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Monday, September 23, 2013
Hunting Season Starts Early in Newport
Not afraid of the big green frog
Checking the wiring
Back to sleep
By Manfried Rieder Starhemberg
It was a lovely Sunday for sports fans. Our day started with the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at 7:30 and the results were eminently satisfying for this ex-Austrian because every time Sebastian Vettel wins, they have to play the Austrian anthem for the winning Red Bull team, like it or not you Ferrari fans out there. Then of course we had the America's Cup races from San Francisco in the afternoon and the NASCAR Sprint cup race from nearby Laudon, New Hampshire followed by a great NFL bout between the Bills and the Jets. The jets won after accumulating about 150 penalty yards in a riotous massacre where penalty flags were waved as in a Fourth-of-July parade.
In the middle of the game we saw a mouse. There are four cats in the house and we had assumed that mice would not be a problem in our lovely home on Prospect street and they had not been for the past year and a half that we have lived here. But there it was. A mouse! It appeared briefly, we chased it and when last we saw it it had disappeared into the depths of the clothes closet. Flashlights and brooms were engaged, I even considered donning my 30 year old Abercrombie and Fitch hunting jacket to add some spice to the hunt, or at least the old Pith helmet I like to wear when I stalk the occasional wildebeast in my ancient Landrover. Alas, just like I can never find a wildebeast, the mouse had made good its escape.
Just after we had settled back to the third quarter of the Bills-Jets melee, there it was again on top of my green frog cooling fan. Having always had the aspiration to work for National Geographic as a wildlife photographer, I had my point-and-shoot Olympus to hand and begun snapping away. The mouse was not impressed. Neither were our senior car Sidney (center couch), junior male cat Marble, reposing in Nancy's lap, grandma cat Fluffy who watched the proceedings with detached interest from floor center.
The mouse moved freely about the room until our kitten Brownie sat bolt upright on the bed and pounced. The mouse never had a chance. It took Brownie about two seconds to grab it and present it to us with eminent satisfaction.Being a young kitten and probably intending to have a long game of this, the mouse was unharmed and I persuaded Brownie to let me do catch and release. I managed to save the mouse and put it outside, apparently shook up but unharmed which makes for a happy ending to the beginning of hunting season in my Newport game reserve.
And Brownie went back to sleep and all the other domestic creatures had blissfully slept through it all.