Every now and again Henry disappears behind a cupboard or desk only to emerge again a little later covered in dust bunnies and cobwebs. He is a living duster.
I always thought he enjoyed this as part of discovering the nooks and crannies of our flat but now I’m not so sure anymore. Three, four nights ago he brought in a mouse and let it loose in our study. He tried to find it for a while behind the boxes and shelves and desks and then lost interest.
We closed the study door, resolved to find the little rodent in the morning when there would be better light. I heard it rummaging around in the morning and assumed it was still there and doing well.
By the time I got home from work our whole study had been turned upside down or rather inside out: most of it was standing on the patio. My husband had been mouse hunting, overseen by a bored and disinterested cat. But: No mouse. He was absolutely sure that the mouse could not have gotten out. But the room was definitely mouse-less. No squeek, no rustling.
Yet after a couple of days we couldn’t deny it anymore: there still was a mouse, it didn’t squeek anymore and it had started to smell.
We finally found the lifeless body of a little mouse, decomposing and seeping in the wooden floor behind the heavy desk. We removed it, buried what was left, cleaned the area, sanitised the area, put soda in an old sock to get rid of the smell. Our study hasn’t been so clean since we moved in.
I am beginning to suspect that this was Henry’s plan all along.