This afternoon, I went downstairs to fold the laundry that was in the drier. As I descended, I heard Isabeau meow. I thought she was in the kitchen, chattering to Don, who'd just come back in from a hard hour of hauling and chopping up deadfall. I'd been folding clean socks and undies for a good three or four minutes when I heard her again. This time, she sounded sort of muffled, but closer. Casting my eye about the basement, I saw her just past the litterboxes - right near the pet safe sonic-mouse-scarer-thingy. She was all but bouncing around, flinging her head back and tossing...
OH DEAR GODS! Mouse. Mouse there, with my cat, being flung about. Mouse!*
I half-shrieked, "Don! I need your help in the basement. uh. NOW."
"What's wrong?" he hastened to the stairs, no doubt fearful for my safety.
I was already moving toward Isabeau. "Mouse," was about all I could manage.
"Is it alive?" he asked.
By this time, I'd scooped up Isabeau, getting white hair all over the clean boxers I'd forgotten I was still holding. I looked down at the body. Its four paws were curled up tightly. The skinny tail lay limp. Several impressions - as of feline teeth - dotted its lovely tan and white fur. "I'm fairly certain," I replied, "that it's not."
Meanwhile, the other three cats just had to know what was going on. I juggled Isabeau and the clean but increasingly cat-haired boxers while placing my body - and feet - between the deceased and the curious onlookers. Don swept into action, dispatching the body with aplomb. Also, with a broom and dustpan. Once the corpse had been removed, I set Isabeau back down, praising her prowess (though I sort of wonder if she didn't just find the body and go to town with her 'new toy') and offering treats. She ate these with queenly graciousness before returning to the scene of the slaughter, whereon she curled up on the concrete and allowed Don and I to praise her further.
Tomorrow, I buy the catch and release traps.
*Once again, I feel it important to point out that I am not, I repeat: NOT, afraid of mice. Not even a little. My shrieking was a reaction to being startled. Just thought you should know.