Suburban Safari

Ordinarily arriving in the winter, they unsurprisingly are seeking warmth indoors. Who wouldn’t?

It’s not, in other words, our wonderful, bubbling personalities, the beautiful, tasteful décor or the meticulous, hospital-like housekeeping that draws them.

Crafty, not to mention skinny, if they can cram their skulls through a space, the rest of them will follow.

Not especially fussy eaters, most any crumb of any kind will do. And, if no crumbs are present, they gnaw. On everything.

Once, years ago, I complained to my heating service company that the heating system they had just serviced – which, mostly, seemed an awful lot like vacuuming, but then I’m not an expert at this – to the tune of 150 American dollars would not produce heat.

Want to guess what season of the year this might have been?

But the problem wasn’t the heating system. Someone had gnawed through a wire connected to the thermostat and that ambition had deactivated the device.

This summer, the oppressive, desert-like 70-degree western New York July heat drove at least one in to my comfortable, nicely air-conditioned house.

Or, maybe, in my neighborhood, they’ve just become decadent, privileged, overly pampered bourgeoisie.

Discovered on one of my rare trips to the basement workroom, the bold intruder was as startled to see me as I was he. (I don’t really know its sex.)

Kind of a punk, the mouse’s tail was as long as the rest of him. (The oppression is unending.)

Fine, I thought. But didn’t mean it.

After changing into a head-to-toe khaki outfit, the kind with about a zillion pockets, and locating my trusty pith helmet, I was ready for action.

The stuff that makes the critters thirsty and, the advertising claims, drives them outdoors for satisfaction, was laid out.

Soon after, the culprit was rendered immobile.

The next day, though, I found another. This one was outside the garage door.

Then, the day after, 50 feet from the house and while walking up the driveway to retrieve my garbage can, another lay motionless on the gravel.

I’m beginning to suspect the cat. The cat I don’t own. (Or rent.)

The peripatetic cat who wanders by every now and again. From where, I don’t know.

It’s hunting season.