Monthly Archives: April 2021

The Memorable Time My Indoor Cat Captured a Live Mouse

As I walked into the house after a workout at the base gym one sunny morning in 1999, Mrs. Tech Sergeant was walking out on her way to a babysitting gig.

“Mom, River is acting strange,” she said. “He’s just sitting in the kitchen staring at the cabinets.”

My big, fluffy Chartreux, River

River was our big, fluffy Chartreux cat. He was about three years old at the time.

“Okay, I’ll check it out. Thanks.” I went into the house. “Hey buddy, whatcha doing?” I asked as I stroked his wooly fur. I barely got a mew out of this ordinarily vocal animal.

I shrugged and went into the dining room to start reading my Bible study. Suddenly, a loud crash came from the kitchen.

 “River, what are you doing,” I muttered as I got up to see what happened. As I rounded the corner, he met me in the doorway, with a MOUSE in his mouth! Our house on Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota was on a large corner lot that backed up to a field, so it was inevitable we would have field mice coming in at some point.

As I stood staring at him, River headed down the six stairs to our basement family room where Illinois Girl sat watching television.

 “River’s got a mouse,” I warned her.

“What?” she asked as she looked behind her. Just then, River dropped the mouse, and it tried to scurry away.

 “It’s a real one,” Illinois Girl shrieked as she leaped over the couch and scrambled up the stairs.

I grabbed the phone to call the Good Chaplain at his office.

“River’s got a mouse,” I screamed into the phone.

He calmly replied, “Is it alive?”

“I don’t know,” I said as I peeked down the stairs just as River caught the mouse in his mouth and brought it back upstairs.

“Yes, come home now!” I slammed the phone down, and Illinois Girl and I bolted up the other set of stairs leading to the bedrooms. We ran into my bedroom, closed the door, and cowered on the bed.

As we waited for the Good Chaplain to rescue us, it occurred to us that the bedroom door had a big gap between it and the floor, big enough for a field mouse to fit under it, but not a 10-pound cat.

Illinois Girl’s solution, in the event the mouse did get in the room, was to get into the shower in the master bathroom. “I’m pretty sure the mouse can’t climb up tile,” she said.

From the Good Chaplain’s perspective, he claims all he heard on the phone was a hysterical woman telling him to get home now. He claims he wasn’t even sure it was me. (I don’t know about that!) He did come home, and he walked into an empty, echoing house. He spotted River in the living room, a paw on either side of the mouse, looking proud of himself.

“What do you have there, buddy,” the Good Chaplain said to the cat as he approached. The mouse moved. River smacked it, and it died.

Illinois Girl and I heard the Good Chaplain come in and cautiously opened the bedroom door. “Is it safe?” I asked.

“Yes, you can come down. The mouse is dead,” the Good Chaplain said.

As Illinois Girl and I crept downstairs, the Good Chaplain wrapped the mouse in a paper towel to dispose of it. But he showed it to us first.

“Aww, it’s so cute. It looks like Ralph from The Mouse and the Motorcycle* book,” I said.

The Good Chaplain rolled his eyes. “I’m going back to work.”

Stay tuned for more of my lunacy as a military spouse in next week’s blog!

Until then,

Vicki

*The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.

What kind of craziness have you gotten into as a military spouse? Reply below.

Shameless plug time: My new book, Where You Go, I Will Go is now available on Amazon.com as both an e-book and in paperback. Check it out here.

Untold Stories: How a Fishing Trip Got Me Out of My Comfort Zone

Editor’s Note: Starting today, my blog posts will feature stories from my 31 years as a military spouse. These are stories that did not make it into my upcoming book, Where You Go, I Will Go, but are entertaining nonetheless. I hope you enjoy them.

I am not an outdoorsy type of person, so Alaska proved to be a challenge sometimes with all the activities that take place outside. But it was a challenge I took so I could experience the Alaskan way of life.

A big part of Alaska living is fishing. We had fly fishing, river fishing, lake fishing, deep-sea fishing, and all sorts of other fishing. A favorite was fishing for king salmon. A person is allowed only one king a year, and you had to get a special stamp for it on your fishing license.

One day in the summer of 2007, the Good Chaplain came home and said the 18th Aggressor Squadron was going on a camping and fishing trip in a few weeks. Did I want to go? That sounded kind of fun — as long as I didn’t have to bait the hook or clean the fish. I said yes.

Members of the 18th Aggressor Squadron and their children cooking ribs during a weekend fishing trip in 2007.

The weekend was rainy and cold, but we all went anyway. There I was with these macho F-16 fighter pilots, a few other spouses, and some children. Fighter pilots are incredibly competitive, so the trash talk began the first night. Each one was sure they were going to catch the biggest fish.

On Saturday morning, we were divided into teams of three or four. The Good Chaplain, me, and a pilot nicknamed, Skin were put into one boat with our fishing guide. We cruised up the Talkeetna River, looking for a good spot. The guide found a likely spot, baited my hook, and cast my line into the water.

We chatted about inconsequential things while we waited for a strike on one of our lines. Suddenly, a sharp tug hit my line. The guide jumped into motion. Because of the rules, I had to reel the fish in, but the guide could coach me through the process. He identified the fish as a king and proceeded to tell me how to bring it in — pull up on the line, now let the line play out a little, jerk on the line, reel it in, reel it in, reel it in. I lost track of time while I fought this behemoth, but I know it took longer than when I used to catch crappie with my dad. Finally, the fish was in the boat, and it was a beaut.

Soon the Good Chaplain caught one too. Not as big as mine, but decent-sized. Unfortunately, Skin got a strike, but the fish snapped the line and took off. From the looks of it, his fish would have been bigger than mine.

Me with my big catch.

We got back to camp, where others were bragging about their fish until I brought mine around. My fish was 30 pounds and ended up being the largest one caught that day. Hah!

On Monday, during a commander’s meeting, the general gave the pilots a hard time. “You big tough fighter pilots let a woman catch the biggest fish? A woman? What’s wrong with you guys?”

I will always remember this trip. I was out of my comfort zone, and I bested a bunch of macho men! Between my fish and the Good Chaplain’s at 20 pounds, we had enough salmon to last for the next year and a half of our assignment in Alaska.

Stay tuned for more untold stories of my journey in the military world.

Until then,

Vicki

Do you have any fish tales to share? Let’s see them in the reply below.