Meanwhile, my parents are having some adventures with the local wildlife themselves. For one, they got a bird feeder. It's rather similar to ours, in being hung on a (taller) shepherd's crook, although it's a much narrower design. This hasn't deterred the squirrel population, though, which worked out how to get up the pole very quickly. I didn't see any birds at their feeder, though I only had a couple daytime hours when I might have seen them. I didn't see the squirrels either, although my father reports they have the fattest squirrel in the world feeding there. This would seem inconsistent with our having the fattest squirrels in our backyard, but we haven't been able to get them both on the same scale.
The other animal thing I didn't realize until just before leaving. The middle cat tends to be vocal, since she wants to sit on your foot (anyone's feet) until she can slash or bite them. But she was extra-vocal this time around and meowed oddly. This was just outside her normal set of vocalizations. I had no explanation for this.
Saturday in the morning, though, my parents revealed that they've found mouse droppings in their closet. Now it made sense. The cat was warning my parents, and me, and the other cats that there was an unauthorized mouse in the building. My father compared it to Lassie trying to get everyone to follow. Also, clearly, the cat was demanding that somebody do something about the mouse. My mother instructed the cat that they have done something about the mouse: they have a cat. (This cat was a barn cat, by birth, although my sister --- who'd overseen the cats --- quickly judged that this was not going to be an efficient one.) They're going to be figuring out what sort of trap to get once the weekend's over.
Trivia: The estimated travel distance for the Apollo 17 Command Module, after splashdown, was 1,291,229 nautical miles. Source: Apollo By The Numbers, Richard Orloff. NASA SP-2000-4029.
Currently Reading: In The Problem Pit, Fredrick Pohl. And, huh, a YASID I was about to post to rec.arts.sf.written turns out to be one of the stories in here. (An unrelated story in here is almost an archetypical Population Bomb story, too, one featuring the problem of considering when human population growth would have reached the point that the Sun had to be disassembled to provide spare molecules for the marching hordes. It's some cute arithmetic but has anyone done a Population Bomb story where it actually makes sense to start disassembling objects larger than the Moon for the elements? … You know, that could be a starting point for something New Space Operatic, come to think of it.)