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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Of Mice And Men

Macka, our tiger-striped cat, has discovered a new prey. Up till now, both our cats have had a fascination for all things flying. Despite our prediction that our pampered flat-cats would run away in terror when approached by so much as a sparrow, they’ve developed into real serial killers since we’ve moved to our new house-with-garden-and-park-across-the-street. They’ve been dragging in crows and pigeons and we suspect they’ve got their mark set on the herons in the fortress’ moat.

The other day, Macka brought in the limp body of a new victim: a mouse. Since we’ve put them on a diet to prevent them from barfing all over the carpet (to no avail I might add), he’s been trying to bribe us into feeding him. He’s never been as cuddly as he was the last couple of weeks. Since that obviously didn’t work, he’s trying a new approach.

Being modern and well informed cat owners, of course we didn’t punish him for his gesture. Instead we thanked him and praised him and gave him lots of cuddles. Maybe we overdid it. I don’t know. Because a couple of days later he walked in again with a mouse. Only this time it was well alive.

He let it go in the middle of the living room, and a bit to his amazement his pray veered off and hid into the incredibly tiny space between the carpet and the board at the bottom of the wall. Neither Macka nor myself could reach it there, so I pulled back the carpet. Probably the most stupid thing to do in such a situation, because the mouse shrieked and dove right under the carpet.

So now we had a living mouse in the middle of the carpet. Eventually I could chase it out of its hiding place, but in the blink of an eye it raced across the room, hid briefly behind the loudspeaker and then nested itself under the lamp. He got away because Macka was not really helping. He thought we were playing a great game. In some frustration, I grabbed him by the back of his neck and threw him into the kitchen.

Unfortunately, the base of the lamp was hollow, and I could only see its tail sticking out when I lifted the – bloody heavy – thing. I tried shaking it into the plastic cup I’d gotten out of the kitchen, but the little critter jumped out and hid under the wicker basket between the chimney and the closet.

Just great, if it’d get behind the closet we’d never get it out of the house. But suddenly it careened off again. In a reflex I brought down my cup to catch it. And I succeeded! Partially. The cup’s rim landed squarely on the mouse’s back and broke it. End of mouse.

This time I was anything but diplomatic about Macka’s gift. Bad cat! Bad!

Posted by Bart at 10:03 PM
Categories: Animal Farm

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