Mouse Hockey

I’ve watched a fair amount of the Olympic games over the last couple of weeks. It’s great to see those young athletes going for the gold. To achieve Olympic style greatness requires a goodly amount of stick-to-itiveness. It requires us to set aside things that distract. Things that want to pull us away from that which we are called to. It is a single-minded determination that brings champions to the medal stage. When we are called to a purpose, and we each are, staying focused on that purpose is a challenge.

Our family has recently taken up our own sort of odd Olympic event. As I watch some of what is now considered “Games” material, I have hope that our new event might one day make it into the Olympic Games. Even some of the past Olympic events like Pigeon Shooting and the Long Jump for horses give me hope for our event.

I’ve mentioned before that our house is nestled in the woods with all the flora and fauna. Sometimes the fauna wants to come inside. This is not pleasing to me. I have three cats who are welcome inside, this is enough.

Occasionally, a field mouse will decide to venture in. I’m not sure why. Did I mention the three cats?

A few nights ago, while my husband and I were both occupied on our computers, my youngest son came barreling upstairs to announce that there was a mouse under our stove. “How can you tell?” I asked. “Because all three cats are staring at the stove.” He replied.

Okay. Could be. We’ve been through this before.

My husband and I decide to go check it out. On the way down, I ask, “What’s our plan?” Meaning… should one of the cats actually catch it, what do we do then? Matthew was not ready with an answer. I don’t think he was convinced we needed a plan.

But we soon discovered that we did. About the time we got to the door of our kitchen our smallest cat, and best hunter, lunged for the little mouse that had decided to make a break for it. His ability to scoop up little critters, while having no claws, is impressive.

We have experienced this situation before. We all went into mouse mode. Evan ran upstairs to close off all bedroom doors. I closed off all the doors on the main floor.

My daughter climbed up on a chair.

We knew our kitty would not go in for the kill right away. He likes to play with his food. He also knew we would try to take it from him.

I stood at the ready in the opening to the kitchen that leads to the den, armed with a mop. My husband, stood at the door to the dining room, armed with a broom. The cat made his choice, faked left and broke right. I went left and he shot past me and up the steps with the mouse in his mouth. We chased him, mouse in mouth, back downstairs and into the dining room this time. Again, we took up posts at the doors, armed with our mops and brooms. Each time the cat would drop the mouse for another game of chase, it would run toward us and we’d push it back into the dining room with our tools. The mouse would slide back across the hardwoods toward the cat who would continue his game of …well… cat and mouse.

Finally, my husband handed off the broom to Evan and grabbed a cardboard box from the basement. Since it did not appear the cat was going to kill the mouse anytime soon, (he was enjoying the game to much) the plan, then, was to trap the mouse in the box and dispose of it.

Our game of mouse hockey was full of excitement and a lot of screaming and laughing. I’ll skip the part where, when the mouse ran over his foot, my husband screamed like a girl.

I have to hand it to the little rodent, he gave a great effort, too. Together, we closed in on the mouse with our brooms, mop, and box. With impressive talent, my husband managed to trap the little thing in the box and close the lid. We were fine for the cat to kill the mouse, that’s all about the call of the wild and survival of the fittest stuff, but we are not mouse killers.

With the mouse securely in the box, my daughter and I walked it FAR away from our house. We set the box down by the side of the road, and hightailed it back home. We did take note of a house not too far away that has sat empty for a while, now has people fixing it up. I’m thinking that little mouse, and the two who showed up two nights later are coming from there. Great.

We are perfecting our skills in the game of Mouse Hockey. Unfortunately, or fortunately, one mouse did not survive the cat. But we move into mouse hockey mode like a well-oiled machine now.

Practice makes perfect, whether it’s a track and field Olympic event, Mouse Hockey, or something like our Jesus following, heart winning, Christian life. When we are called into action, we slide into it like a hand in a glove. It’s who we are then. We are ready, because we have prepared.

So what do you think?

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