"A toy one?"
"Very much not." Esme, tail puffed to previously unforeseen volume, hunched over and dropped the poor mousie. It made a dash for freedom. My tiny kitty let it skitter off for a good six inches before pouncing and reclaiming her prize.
Don raced downstairs to join our strange gathering. I was heaping praise upon my one-eyed kitty. "Such a brave girl! So clever and doughty and mettlesome!" If I thought that might induce her to turn over her prize, I was greatly mistaken. She cocked her head to train her good eye upon me, growled, and raced upstairs.
"She's going up!" cried my husband.
"Follow her!" I urged.
"She's too quick. I lost her!"
"Check the bathroom. That's where she took the shrew..." I skidded to a stop as the living room came into view. In the glow of my computer monitor, I saw her. "Holy... she took the mouse to my mouse." Indeed, Esme had dropped the poor rodent onto the dining room table. Right next to my computer. Directly on top of my mouse pad. I dashed into my mostly denuded kitchen and scrabbled about for a likely container. Mason jar in hand, I raced back to the table. By this time, the epic battle had ranged back to the floor and wasn't so much tooth-and-claw as well-placed-paw. Edging past the kitty, I popped the jar over the mouse. Esme sat back and looked at me with utter disbelief. "Give her a treat," Don suggested. "Oh, wait..."
Wait, indeed. Esme doesn't care for kitty treats. "People snacks!" I cried. A bag of Flat Earth Tomato Ranch crisps was unearthed from the pantry. I fed her a few crumbs as I sang her virtues. The poor mouse scrabbled at the sides of the jar and let loose with a prodigious amount of pee. At last, we slid some cardboard beneath the mouth of the jar and set the much-beset critter into the night. I don't know that he'll make it, but he certainly was no safer inside.
The other cats slept through the entire incident. Esme has been prancing about like the pretty pretty