Our black cat, Lucy, has always been a hunter. Her brother, who died last summer, was interested in the mice that try to move into our basement every time the seasons change, but a couple of times I saw him actually sit and watch a mouse run by (while *I* was trying to catch it!)
But Lucy goes after the mice. Countless times I've headed down into the basement during early morning hours, only to find a dead mouse. And sadly, it was usually clear that the mouse had been PLAYED WITH until it died - of suffocation, shock, or whatever. You know, covered in cat saliva, and pretty roughed up, but not bleeding or disfigured. Not usually. I hate that. I wish the cat would just humanely KILL the mouse and be done with it. But where's the fun in that? She's not about being humane; she's about having her fun.
I'm not sure what changed. Maybe it's because her brother died and Lucy is now top cat. Maybe she's getting old and softening up a bit. Either way, the night before last, Lucy didn't kill her mouse. At 4:30 a.m., she brought the mouse to our bedroom and set it free.
Then the fun REALLY began.
I awakened to the cat scrambling around the room in a tizzy, knocking things over, etc. I got up to see if I could find the mouse, catch it, and put it outside. Lucy was circling my husband's backpack. At about that time, he sat up in bed and I told him what was going on. He said, "whatever you do, just don't scream," and then he rolled over to go back to sleep. Wasn't that nice of him? Grr.
So I started opening the compartments of the backpack, one by one. When I got to the last one, something rustled, the cat jumped, and guess what? I dropped the backpack. And screamed.
I didn't MEAN to scream. It just came out - being startled like that at 4:30 a.m., one just never knows. My husband got up growling, and took the backpack outside to dump out the mouse.
The mouse wasn't in it. More growling ensued. And to add insult to injury, the cat met us in the kitchen, demanding her breakfast.
We went back up to the bedroom to look for the mouse. My husband picked up a shopping bag sitting in the corner, and the mouse took off across the room. I ran to throw a towel over it, but it was too fast. It ran across the hall to our daughter's room, went under the door, and disappeared. We went in, searched under furniture and in the closet, but no mouse. So we gave up and went back to bed.
Oh, and the cat came and sat next to the bed, crying to be fed. Stupid cat.
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That evening, I was sitting on the sofa in the living room, typing away, much like I am now. I looked down and noticed the cat staring under the sofa - with a gleam in her eye. My husband looked under the sofa with a flashlight and lo and behold, there was the mouse. I had been home all day, and some time during that day, the mouse had come all the way downstairs to the living room. But what I wanted to know was, why hadn't it gone on down to the basement?
We got out the trusty bowl with a lid, and the chase was on. FOUR of us (not including the cat) scrambled around the living room for a half hour, chasing that mouse. Finally it ran into the kitchen and under the kitchen cabinets. (Yes, our house is old and has WAY too many holes and secret hiding places for mice.
At the end of the chase, the cat demanded her dinner. Loudly. Stupid cat.
Yesterday when I shared this story with a friend, she asked me if our cat is broken. I think the answer is yes.
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