Wednesday, 4 March 2009

I Hate Those Meeces To Pieces!

Who hasn't heard that well worn phrase from the cartoon Mr Jinks? Anvilcloud and Cuppa, I suspect, thoroughly agree with this statement, but I have mixed feelings. As a very young child peering over Gran's garden wall to see the pet white mice of the boy next door, I thought they were beautiful and my eyes went greener than normal with envy. They have certainly never inspired terror, though I soon realised that the wild variety were not welcome indoors.

We lived on the top floor of a three story house, when I was little. It was not particularly large, for a flat, though the individual rooms were high ceilinged, and spacious. My Bro, (minus the Bush Face at this stage of his life), slept in a cot to the right of Mum and Dad's bed, and my little bed was in an alcove on the opposite side of the room, to the left of the fireplace. Yes, a proper fireplace in a bedroom. The house was quite grand, as houses go, and must have been lovely before it was divided into flats. Anyhow, underneath my bed, there was just enough space to accommodate the enormous, family Bible that was originally Gran's. It was of a size more usually found on a lectern in a church, and sported a gold tooled, leather binding with ornate brass clasps.

On night, tucked up and waiting for sleep to come (I was a bad sleeper, even then), I heard a strange, rasping noise coming from below my bed. 'Mum, Mum!' I called out.
In comes Mama, 'What's up?'.
'There's something under my bed!'
'Rubbish, of course there isn't! Go to sleep!'
'But Mum..'
'Go to sleep!'
If you'd met my Mama, you'd have known why this was enough to quash further protestation. She was a bit like a little Bantam Fighting cock, when roused.
I continued to lie there, quietly, listening to the intermittent tappitty-rasp, tappity-rasp.

Eventually, time came for Mum and Dad ( on leave for once!) to climb into bed, too. Bro slept peacefully; the remaining three of us lay in the dark, with varying degrees of hope that sleep would claim us.
Tappity-rasp, tappity-rasp broke the silence, yet again...Murmuring from parental bed, and jubilant protestation from mine - 'I told you there was something under my bed!'

Dad came over and peered underneath - 'It's a mouse. Quick shut the door!' he called across to Mum. For the next few minutes there was of shuffling around of humans, and scurrying around of mouse, until suddenly, Whump! Dad grabbed his hefty, green Naval case from the corner and banged it down on the furry intruder. It was a very tiny field mouse, no doubt an overspill from the bottom of the garden hen house, full of chickens kept by the Baker. He owned the building, and lived in the middle flat.

I was glad the noise of gnawing teeth on leather and brass had come to an end, but sad for the mouse...

Many years later, my children bought a pet mouse each with their pocket money. It was shortly after we had acquired a small kitten, too, and I used to joke they were for emergency food rations, should the tins of KittyKat run out. Luckily they never did.

Cat and Mouse

Smooth black fur in elegant undulations,
ecstatic expression in half closed eyes.
Cat purrs gently. Resonant, soft vibrations
set whiskers a-quiver and then Cat sighs.

Front paws folded, tail tucked, neatly composed
her sleek head lowers. At last, she sleeps.
Quite close by to Cat lying deep in repose,
mice scamper stealthily. Creep, mice, creep!


  1. I was kind of brought up to fear mice. One night when I had chanced to take me to the loo, I was sitting there dreaming - like you do - when a mose eppeared from behind the wash basin pedestal and ran over my foot. I have not been afeared of them since, but I was terribly upset when my grandad, with whom we lived, blocked up a small hole from which he concluded the mouse must have emerged. I had visions of the poor thing starving to death in its hole, unable to get out.

  2. Jinksy, I love your description of your mum - I can see her clearly!

    At one point in my life, I inherited a quasi step-sister who had two lovely girls, whom I used to have to stay with my then little son at weekends, I referred to them as my Step-Nieces - My OH always, always, referred to them as 'The Meeces!' Lovely again, Jinks x

  3. Anvilcloud and Cuppa... nope, you lost me!

    Your mum sounds suspiciously like my mum. I would have thought long and hard before I woke her in the middle of the night... she's not exactly an...erm... morning person. She kinda reminds me of a vampire!

  4. I have read that cats have to be taught to mouse. Ours seems to have proven that it's true. In this post, there are two photos our our present cat ignoring a squirrel.

  5. Somewhere in the cove on my mountain, a tiny mountain mouse has a beautiful soft bed made of dark chocolate brown boa feathers made in New Orleans - *laughing* -- we caught the little mouse and threw him out - but not before he had taken all but a stump of my boa -all this unknown by me until I picked it up and said "AUUUGHHH! my boa from new orleans!" -- it was in the downstairs where we rarely are....

    My mom has become The Cat Lady---omg--my brothers and I are laughing our arses off about this.

  6. LOL! Personally I don't understand why anyone would want to own a mouse. :)

  7. Front paws folded, tail tucked, neatly composed
    her sleek head lowers. At last, she sleeps

    loved the poem

  8. Loved your cat poem, Jinksy! I have a coal black mama kitty with gorgeous green eyes. I can see her in your poem. Thankfully, I have no meeces!

  9. Oh boy, a mouse popped out of the cereal packet the other morning.. eeek!

    You have triggered so many memories for me with this post. One time my big bruv' decided to open a small pet zoo in the shed.. aw, it's far too rambling for me to recount in here - grin. I may need to give you a credit in my next post-to-be (wink). I loved your reference to fireplaces in the bedroom, I also grew up with those (and yes, in a tenament - kind of an equivalent to a flat). No hot water, no central heating and an outdoor loo - ah, those were the days!

  10. My brother once had sort of a golden retriever dog and they lived in an appartment not unlike the one you described.
    One evening, my brother sat on the couch watching television, Atos the dog asleep at his feet, when out of the corner of the room two mice appeared. My brother yelled: "ATOS, GET THEM!" Atos woke up, saw the mice and ...... jumped up on the sofa where he sat trembling on my brothers lap!

    Atos, our hero!

  11. I don't really fear mice if I know where they are and I can keep a healthy distance away from me. we had river rats around our home when I was young and they would gnaw their way into the house we lived in and I think that is where my fear of anything connected with rats comes from. I am morbidly afraid of a rat.

  12. Cute poem.
    My grandson buys dead frozen mice to thaw out and feed to his python. I think I would rather have him raising mice.

  13. I have never before this moment had a whisker. I like that!

  14. I took a lid off a trash can at a state park one time and a raccoon jumped out. I'm not kidding. 'bout scared me to death.

  15. Congrats on your David McMahon Post of the Day today (Thursday). Always well-deserved, la Jinks! x

  16. Great post, Jinsky. I can get such a clear image of your mum's body language in my mind. I do feel bad for the little critter though. I was foolish enough to grab a mouse which I found in my kitchen a while back and let him go outside. It was only afterward that I was reminded of how deeply they can bite. But it didn't.

  17. Made three trys at different times at commenting on your March 5th post but kept getting a " I'm Sorry" sign.
    I have sent out well over one hundred things that I have sold on e-Bay and they all arrived where they were supposed to go. But I get a receipt for every package and insure anything worth over $25.


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