Ah, here it is, an increasingly rare post from Jonathan on the blog!
Before we leave for a somewhat longer journey, we needed a test run with our kayaks on the new Yakima roof rack system on the Newbaru to make sure that everything was OK. The old Yakima system we had on Oldbaru I, II, and III would not work on Newbaru. The bar length and type was different, too, so we needed this test run. Also needing clothes for that journey, Jenny did a load of laundry Sunday morning and hung it up while I was getting some things ready for our trip. The plan was to go to the storage units to retrieve the kayaks and gear, head out to Moraine for a paddle, catch some dinner on our way home at Log Cabin Inn, and finally unload the boats and gear to the house for preparations for our upcoming trip.
The trip went great. We got to see a blue heron and several falcons, in addition to plenty of fish, other small birds and animals, a few deer, and a ton of other sailboats, kayaks, and people. We even helped tow a swamped kayak and its also-swamped paddler to shore so they could bail their boat and get floating again.
After we arrived home, the plan was that Jenny would head into the back yard to take down the laundry from the line while I unloaded the car and moved the boats from the front yard. This worked well and got all of the jobs finished quickly. When we were both inside, we got some drinks and finished putting the stuff from the cooler back into the ‘fridge. That’s when I noticed our cat, Dandelion, playing with the laundry basket. A lot. She sometimes plays with the baskets or clothes hanging over the edge, but it’s normally a passing fancy. This was not a passing fancy. This was a mission. She started on the outside, pawing at the bottom through the openings in the plastic basket. Then she’d jump into the basket and dig her way to the bottom. She’d look at us, talk up a storm of meows, and then go at it again. Not cool. We thought that perhaps she saw a beetle or a locust or some other bug in the basket, perhaps stuck to a piece of clothing. I suggest to Jenny that we start to empty it to check. Jenny takes out a bunch of her things. I reach down to pick up a big stack of my things. Dandelion is watching us with great anticipation, like we finally grasped what she was trying to say. I lift my things and there’s a plump mouse, dazed, confused, and bearing several bite marks. Dandelion dives in and is off in a flash with her now quite temporary friend/toy.
After a failed attempt at a tail catch by yours truly, and a quick romp through the living room under some furniture, I was able to retrieve the terrified and probably dying mouse. Much to Dandelion’s dismay, I removed it from the premises and introduced it to the yard, where I’m sure a bird or other night mammal made quick work of it. Dandelion, while not pleased at this outcome, was happy with a couple of her cat toys that I rescued while trying to get the mouse out from under a cabinet. She played with them and shortly thereafter returned to watch an area where we sometimes get mice during cold weather. I’m not sure why they might be wandering into the house right now, but it doesn’t matter. She’s on the hunt, and any mouse not yet scared out of their wits should be. She’s relentless, even when her prey is buried under a heap of clean laundry.