August 3, 2013
For the first time in two years, I have a mouse in my house. Of course, mice are not unusual for a 113 year old house, though between the cat, the mouse traps and several of those electronic gizmos I plugged into my house’s electrical circuit to repel mice and other critters, a two year absence of mice has been a pleasant reprieve.
The last mouse in my house, two years ago, (one of a family of five that began as a family of two which went forth and multiplied,) escaped the traps with frustrating regularity although the electronic gizmos seemed to drive it slightly crazy. It actually took to running around right in front of me and, one evening as I watched television, dashed up the outside of my pant leg. Its last mistake in my house. It stopped on my knee long enough for me to scoop it up in a paper towel, take it down the stairs and out the door where, without ceremony, I tossed it over the porch rail into the grass. The last I saw, it was dashing across the parking lot next door.
The cat came to live with me a few weeks later, so what will happen with this mouse is anyone’s guess. I’ve seen the cat hunting around in corners and behind furniture, (I’m assuming she is hunting the mouse,) but the closest she’s come to delivering is to hurry across the floor with her ratty old catnip mouse, mewling as she drops it at my feet, as if to say, “I’m so sorry, my mistress, but this is the best I can do at my age.”
And I am less agile than I was, two years ago. I try to keep all food put up where the mouse can’t get to it and anything in chewable wrap put into heavy plastic containers. But the cat is not so careful with her food dish and I am constantly sweeping up bits of cat food, trying to stay ahead of the mouse as it, too, avoids the traps.
It has occurred to me, lately that, like my own aging house, the dowdy old mansion of this declining Empire has become infested with its own complement of mice. Manning, Assange, Snowden. It has not won a clear-cut victory in any of its wars since World War II (unless you count tiny Grenada as a clear-cut victory). Even after ten years of murderous sanctions and a bloody war, the government of Iraq we helped select sent us packing without a Status of Forces agreement and our sanctions on North Korea and Iran have done little to quell their defiance of the Empire.
China and Russia have both thumbed their noses at the imperial demands to return Snowden to US custody, with Russia offering him temporary asylum. Three of those “Leftist” South American countries the Empire thought it had so bloodied with its agonizing “War on Drugs” have offered him permanent asylum if he can make it to one of those countries.
And, as Columbia continues its struggle to get out from under the damaging effects of that War on Drugs, little Uruguay awaits final approval from its Senate to become the first country in the western hemisphere to legalize marijuana nationwide. I doubt it will be the last.
Even the old cat of the Intelligence community, puffed up after 9/11 into a full fledged security state, could not prevent the continued disintegration of Iraq, Syria, Egypt and other MENA countries. It could not stop Benghazi – even though we now hear that there were a couple of dozen CIA agents there at the time – or the Boston Marathon bombing. Instead, it has taken to running to the Imperial court with the ragged catnip mouse of massive data collection on the Empire’s own citizens, as if to say, “I’m sorry, my masters, but this is the best I can do at my age.”
I hope the mouse in my house doesn’t herald an infestation, as the growing number of mice in the Imperial mansion seems to. Of course, I am not nearly so afraid of mice as the Empire seems to be.