It’s miracle that anyone married me. When my future wife, Bobbalee, and I were first dating, I asked her if she would pick up my cat from the vet. I had recently purchased a Siamese at the humane society to handle a serious mouse problem. However, Missy had a few bad teeth. Bobbalee asked me why she was at the vet.
“She had to have some teeth pulled.”
“When you pick her up, would you ask the vet when her dentures will be ready?”
She picked my cat up and asked the vet about the dentures.
“He told you she’s getting dentures?”
“You shouldn’t listen to anything he says.”
On another date, I invited Bobbalee out to see my trailer and have lunch. My new cat was sitting on the table looking at her empty food bowl when Bobbalee came in.
“You let your cat eat on the table?”
“If I put her food on the floor, the mice steal it.”
I thought I would win the mouse battle. Both Missy and my dog were exceptional mousers. However, Missy had a bad habit of bringing the mice to bed. Because she had weak teeth, the mice were usually alive. The first time it happened, it was too dark for me to see what was going on but I could feel the cat lunging from one side of the bed to the other. Then the dog jumped on the bed.
I turned on my reading lamp, and they all stopped to look at me. For a second, I did not notice the mouse but, when I did, I panicked and all three of them went flying off the bed. I told Bobbalee about it but I think should not have. When I invited her out to my place again, she hesitated.
After some begging, she agreed to watch a movie at my place.
The day I was supposed to pick her up, I got up before sunrise to drive to work. As I got on the highway, I saw what appeared to be three squid tentacles emerge from underneath the hood of the pickup right in front of the windshield on the driver’s side. They were very thin tentacles and waved gently in the breeze like limp fingers.
There is something about seeing a monster creeping out of the hood of your truck shortly after leaving the dream world of sleep that makes it especially horrific. In response, I drove faster, hoping that a strong breeze would blow them away. Instead, the tentacles grew longer.
When I parked the truck, the tentacles were still moving. I lifted the hood up, and there were three deer mice cowering in the back of the engine compartment. They evidently climbed onto the engine to stay warm, and then ran to the back of the compartment when I started the truck. The motion of the air inside the engine compartment then forced their tails through the crack in the hood to make the tentacles I saw.
With a little encouragement, they jumped out of the engine compartment to start a new life in town. I should not have told Bobbalee about that one, either.
“I guess I don’t want to go out to your place,” she said after hearing my story.
“Can we just walk downtown and have pizza instead?”
“We could ride in my truck.”
“Hmm. Did you check for more mice in your truck?”
I said yes.
“How about your coat? Any in your pockets?”
I said no.
“What about that box you have? Mouse free?”
“It’s a box of chocolates. It’s Valentine’s Day.”
Ed Hughes can be reached at (715) 365-1070.