Mom and Dad had just gone to bed, and I was upstairs with Sampson and Grace when Grace suddenly zoomed over to the top of the stairs.
Grace: Orville? Buddy? I wanna hunt you!
Me: Gracie… what the f#%@ are you hunting?
Grace: Orville! Orville’s here, S.E.!
While Orville scurried into and through the kitchen, I shooed Grace to her bed and convinced myself that Grace had been seeing things. Or was hunting a bug that she’d named Orville. The last thing I wanted to believe was that the damn mouse was upstairs.
Then about ten minutes later, Orville decided be stupid for the second time that night.
Orville: I gotta find a way out. Maybe if I sneak by that dog, then I’ll be able to get back downstairs and go out the way I came in. I gotta just make a run for it.
From the corner of my eye, I spotted a gray fuzz dart along the wall before disappearing behind the TV stand. I knew exactly who the furry little bastard was without even a good look. So I did exactly what any grown, badass woman would do: I called Dad’s cell phone and begged him to come upstairs and catch the mouse.
Orville took off underneath the loveseat and then the couch as soon as he saw Mom and Dad coming up the stairs. He managed to disappear for a few minutes before hiding beneath the corner of Sampson’s bed. I grabbed both dogs, and Dad cornered him. He tossed a towel over the gray fuzzball.
Orville: F#%@ing, f#%@!
Me: You got it!
Grace: Let him go! I wanna hunt Orville!
Sampson: Wh-huh? What’s agoing on?
Orville: Okay, hold yourself together. Wait for him to make a mistake. Then make a break for it.
And Dad did make a mistake. He scooped up the towel to get it underneath Orville, and the f#%@ing mouse bolted.
Grace: Run, Orville! Run!
Sampson: What’s agoing on?
Me: Annnd shiiiittttt.
I sent Grace after Orville before poking into every corner I could find with the flashlight beam. But no one could find him. There were just too many places for him to hide, whether behind a dresser or underneath a bed or crouched behind cardboard boxes.
That night, I slept on the living room couch because there was a very good chance Orville was in my bedroom. And there was no way in hell I was sleeping in the same room as him.
As for Orville, he was never seen again. I’ve persuaded myself that he escaped through an open door the next day. Maybe it was true. Maybe it wasn’t. Either way, it was the only way that I could go to sleep at night.