The Mouse is Quiet Now


We headed to my mom’s house last weekend for our holiday visit. By “we”, I of course mean “Wendi and I”. Our cats and fish stayed at home to play video games or whatever it is they do when we’re not there.

It was only an overnight stay, so while we anticipated a small degree of petty feline vandalism we weren’t expecting anything on the order of property damage. We figured they’d mostly sleep — maybe knock some piles of magazines over as the chased each other or tip the Christmas tree for fun.

(We have a table-top tree this year. Last year Fischer got tangled in the lights and we had to cut him free. He can’t crawl into this one, so he just throws it to the floor. It shows some perverse manner of holiday spirit, so we keep setting it back up for him.)

When we got home, everything looked to be remarkably in order. We set down our bags and marveled at our fortune. Wendi fed the cats as I began unloading our suitcases. Then I took a closer look at the cat toy I’d been absently stepping over.

“Oh,” I remarked. “That was a real mouse.”

Wendi confirmed my findings. It appeared that the cats had found something to do in our absence.

Then I went to put away our toiletries and glanced in the tub. Blood and fur attested that this had been the mouse’s final arena. Since that’s where Fischer most likes to take his toys, I figured that he had been the gladiator to face the tiny rodent. I imagined the others, wearing togas, turning their paws down at the end of the fight.

Well-fed house cats and Ancient Romans: nature’s perfect serial killers.

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