April 6, 2010

cat and mouse

Over the last year or so, our cat Loki has proven himself to be quite a hunter. We were pretty surprised the first time he brought a bird in the house, as he's not only declawed, but pretty lazy and slow. Since that first incident, he's caught another bird, and a handful of what we think are voles from the yard. And, he's generous enough to bring those little prizes right inside the house to share them with us, thanks to his kitty door.

This afternoon, Lincoln and I were upstairs minding our business when I heard the cat start meowing repeatedly and with conviction. He's a loud cat anyway, so I ignored it for awhile, but then I scooped Lincoln up so we could go down and see what all the commotion was. Oh, lucky day- it's a dead thing! Right in the middle of the living room floor, a wee little rodent. Loki was nearby on Lincoln's floor mat, obviously quite proud of his achievement.

I backed out of the room, unsure exactly how to proceed. I considered my options: Maybe I could pretend I never saw it, and let David take care of it when he gets home... but, it's only 1, and that means a dead thing in my living room for four plus hours. I could get a broom and a dustpan, sweep it up and throw it away. Gross, but doable. I could put on some rubber gloves, grab it and dispose of it like an adult. Gross. Probably not an option.

It was time to feed Lincoln lunch, so I decided to take care of that and think about my problem a little bit more. I sent David a text message alerting him to the situation and hoping to elicit a little sympathy. He was appropriately sympathetic, and surprised when I suggested that perhaps Loki needed a nice home on a farm somewhere where his mousing skills would be more appreciated.

I texted my friend Zena as well, sure that she would have some solid advice for dealing with my dilemma. Also, she would understand that this was horrible and so not in my job description.
Me: "F-ing cat brought a dead thing inside. A mouse or vole or something. Am freaking out."
Z: "Um... yikes. Broom handy? So you don't have to get close?"
Me: "Yeah. I'm upstairs ignoring it at present. Hoping it will vaporize."
Z: "You sure it is dead?"
Me: "Pretty sure. Didn't get too close, but it looked like it was on it's back with feet in the air. Classic dead thing pose."
Z: "Right. Or playing dead. Go put a bowl over it so it can't escape."
Hmm. Playing dead? Do things really do that? It hadn't occured to me. Good thing I got her involved! As soon as I'm finished feeding Lincoln his lunch, I'll find a box or a bowl or something and cover that sucker up. Then maybe I can screw up enough courage to get rid of it somehow.

So we ate. Lincoln had some cheese, and some banana, a few bites of my rice. He's so cute when he eats. And so determined to feed himself. It's pretty adorable. But, dead thing in basement! Focus! Let's see... are any of our neighbors home? They might be interested in helping me rid the house of dead rodents. Darn- there goes Rod now. Probably my best option, and he's driving away. Okay. You can do this. You're a tough woman. A mother. Yes, you can!
Me: "Ok. Putting on big-girl panties. And rubber gloves. Be right back."
Z: "Good luck!"
I grab my weapons of choice and head downstairs. A pair of pink rubber gloves and a gift bag from a hair salon. It's nice and sturdy, so I figure I can just knock the thing in with a broom and I won't have to touch anything. The rubber gloves are just an extra precaution, but seem like a good idea. I get to the bottom of the stairs, turn right into the living room, and...

...nothing. Um...crap. Shit! Gone? How is it gone? It was dead!? It's gone??? Oh no. I'm so busted.

So yeah. Looked everywhere. It's gone.

I figure there are a couple of possibilities:
  1. Zena was right. It wasn't really dead, just pretending. That means it's running around downstairs somewhere. Not a huge fan of this possibility, I've got to admit.
  2. It was dead, and the cat decided that since I had seen his prize and approved, it was best if he took it back outside. I like this. Definitely leaning this way.
  3. It was dead, or not. The cat ate it. Every little bit. No trace remains. Gross. But, circle of life, etc. Fine with this mostly because it means I don't have to deal with it.
  4. It's dead, and the cat decided that I didn't show enough approval of his hunting prowess so he moved it somewhere that I might appreciate it more. Like in my bed or on the couch cushion. Closed bedroom door as soon as this thought came to mind. Haven't seen cat come upstairs, so this is not likely. Right? Hopefully.
So yeah. Moral of the story: Cat for sale! Cheap. Good hunter! Get him while he's hot! Don't miss this opportunity of a lifetime. Last one! Act fast, people. Ugh.

*********
UPDATE:

David came home and saved the day. The little bugger was under the couch (dead). I guess when I said "I looked everywhere" I may have exaggerated a bit... I meant, you know, scanned the area. Generally. Gah.


And that is totally the aforementioned "classic dead thing pose," btw.

Also, I forgive him for throwing the cat's other (fake) mouse at me after he picked up the couch and spotted the vole, completely causing me to lose my shit (again). Because he not only took care of the business, but he sprayed the floor down liberally with some earth-friendly disinfectant too. Thanks love!

But seriously- who wants a cat?