I caught a mouse on the street this evening. I spotted him hopping over the cobbles outside my local pub. Initially, I gave chase merely for the excercise, never expecting to catch something so nimble as a wee mouse. However, the streets are well maintained in certain parts of Edinburgh, and there were no nooks or crannies for him to escape down. He moved left and right along the curb, but over a long distance could not match my stride, and I always overtook him. Eventually, I was able to wrap my claws around the mouse, and engulf him in the prison of my palm.
It is strange to feel another creature’s heart beating so fast. He bit me a couple of times on the finger, but my grip only tightened. He soon learnt to keep still and take deep breaths.
Back in my flat, I deposited the mouse into a tupperware box and covered the top with pierced tin-foil. I added a small piece of bread to the box, and then sat back, in silence, to watch my new guest.
I have to say, it was rather awkward. He clearly felt uneasy in his new surroundings and did not care for the food I had provided. He just sat there panting, occassionally breaking the monotony by jumping up to the roof of his accomodation in a frantic bid for freedom.
Thinking ahead, it soon became apparent that going to bed would be difficult, knowing that a small rodent was in distress in my hallway. Lacking a hamster wheel or one of those plastic rolling balls, it became obvious to me that the entertainment from my new pet would be limited, and I soon resolved to release him into my back garden.
I took the plastic box down the stairs, and peeled back the foil. The mouse hopped out in an instant, and made for the door that led outside. The lighting in the tenament stairwell is pretty poor, and I did not actually see him slip out… but he was gone, and I was relieved that I was no longer responsible for the creature.
I was left with an empty tupperware box and the scrap of bread. Having no use for the leftovers, I pulled open the back door, and threw the bread out onto the steps that lead out into the yard. As the bread landed, I noticed a flash of black and white in the darkness: The cat from next door, out for a stroll.