April 30th 2011 9:30 am
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Last night the Mama and Papa were really tired, because they’d been up since even before US, getting ready to leave town to buy books. When they got back several hours later, they just had energy to fix some food (Sleeper and I helped by standing under the Mama’s feet crying for our own suppers), and relaxing with an episode of an old L&O on DVD. Oh, and I forgot to mention the usual drill of building a fire in the woodstove, changing the water dishes, cleaning the litter box, picking up things we’d knocked over, stapling cardboard over an area around some pipes in our funky old farmhouse bathroom so we couldn’t get back in there (oops – forgot! That was LAST night! They’ll have to get back to that later and figure out what to do about it.) Oh, and checking on the baby vegie plants in the computer room where we aren’t allowed to go, and then checking (by flashlight) on the other baby cabbages and broccolis that had already been moved into the unheated greenhouse to make sure they didn’t freeze last night when temps fell down to low 30’s. (They didn’t.) THEN it was time for bed. But, it wasn’t even 10 PM yet; the night wasn’t over! Unbeknownst to all of us, a floor show was planned.
The first we knew of it was only a short time after the lights went out. The Mama was alerted by what she thought was growling. The Papa was already asleep, so she shone the flashlight around to see what was up, but only saw Sleeper, squinting into the glare like “What? I’m not doing anything!” She didn’t see me, but she decided she hadn’t really heard it after all. So she lay back down. Some minutes later, she’s back up, convinced she’s hearing growling! Then she sees me, crouched down with something in my mouth, rumbling menacingly at the Sleeper. What is wrong with this picture?!
Just then I opened my mouth and what should go leaping, but a live mouse! “Oh, my – she’s caught one!” said the Mama, and the Papa turned the light on.
I had indeed caught a mouse; a young field mouse, to be exact, with a little white belly and white socks on his tiny feet. And now that I’d caught him, I wasn’t sure what to do with him! I kept letting him run, but would catch him again. The Mama and Papa are generally soft-hearted about all little living creatures, though practical. They have been known to kill garden pests, and the occasional mouse, though they usually prefer to trap them with live mouse cubes, which allow them to transport the mice unharmed to the woods. Since we have gotten bigger, however, it has been unnecessary to set up the traps, as the mice stopped coming into our living area, only into the attic and, less happily, into the walls. Normally, this stops anyway once the bad weather passes; the field mice prefer the fields where all their natural foods are.
But here was a situation that they felt should be considered carefully. I had done “my job” as a housecat. Not that my primary “job” isn’t to be the loving companion that I am! – but, after all - I am a cat, with normal feline instincts. Sleeper and I have been playing “catch the mousie” since our early kittenhood, and here suddenly was the real thing! I did what I’d been “trained” to do.
After reflection, seeing that the mouse appeared injured, energy flagging, but that I was not showing any inclination to kill it, the decision was made to end its life quickly. The Mama offered, but the Papa said no, he would do it; and it was over. I took it back and they praised me for my skill. I let the Mama take the body from me; I knew it was dead, and was no longer interested in it. They continued to give me pets and praise; I visited some of the spots where I had carried the little beastie, looking to make sure it wasn’t there instead, since it was no longer in that poor little body, or perhaps to make sure there weren’t any more like him.
Then I chased Sleeper around the house for another half hour, both of us full of nervous energy. The Mama got up and read for a bit till we seemed to settle, then it was lights out again till 5:30 AM, when we started up again. This time she grabbed us both and shut us in our room. We were tired, I guess, because we went to sleep and didn’t make a peep until she let us out again around 7:30.
Now my new name is Great Hunter!
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention - when Mama got up this morning, she found stretched out in front of the door, where the wee mouse had met his end, my own pretend "mousie". She wasn't sure if this was an offering to say "Thank you, O Great ONE, for the sacrifice made for me", or "Please, could I have another?" !
Loved the story about the floor show. Friend request on the way.
Wow - you sure are a mighty hunter!! That it SO cool that you got the mousie in the dark & all by yourself! You are a brave warrior, Miss Samhain!!! Luv, Tink
YEAAAAAAH! Go Samhain! the Great Hunter! I caught a mouse once and did the same thing, I kept putting it down so I could catch it again. Mom never got to write about it in my diary cause she was so busy at the time. it is so cute that you left the pretend mousie there afterwards! After I caught my mouse, I wasn't interested in the pretend ones for about a week.
Youse jus' a baby an you catched a mousie. Youse gonna be a 'credible hunter some day. MOUSIES BEWARE!!!
Great job on catching that mouse!
Oh yea! great JOb! sounds like it was really fun too!
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