On the same day we got Nestor (Extra #5,673,212), we got Mochi.

Mochi (Japanese: 餅, もち) is Japanese rice cake made of mochigome, a short-grain japonica glutinous rice.

Tess has been begging for a cat since before she could talk. We said no because of allergies. Because we move too much. Because. Cat. We got her rats. Once. Twice. And then a hamster found its way home. We ran out of reasons to say no.

During Spring Break we trekked out to the Tierhiem (animal home/animal shelter). I fell in love with all the kitties, and I’m not a cat person, all the doggies. The birdies, rabbits, and guinea pigs. Luckily it’s very expensive to adopt from the animal shelter here. Mochi was 120! According to Tess worth every penny.

Mochi was an indoor cat, abandoned by her people, found living scared & alone in an underground garage. She was afraid of people, other cats, she needed a home. We had a home. Her big green eyes, peeking out from the dark recesses of her cat cave, begged us to save her. Tess’ big green eyes begged me to save her. Home with us she came. Saved.

Tess took her up to her room, closed the door and she’s been there ever since. Mochi is not a big fan of outside-Tess’-room. Mochi is not a big fan of daytime. After a week I tried opening just Tess’ door & just my office door. That gave Mochi the stairwell, hallways, Tess’ room & my office. I was rather looking forward to some company during the day.

No company for me. Mochi didn’t even set a paw in my doorway. The first day she never even ventured out of Tess’ room. The second day I spotted her on the upper landing once. The third day I lost the cat.

It was a particularly bad day to lose the cat. I’d asked the boys (Cole & Nestor) to trim the yard & take the clippings to the dump. Cole can’t drive stick, so he had to use his little car instead of my big van, and then meant he needed two trips. Unfortunately, on the first trip, he’d picked up a mouse. A live mouse. A mouse racing out from under Nestors seat… and right back under it.

“MOM!” Like I know how to catch a mouse hiding in a car? I asked the people of Facebook and while I got lots of giggles & suggestions of peanut butter, sunflower seeds, cheese… there wasn’t a good solution on how to catch a mouse within the confines of a small car.

“Can we borrow the cat?” And, maybe, that would’ve worked. But I lost the cat. The cat wasn’t in her room. On the stairs. In my office. We abandoned the mouse & started searching for the cat. Each passing minute without cat making my heart beat that much faster. How would I tell Tess?

By the time Tess came home from school, still no cat. She took it well. She searched the house. No cat. She sat in her room and waited for the cat. No cat. She was mad, but quietly mad. Quietly mad worries me more. We had dinner. No cat. We went on an after dinner walk to search for the cat & found cows in the neighbors yard. Or rather bulls. No cat.

Disheartened. Upset. We went home. Tess in her room, me in mine. Doors wide open, hearts hoping. And finally, at 20:00, feeding time, the cat strolled into Tess’ room loudly demanding her dinner. Tess, overjoyed, sprang up and ran to her cat… who promptly took off like a cat out of hell.

Down the stairs. Down the other stairs. Into the laundry room and under the oil tanks. No wonder we hadn’t found her! In hindsight, it made perfect sense. The smell of the oil would’ve reminded her of the underground garage she’s found refuge in for who knows how many weeks.

Yesterday we introduced her to the wintergarten. I needed some photo-proof we have a cat. We have a cat! Meet Mochi

See? Cows. Or bulls.

Cole trying to outsmart the mouse

Cole trying to sweep the mouse out

Mochi thinking about coming out of hiding

Mochi pretending to be dog & begging to be let into the house

The disapproving glare I usually get met with

Dreaming of outside

Walking a narrow ledge

FYI the mouse is lost.