Remember Claire (our beautiful, stupid cat)? Remember how the other day she brought a dead mouse to me, in my actual bedroom? Well. Last night, deep within the dark hours of the middle of the night, so deep inside the night that time seemed irrelevant, I was awoken by the sound of Claire, playing. She was running thither and yon, scrambling over the pile of videos Raphi had stacked in my closet yesterday. She smacked into walls and thundered across the floor. She made SO MUCH RACKET that I finally dragged myself out of bed and turned on the light. There was Claire, sitting by my bed, her paw resting on…a mouse.
And not a dead one, either.
The mouse, a tiny little rumpled thing with fur like glossy brown mink, looked at me with itsy bitsy black marble eyes and panted.
Claire batted it about eight inches across the floor, then paused to lick her left haunch. The mouse struggled to right itself again and sat there, quivering. It looked at me, at the cat, at me.
I was frozen.
I mean, there it was, an actual panting little mouse, all glossy and mink-colored. It was BREATHING THE AIR IN MY ROOM. I stared at it while Claire licked various body parts and looked smug.
Who knows how long I would have sat there if the mouse hadn’t started MOVING. It was crawling towards My. Bed. My actual under bed area was being threatened by mouse encroachment.
I knew if Minky the Mouse got under my bed I would clearly have to a) burn the house down b) die, and c) never sleep again. None of those things sounded good to me. In a panic I grabbed the closest mouse trapping object I could think of (an empty Biggie cup from Wendys), and slapped it down over the vermin. Then I slid a file folder underneath the cup (shuddering when a wisp of a black tail escaped between cup and cardboard for a moment), and picked it all up.
Now I was in a quandary. I mean, the poor little thing was injured. The HUMANE thing would have been to kill it. You know, put it out of its misery. But I couldn’t. I just simply couldn’t. I thought about it for a moment, contemplated various ways I might accomplish it, but every scenario involved the sensation of tiny little mouse bones cracking under my foot or van’s wheel (and you might not THINK I would feel that, but I would, I would). And humane or not, I couldn’t do it.
Claire looked at me, miffed that I had swiped her toy. I shooed her with my foot, and she stalked off. I’m pretty sure if she could talk she would have said, “Ok FINE. Yoo eat it.”
So what I decided to do? What I, with all my problem-solving skills and education and wisdom, decided to do? Was to carry the cup/file folder mouse trapping device downstairs, into the back yard, as far back into the yard as I could get, and FLING IT with a mighty fling AWAY AWAY AWAY from me. This was followed by me, prancing across the clammy lawn, running for my life from about half an ounce of wounded mouse.
Oh yeah, I’m a role model, I am.
This maneuver earned me a glare from my mother the next morning as I was recounting the night’s horrors. She wanted to know why I didn’t throw the mouse in the neighbor’s yard. I told her it was because that would be WRONG. And then I glowed with a holy light.
But it all worked out, because Minky was found the next day, dead (so I guess it all worked out for everyone except Minky). It was an interesting addition to the boys’ morning chore of poop patrol. They are simply unmoved by the plight of mice. But they are greatly impressed with their cat’s mighty hunting skill.
I’m HOPING that the mouse may have considered my NOT killing it an act of mercy, in its final hours. And I’m HOPING that translates into some good mousy karma for me. I don’t actually BELIEVE in karma, but hey, maybe mice do.
I’m still considering burning down the house. I’ll let you know what I decide.