Saluda News & Notations: Round One: Mouse 1, Cat 0

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, March 30, 2017

“By awareness of life we are inspired to live. Life is consciousness of life itself. The measure of your life is the amount of beauty and happiness of which you are aware.

~ Agnes Martin

After adopting Pikachu Cat last month, she has been figuring her place here. She rules the roost over River Dog and those two remind me of Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner, around and around the house, the cat outwitting him every time. You can own a dog, but a cat owns you. At first, Pikachu would hop up on my lap in the evening, kneading and purring, whipping her long tail in my face, then a dose of the hard-to-get act.

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One morning she disappeared into the upstairs storage room (which was supposed to become a bathroom many years ago). Hours went by and no cat appeared, but I could hear her brushing around inside the walls! That’s where the resident arch-enemy mouse makes a nest, so I thought “Take that, mouse—the ultimate mouse trap is here!”

Pikachu inspects the scene of the crime: hacksaw, carpenter’s saw, and a cat-sized hole cut into the floor… she’s not telling who did what! (photo by Bonnie J. Bardos)

Pikachu had found a pathway over to my room, which must be the mouse’s secret passageway. I didn’t worry too much, and figured I’d close up the opening once she showed back up. Dinnertime came, no cat. Instead, there was a loud caterwauling from inside the wall, then underneath the floor.

As savvy as cats are about navigating, sometimes not even they can figure out the maze they followed to a mouse. Tapping on the exit hole in the floor, I called Pikachu, hoping she’d be guided toward the sound. Then, shining a flashlight beam through the joists, I could see her eyes through a crack in the floor. She remained inside the wall, unable to get back to me, meowing pitifully. It would have been easier to turn and leave, letting her lump it over night and figure it out, since she’d gotten in the pickle in the first place.

But I didn’t have the heart to leave her stranded, dear reader. So, after two excruciating hours of hand sawing through the floorboards, hands crippled by holding a carpenter’s saw precariously, a dusty Pikachu noggin finally emerged. Of course (Murphy’s Law) the hole needed to be an inch bigger for all of her to squeeze. (Sawdust and sweat don’t mix well when you’re sitting on a wood floor, late night, and your cat is peeking up through the cracks.)

Rescuing Pikachu that night changed things up a bit; indeed I earned some sort of cat brownie points. She follows me around the house, comes to eat when River does, and jumps up to visit my lap often. As for the mouse, I think he’s still laughing at both of us. Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote, to be continued …

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Learn more about Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) by visiting or calling 828-749-1560. The popular “Walks in the Woods” return on April 2. Mark your calendar for SCLT’s annual meeting on April 26, 6 p.m. at Saluda Center.

Historic Saluda committee will have a tour of homes on Shand Hill, plus other historical buildings. Save the date for June 3! Visit for more information.

Saluda Sympathy goes to the family of Connie Woodruff. Just a few weeks ago, we’d talked. She was homesick for Saluda. One of a kind, she always had on a bright smile, a sparkly headband and shared tales with those of us who loved her. If you ever were invited to her cabin off Fork Creek, you saw the magic that was Connie. Somehow, I like to think she’s somewhere reading books, making pottery, planting mystery objects in the ground and laughing. Today’s quote is dedicated to her, a soul who recognized beauty and happiness in many things that most miss.

Happy March Birthday to Faye Chandler, Genell Jespersen, Charlene Pace, Valerie Mintz, Sheldon Mintz, Curtis Pace, Anita Odgen Moore, Charles Weinhagen, Kevin Kerr, Dorrie McKinley, Catherine Ross, Jane Fox, Beverly Pickard, Monica Pace, Ken Justus, Elizabeth Justus, Arlene Klippel, Rachel Bradley, Chris Bradley, Martha Stoney Anderson, Dawn Ward, Peggy Wolf, Dori Ray, Martin Anderson, Lucy Holman, Craig Bass, Laura Bass, and Patty Martin.

Thank you dear readers, for reading this column. I love hearing from you! Contact me at or 749-1153, visit my website at for more writing and art, or find me on Facebook.