dressage whip, kept indoors for just this purpose, I got down flat on my tummy to peer under the bookcase. Aha, there it was, in the gloom, right at the back. So I bashed it, with the handle of the dressage whip, as is my want, expecting it to come shooting out the other end. But it didn’t.
I looked again and there was nothing there. “Oh dear,” I said to Minnie who was breathing down my neck, “there’s nothing there after all!”
Not wanting to disappoint her, I checked on the other side of the fishtail. Aha, there was one there! So, again, head flat on the floor in front of the bookcase, but more gently this time, I tried to scoop it out. In the gloom, at eye level, not six inches from my nose, I saw some tiny scrabbling legs. EEeeeeeek!! its’ a mouse!!!!! I said, as I jumped up, glad that it hadn’t shot out into my face!
I walked away, feeling awful that I had bashed it with the dressage whip and leaving Minnie to her efforts to extricate it.