Thursday, August 23, 2007

Trust the food chain

These wise words of advice and reassurance were given to me by my sister.

I admit I'm having a little difficulty trusting the food chain, largely because the carnivore in whom all my hopes are invested isn't aware that she's supposed to be hungry for the kill. She thinks the little fellow in the gray leisure suit has come to play games. A cat who has never really lost touch with her inner kitten, Wilkie thinks the mouse is a heaven-sent opportunity to play ALL THE TIME.

To my horror, the mouse is still under the couch. Wilkie sometimes plays tag with him. Sometimes she plays hide and seek. Sometimes she bops him on the head like Little Bunny FuFu and the field mice. For all I know after I go to bed they may play a hand of poker or gin to pass the time.

It's the bopping that gets me. I SAW her. She had him in her clutches. I was on the phone with Kelsey, trying to protect my bedroom, and yelling encouragement at Wilkie to kill the little varmint and she just looked at me like I was getting in the way of all her fun. Then the mouse ran back under the couch.

Thank goodness Kelsey was on the phone with me. She kept me calm. (That may be news to her. 'Calm' in this instance means 'no outright screaming or flailing' but there was definitely a lot of adrenalin and volume involved.) Kelsey has been through this before with her cat Charlo,

and she advised me just to trust the food chain. She said this tortuous game-playing part has to happen before the mouse gets exhausted and Wilkie delivers the coup de grace.

(She didn't actually say it that way. I'm paraphrasing. Partly because I NEED to envision the coup de grace part. It's the life I want to lead. The one where the mouse is definitively dead and I can dispose of its carcass. NOT the one now where I skulk on the open edges of my living room and look distrustfully at all my books and furniture, wondering where he's hiding now, and if he's dead or alive.)

After the mouse ran back under the couch and Wilkie went back to watching the perimeter Kelsey said, “I'd feel a whole lot better about this if you were wearing boots.” Good point. I rummaged around till I found my knee-high winter boots and added them to my pajama ensemble. Not a look I'll be taking outdoors, but good enough for a mouse encounter.

Then Kelsey asked, “Where's Dickens?” Good question. I went looking for him. Realized he had put himself to bed in my room. Um. I don't think so. I hauled his furry orange butt into the living room, set him on duty near the couch, and lectured him on his role in the food chain. There was only a little sulking before he got back into it.

This morning there was no indication of the mouse’s presence, dead or alive. The cats acted as if nothing had happened.

I’m REALLY getting sick of feline nonchalance.

The mouse and I are both being held hostage. I will keep you apprised of changing circumstances.

In the meantime, trust the food chain.


Jeana said...

"I hauled his furry orange butt into the living room"

That's the phrase that got me.

Geekwif said...

Perhaps I should lend you my cat, Beethoven. I never even know the mice are there until he comes prancing into the room with his deceased prey. And all he asks in exchange is that I protect him from big bad scary thunderstorms.

LaLa said...

Geekwif - that does sound like a good arrangement you've got there. I wish Wilkie had a Beethoven example to follow. She's more of the Tom-and-Jerry school apparently.

Kate said...

Sounds like Wilkie needs a little one on one session with Frodo (our cat). ;) Then again, he'd bring you a lot of hostages - dead.

Keep us posted. Now I really want to know what happened to that mouse.