Tag Archives: Minot AFB

The Memorable Time My Indoor Cat Captured a Live Mouse

As I walked into the house after a workout at the base gym one sunny morning in 1999, Mrs. Tech Sergeant was walking out on her way to a babysitting gig.

“Mom, River is acting strange,” she said. “He’s just sitting in the kitchen staring at the cabinets.”

My big, fluffy Chartreux, River

River was our big, fluffy Chartreux cat. He was about three years old at the time.

“Okay, I’ll check it out. Thanks.” I went into the house. “Hey buddy, whatcha doing?” I asked as I stroked his wooly fur. I barely got a mew out of this ordinarily vocal animal.

I shrugged and went into the dining room to start reading my Bible study. Suddenly, a loud crash came from the kitchen.

 “River, what are you doing,” I muttered as I got up to see what happened. As I rounded the corner, he met me in the doorway, with a MOUSE in his mouth! Our house on Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota was on a large corner lot that backed up to a field, so it was inevitable we would have field mice coming in at some point.

As I stood staring at him, River headed down the six stairs to our basement family room where Illinois Girl sat watching television.

 “River’s got a mouse,” I warned her.

“What?” she asked as she looked behind her. Just then, River dropped the mouse, and it tried to scurry away.

 “It’s a real one,” Illinois Girl shrieked as she leaped over the couch and scrambled up the stairs.

I grabbed the phone to call the Good Chaplain at his office.

“River’s got a mouse,” I screamed into the phone.

He calmly replied, “Is it alive?”

“I don’t know,” I said as I peeked down the stairs just as River caught the mouse in his mouth and brought it back upstairs.

“Yes, come home now!” I slammed the phone down, and Illinois Girl and I bolted up the other set of stairs leading to the bedrooms. We ran into my bedroom, closed the door, and cowered on the bed.

As we waited for the Good Chaplain to rescue us, it occurred to us that the bedroom door had a big gap between it and the floor, big enough for a field mouse to fit under it, but not a 10-pound cat.

Illinois Girl’s solution, in the event the mouse did get in the room, was to get into the shower in the master bathroom. “I’m pretty sure the mouse can’t climb up tile,” she said.

From the Good Chaplain’s perspective, he claims all he heard on the phone was a hysterical woman telling him to get home now. He claims he wasn’t even sure it was me. (I don’t know about that!) He did come home, and he walked into an empty, echoing house. He spotted River in the living room, a paw on either side of the mouse, looking proud of himself.

“What do you have there, buddy,” the Good Chaplain said to the cat as he approached. The mouse moved. River smacked it, and it died.

Illinois Girl and I heard the Good Chaplain come in and cautiously opened the bedroom door. “Is it safe?” I asked.

“Yes, you can come down. The mouse is dead,” the Good Chaplain said.

As Illinois Girl and I crept downstairs, the Good Chaplain wrapped the mouse in a paper towel to dispose of it. But he showed it to us first.

“Aww, it’s so cute. It looks like Ralph from The Mouse and the Motorcycle* book,” I said.

The Good Chaplain rolled his eyes. “I’m going back to work.”

Stay tuned for more of my lunacy as a military spouse in next week’s blog!

Until then,


*The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.

What kind of craziness have you gotten into as a military spouse? Reply below.

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It’s Party Time: The Social Life of a Military Spouse

Social involvement, to me, is essential for a chaplain’s spouse. Or any military spouse for that matter. Back in the day, some activities were “required.” Mostly those involving the base commander or other higher-ups. Today, the amount of socializing you do is up to you, but there might be some “expected” events to attend.

To support your chaplain spouse, I recommend you attend as many chapel activities and chaplain get-togethers as possible. At least get to know your fellow chaplain spouses and members of the congregations. They want to know you and love you. Many chapel-goers look at you as someone in whom they can confide.

The Minot AFB logo represents the two missions of the base — bombers and missiles.

When we lived in Minot, North Dakota, our chaplain spouses were all close friends. We exercised together; we did crafts together; we went out to lunch together. Rarely was one spouse seen without another one by her side. I’d never had that experience before that assignment, nor since.

The same goes for non-chaplain spouses. Attend as many squadron functions as you can. By getting to know other spouses in the squadron, you open up the possibilities of great friendships from people who understand your situation.

Squadron parties are for chaplain spouses too. As a chaplain, your spouse is assigned to different squadrons to work with, and these squadrons usually have a spouse group that you can join. I liked doing things with the units because I got to know the people the Good Chaplain talked about. At least, I knew their spouses.

18th Fighter Squadron logo, the Blue Fox.

My first experience with a squadron spouse group was at Eielson Air Force Base, near Fairbanks, Alaska. In the 90s, the Good Chaplain worked with the F-16 Squadron, the Blue Foxes. Before we were even in our house, a group of the spouses picked me up from our temporary lodging facility for an evening of fun. I had a blast and felt welcomed and accepted right away. Craziness reigned with these ladies (we were all women at that time), called the Foxy Ladies.

Be prepared for Christmas parties — lots of Christmas parties. Spouses do not need to attend each party, but they can be fun. Just beware, for the chaplain, it is often a pay-to-pray situation. The squadron, group, wing, etc. may request a prayer from the chaplain but don’t always offer to pay for his/her meal.

When we were in Minot, one Christmas season, we attended 16 Christmas parties. At one event, a Colonel asked me how we could afford all these parties because he saw us at most of the same parties he was at, and knew what he paid. The Good Chaplain was a Captain at the time and making considerably less money. We knew the season was coming up, so we set aside money just for this time of year.

As the Good Chaplain grew in rank and we aged, I chose which functions I would attend and which I would not. I always decided on the ones I knew would be the most fun.

Till next time, 


Posted by Victoria TerrinoniJune 18, 2020Posted inMilitary SpouseTags:Eielson AFBGood ChaplainMinot AFBPartySocial LifeEditIt’s Party Time: The Social Life of a Military Spouse