This was not a good way to start a Thursday morning.
The dead mouse in question was an actual, literal dead mouse, not a metaphorical dead mouse. I found him, at 5.13 this morning. He had drowned in the downstairs toilet.
This raises so many questions, of which the most intriguing is: how the hell did he get there? Two obvious scenarios present themselves. He could have somehow scaled the smooth, shiny ceramic and dived into the bowl for a spot of late night skinny dipping. I looked carefully, but there was no set of tiny mouse-sized crampons or ropes that he would surely have needed. The other possibility was that this mouse was a daredevil, intrepid little bugger who was scuba-diving in our plumbing and had taken a wrong turn somewhere. But again, I saw no snorkel or aqualung.
I am ruling out suicide. There was no note.
Anyway, I was so traumatized by the sight of this dead mouse in our loo that I made sure to show the children before I fished him out. I shall be interested to see if we get any funny looks from Catherine’s teachers in the next few days. Heaven knows what questions she may be asking them even as I type this.
The episode also put me in mind of a scene in my first book, Working it Out, wherein the hero tried (for reasons too complicated to go into here) to drown a hamster in a toilet bowl. In that instance, the hamster was luckier than our mouse. I would never presume to call that novel “art”, but you know what they say about life imitating…
Ah, Alex, your family needs to spend the night in the country at my house with our two seemingly lanquid house cats that regularly bring their freshly dead (and often not so dead) prey through the doggie door and into our lives on a regular basis. We’ve got mice out here that would much prefer a drowning death, so don’t rule out suicide just yet.
My husband and I (and sometimes my 92 year old mother) have defined roles in re-catching the prey that gets away once they’ve come through the door. Shouts of “I need your help,” send me flying to the garage for the broom and butterfly net and then we begin our advance and retreat dance based on just how lively the speciman might be! It makes for exciting family fun and after one evening I believe you will be totally dead mouse desensitized. Let me know if you’re interested in experiencing such a moment–arrangements can be made.
over espresso someday, I will share with you some of the sordid dead mouse stories of my life.
The funniest part of the story was you solemnly proclaiming “I have shown the children.” Second funniest was Catherine, who let us know she “saw” the mouse again (i.e, actually went downstairs by herself and looked in). “I think he’s deader,” she said.
I have been told that this is not unusual, finding a dead mouse in the toilet.
This all puts me in mind of that old joke:
Diner: “Waiter, what’s this fly doing in my soup?”
Waiter: “The backstroke, sir.”
Have you considered the possibility that it was a sewer rat and that he swam up the pipe from “down there” in the depths of the sewer?