Sunday, December 14, 2014

Houdahenian Blow Up

Last week Libby got me up about 2 AM. Mr. Puzzle, the king dawg cat, was growling at the others. They were all in the kitchen, where Libby was reading. When Puzzle growls it's a pretty sure sign he has caught a mouse. What he likes to do is play with it. He does not like his bothers getting in on the fun, and since they are equally attracted to the mouse, he stands his ground and growls. It's a kind of standoff, really. They can't take the mouse away from him, but he can't drop it either, and see if it runs or not.

I went in the kitchen and there was the described scene. I went over to Puzzle and tried to take the mouse, but he wouldn't let go and growled louder. I don't think he'd bite me, but still. It's a fairly fierce growl. I tried a few more times. He got tired of it and went back behind a set of shelves, still growling and with the mouse. I couldn't reach him, so I left him alone for a while. When I came back he was back in the middle of the floor again, circled by the others. This time when I got close he dropped the mouse. The mouse revived and ran off under the refrigerator. They all gathered around the refrigerator. I went back to bed. Mouse or no mouse, I had to get up about 5:30 for work. I hoped the critter wouldn't die under the fridge. These things have happened. A dead mouse, after a time, is not a happy thought.

When I got up, all the boys were in the living room. Puzzle was in the middle, mouse in mouth, growling. Apparently he'd either gotten the mouse out, or the mouse had come out on its own. I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and throw water on my face. When I came out and into the kitchen, Kirby, the little yellow step-brother who we'd rescued last year, was sitting by the mouse. The mouse had passed away. Kirby let me pick it up and I took it outside and tossed it into the woods. None of the Houdahenians actually saw me do this. Kirby was looking all around, thinking the mouse had taken it on the lam again. While I had breakfast, they all searched the kitchen. By late afternoon, when I came back from work, they seemed to have given it up. Puzzle jumped into my lap as I sat by the woodstove, as he does every evening. He stretched himself out, full length, along my legs, which were propped up almost horizontally on a stool. He stretched his front paws, which have very sharp claws, against my jeans, just barely missing my exposed ankles. He went to sleep that way.

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