Time for strategic planning. As to where to engage these mice, it has to be where the mice appear. No point in chosing my favored terrain, only to wait in vain, alone, and forgo doing battle. Investigation is called for. I need to know their access points. I stand in the center of the kitchen and survey all around, wondering whence they'll arrive. I feel somehow like Admiral Tōgō. The maidservant has left for the baths and is not yet back. The children have gone to bed. The master, returned from gorging on dumplings at Imozaka, has holed himself up in his study as usual. The wife -- I've no idea what the wife's up to. She's probably nodded off and dreaming of yams. The occasional cartman passes out front, dropping the house into deeper silence as he passes on. My steeled resolve, my heightened senses, the scene in the kitchen before me, and the solitude all around set the stage for noble heroics. I am, indeed, the Admiral Tōgō of cats. In such a state, I can't but feel, as anyone would, a welling of exhilaration from within. Yet just beneath this exhilaration, there also lurks a great concern. I'm undaunted in my resolve to do battle, be it one mouse or many, but I've no idea whence the fight comes. Through meticulous observation, I've narrowed the pilferers' means of intrusion to three possibilities. If they're run-of-the-mill rodents, they'll no doubt follow the drain pipe, appear in the sink, and circle round behind the stove. In such case, I'll hide behind the charcoal pot and cut off their path of escape. Then again, there's an outlet in the bathing room where bath water flows to the outside gutter. If that's their entry point, they may rush the kitchen by way of the bath. In that case, I'll camp on the kettle lid, leap down on them from above, and take them out in one fell swoop. Finally, there's a gnawed-off crescent in the bottom right corner of the cupboard door, suspiciously like a rodent hole. Drawing my nose near to it, I'm sure I smell a rat. If they rush me from there, I'll duck behind the pillar and swipe with my claws as they pass.