Well sort of, it's actually a little mouse and it's no longer loose. It has lain still, for several days, if not weeks, slowly decaying in one of my trainers after having been mortally wounded by the surreptitious, slayer, the Cat. How it got in there goodness knows as the trainers weren't on the floor. Maybe it was placed their like a sacrificial offering to be entombed in the odour of my aging, smelly running shoes? The strange thing was that I was sure I could smell something off in the old pantry, I thought maybe it was just a touch of damp. The damp smell is clearly the smell of death.
Let's go for a run I said to my eldest, just a quick 5k over the fields that have been skilfully introduced to me by a friend in the village. We both get our running kit on and meet at the front door. 'Are you ready?' I ask. The Son slips on his already (time-saving) teenager tied trainers. 'Come on get yours on as well', he replies. I slip my left foot into my trainer swiftly snatched from the shoe rack, unusual, as I always start with the right foot forward. 'Can you smell that?', 'There is a bit of a whiff, yes'. I grab the right trainer. 'Wonder what it is?' The other children are looking at us both. How long will you be? Can we come? Can we watch TV? Can we do a PPR (PapaParkRun) after you get back? Are just some of the questions fielded in less than 30 seconds, perhaps less as it doesn't take that long to slip a pair of running shoes on.
I slide my foot into the trainer but hit resistance. Oh, my god I've left a smelly sock in there, no wonder I can't get my foot in. How embarrassing. Without thinking I plunge my hand into the trainers to the toe box. It dawns. But very quickly. This 'thing' I'm touching. Is not. A sock. How can one shared experience cause four distinctly different reactions?
After which, despite the heaving in my stomach, we all burst out laughing. A shared experience, gifted by the cat.
We'll never know how the mouse ended up where it did. Needless to say I disposed of the corpse in the Ceremonial Wheeled Coffin, chose a different pair of trainers and thoroughly washed the Shroud of Murine.
At the time of writing this, we were in the middle of lockdown. Literally anything for a giggle. I wonder if the kids will remember this in years to come...