Anyone remember shouting that macabre nursery rhyme with a shudder of fear and glee? I found myself wielding a cleaver and menacingly stomping about not too long ago with these words spilling out of my mouth. I distinctly remember emphasising my cutting intent. This vicious streak developed over a few weeks in a shared flat while I was at university. My flatmates were not the problem. We had a mouse situation. In the old tenement buildings of Edinburgh, if one flat has an infestation of these little rodents, then every flat in that block is at risk. I imagine we took turns housing mice over the year.
Initially, I was fond of these little creatures. I found one staring at me from the carpet just as I woke up one morning, its big eyes pleading with my good side. We all named it Ralph. Then there was another. I heard it being called Ralphette. Then there was a happy little family but by this point I was not on Team Mouse. I was firmly on Team House having to do hourly clean-ups of all food-prep areas. I went through every level of frustration and even considered calling a truce, trying to negotiate a mouse-box with food and water. There were no friendly squeaks. It became a war. We moved. Next winter, same thing.
Enter neighbour’s cat, Larson.
This cat is as macho as they come. He tracked them, prowling ever so stealthily, pounced and then let them go. [WHAT?! ] He did this on repeat, progressed to sitting and just letting his wrist do the work, often pinning mice by their tails when they dared to run away. Finally, when he got bored we would hear a crunching sound and that was that. Larson did not get so good without being trained. He probably had a mouse-toy keeping him in top form in the lean summer months.
I grew up with a cat called Kit Kat who had similar hunting prowess. She would bring in birds and other mangled little creatures from her sessions in the wild. She might have caught mice too for all I know. In loving memory of her, I embarked on:
Thursday Challenge #2 Attempting to follow Martha Stewart’s Mouse Toy Sewing Instructions. Here’s my summary of what went down.
I eye-balled the pattern instead of printing the PDF out. Straightforward instructions except for the ears. I didn’t have fusible webbing so I sewed the two pieces right sides together and turned it out and then hand-sewed it on the finished body. Also, I have a minor allergic reaction to turning tubes inside-out as was suggested for the tails, so I sewed some ribbon in half to get a similar effect.
I decided to keep my mice blind so they don’t have to see the scary cat adding an extra dimension to the old cat and mouse game. No imploring eyes but maybe the cat will take pity on three blind mice.
Three blind mice.
See how they run.
See how they run.
They all ran after the farmer’s wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a thing in your life,
As three blind mice?