It was a happy day when we invited our rescued cat into our home: the 1st of January, the very first day of the year, a day of new beginnings and adventure. My children were ecstatic! I was too, and a little nervous, since I had never had a cat.
Then came the spring, and the hunting instincts of our new family member awoke at the same speed, if not faster, than the birth rate of hoards of tiny mice.
The first dead mouse, proudly brought into the kitchen during our evening meal, gave all of us a shock. Not sure we even managed to finish what I cooked that night. After the initial shock came the satisfaction of knowing that our cat had brought us a present, because we were his and he was ours, and that poor little mouse had been the unlucky victim of love. (Cat owners, you will understand. Everybody else, sorry!)
The frequency and number of gifts increased as the days became longer and the weather finally mellowed. There were often 2 dead mice waiting for us at night, and the occasional alive one. Still blinded by a sense of being the privileged objects of feline generosity and love, we clearly missed the fact that live mice, once in the messy warmth of our home, could easily get away from the hunter and prosper. Alive, resourceful and tiny, the runaway mice headed straight for our rarely used dryer. Did we, blind cat owners, notice? Did we realise that the cat stopped eating because mice stole and ate his food? No, we did not.
Ever smelled mice urine? It isn’t good. Nice should not rhyme with mice. The pungent whiff of mice wee clashes horribly with anything positive and acceptable, even to deranged cat lovers who still think that the mice business is a sign of affection painted pink with a heart shaped ribbon wrapped around it. I will not bore you with the struggle to get the mice out of our dryer. The sheer memory is painful and smelly. A whole bottle of odour neutralised barely tackled the stench.
What to do with the hunter? Is this why he was abandoned in the first place and needing re-housing? Was it because of his never-ending thirst for blood in small but daily doses that his previous owners showed him the door? We wrecked our brains: what to do? Should he stay or should he go? Mice and a healthy environment don’t go together. We have kids, we don’t want disease spreading around! Our cat’s stay hung in the balance for a good while whilst we struggled with our affection for him and .
Well, he’s still here, but with freedom of movement significantly restricted when we are out of the house. I am absolutely certain that that the dryer is, as we speak, still hosting unwanted tenants…but what is one cat owner to do?
No reference to books and glass jars today. My mental energy is entirely enwrapped in engineering schemes to catch mice that live in dryers!
If your heart has ever been torn between your affection for a pet and resentment towards the same pet, please drop me a line. It will make me very, very happy.
As always yours,