Is this the face of a serial killer? Of course not! It's Maggie! She doesn't even go outside unless I'm there to hold her paw. In fact, the other day when we went for a walk, after several aborted hole digging attempts, she finally decided it was much safer to just pee next to me. Literally, about 5 inches from my shoe. Glad I could be of service. Or at least offer comfort in her time of need. Ahem. Where was I. Ah yes, the true face of a killer: her sister, Sebastian.
Last night sebastian had caught yet another mouse. And, as usual, I had to go rescue it. Not that I'm against her eating them- I read that wild game (giggle) is the most nutritious food a cat can get. And eating their catches is much better than killing purely for sport. I will refrain from any references to certain human practices here. Other than that. So if I catch any of my lil furballs in the act of eating what they catch I certainly don't try to stop them- besides, their dry food is thirty bucks a bag! Like I'm gonna be against a little wild grocery shopping on the side!
Okay, but if I see the tiny critter running for it's life, or worse, hear it squeak in terror, my own form of instinct takes over. It's really a terrible affliction. I've had it since I can remember. During all the mad packing I've been doing, I found my old journal from my teen years, and one entry from when I was sixteen was about seeing a dead baby possum on the side of the road. The fact that it upset me and I cried didn't surprise me. What DID was my account of wrapping the small body in some discarded newspaper and placing it far from the road under some bushes. I don't think I would do that today. I'd be sad, sure, but not like that. Maybe my affliction, technically known as BHS (bleeding heart syndrome) is mellowing with age.
I got some gloves and a flashlight ( it was about ten o'clock at night and we were still packing up the trailer) and went to intervene. The mouse was still quite lively, far from the point of no return. All four cats were involved in the corralling. I stepped in the midst, and the mouse sought shelter between my feet. Which then freaked me out. It wouldn't be the first time a wild mouse RAN UP MY PANT LEG ( on the inside, no less). I stepped back, and the mouse ran up a maple tree! Better than my pants I guess.
Sebastian tried to follow it up, but the first branches were a good 12 feet up and she stopped before then. The mouse hurried out to the weakest twig tip and perched there, about 15 feet off the ground. I figured it would stay there, perhaps all night, but no, it ran back to the trunk and out to another branch tip. Then, giving up on any escape from up there, or waiting out the danger, it ran back down the trunk right into the waiting claws. Well, it tried to jump when there was about 5 feet left, away from Sebastian and Co, but Lilly snagged it with a leap and outstretched paw like she was trying out for baseball.
I managed to jump in and grab it, though. I always hesitate just for a second before I pick up the prey. I know they're going to bite me, that's what the gloves are for. But what if this time they bite through the gloves? Hasn't happened yet, and it didn't this time either. I get adrenaline, though, feeling how strong the pinch of the tiny jaws are. I'm surprised it isn't a better deterrent, actually. Then I went marching off into the forrest with the bail now posted and the prisoner to be released on his own recognizance.
Of course Pheonix followed me. Duh, when does he not? So that was a brilliant move on my part. I tossed the mouse (gently, of course!) and traded for a scooped up and complaining P. When I brought him back to the house he didn't go try to find it, so I was successful. I went in and opened a hard earned beer. Did I mention it was ten at night and I was still moving boxes and furniture? Seriously, I need to hire a bounty hunter for all the mice I post bail on that never pay me back. I'd make more of a killing than Sebastian! I suppose there would be some ethical problems with demanding money from freed prisoners who were taken into custody in the first place without cause, by my own cat.
Also, kind of hard to claim heroism when you walk outside ten minutes later and said cat now has crunched mouse skull sticking out of the side of her mouth, head angled for better grinding. Mmmmm, brains. I sense impending guilt over mentioning getting a deal on my grocery bill... but on the other hand, it's good to know Sebastian could make her own way in the world. Just as long as she's not getting her own place. If I can move in with my parents at 29, she can just skip living on her own and stay with me till she's old and gray. She better be reading this. Oh, and she can also wash her own dishes! Or at least scrape the left overs into the garbage, not leave them on the doormat!
Ah yes. Some people are born hermits. And some are born crazy eccentric cat lady hermits who expect their furry children to "listen to me when I'm talking to you!" I'm going to bed now.