As the government of an extremely small nation/house, our first mistake was ignoring the experts.
For days, our two cats, Maggie and Jack, had spent their evenings in the kitchen, staring fixedly at a cabinet.
"Maybe we have a mouse," my wife, Deborah, said.
We looked. No mouse droppings. Nothing had been nibbled.
"No mouse," I said.
In other words, our Mouse-demic Response Team tried to warn us, but we didn't listen. After all, they're just cats. We're in charge.
Deborah saw the mouse on a Wednesday. I was at work, doing three hours of talk radio. Deborah is a newspaper reporter, and she was working at home.
While there is no formal balance of power in our house, in a situation like this, the one furthest from home is considered to be the president, while the one on the scene is the governor. This holds true in hurricanes, when there's a burst pipe or when one of the cats is sick.
Deborah locked the cats in a bedroom, far from the mouse because, while she wanted the mouse gone, she did not want to watch the cats torture it to death. It was an act of compassion, and not entirely for the mouse's benefit.
She texted me just before I went on the air, and we continued to text on my breaks, maintaining an open and respectful channel of communication.
As president, I suggested that we buy traps. As governor, she said she wanted to buy humane traps. I had three more hours on the air, so she went out to buy traps. I did not ask her where she planned to buy the traps, and when she texted me that she'd purchased traps, I didn't ask her how much she'd spent. We both knew that we had to allocate all possible resources to the mouse-demic.
While she was buying traps, I texted a Realtor friend of mine. He flips houses, and I figured he'd know the name of a good fast-response exterminator. Always seek and accept the advice of experts. We'd learned that hard lesson by ignoring our furry Mouse-demic Response Team.
My Realtor friend did know an exterminator. I texted the exterminator's name and contact information to Deborah and trusted her to make the call. She did. The exterminator comes tomorrow. Trust, cooperation, communication and lack of ego are crucial when battling a mouse-demic.
We're hoping the humane traps catch the mouse tonight because the exterminator won't use humane traps.
I took tomorrow off from work. I hardly ever do that, but we've never had an exterminator in our house before. I figure we may need to apply more trust and communication to the mouse-demic. This is the time for us to stand together.
It's a small thing, really, just a mouse, a mouse smaller than my thumb. Still, I can't help but think that the principles we applied to the mouse-demic might be applied to bigger, maybe even worldwide problems.
Probably not. It's just a mouse.
To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com. Dion's latest book is an infectious collection of his best columns called "Devil's Elbow, Dancing in the Ashes of America." It is available in paperback from Amazon.com, and for Kindle, Nook, GooglePlay and iBooks
Photo credit: Free-Photos at Pixabay