Guts, but still no glory
Ah, it must be spring. There are birds singing in the peppercorn tree, the days are getting longer and there are mouse guts on the back doormat.
I can't tell you how much I hate having mouse guts on the doormat, or anywhere else for that matter. When Mr Furpants was a wee pussyfluff, we thought he was going to be completely incompetent as a hunter. He had no tail control at all. We'd watch him stalking something and he'd get terribly excited, thrashing his tail around and scaring away his quarry. "Oh, thank Ford!" we thought happily. "He's not going to be bring us corpses." Pffft. Mr Furpants has grown into The Most Vicious Little Hunter in the Known Universe. Boba Fett, step aside.
I came home from the pub last night to find kitty engaged in the first mousercise of the spring. Mousercise is horrible. It involves much squeaking as the mouse is tossed into the air and caught again. Of course I feel guilty and awful and sorry for the mouse, but since I rescued one and it bit me, I've pretty much left 'em to their fate.
Yes, I was bitten by a mouse.
Puss was torturing the poor little critter, so I cuffed him around the ears and took it away. "Aww," I said, cupping it in two hands. "Look, it's all wet. And isn't it cute?" Ten seconds later, I felt little teeth chiselling into my palm, literally biting the hand that rescued it. "What? You little bastard!" I cried, shaking my hand to dislodge the mouse. It landed in the flower bed and looked a little dazed. To my shame, I said, "There, puss, eat that!" A friend pointed out I was obviously a long way from nirvana.
Even after being bit with one mouse, I still tried to rescue another one. Puss was scrounging about in the alyssum under the apple tree and the victim managed to escape onto the verandah. "Oh, poor little beastie," I thought, picking it up. Sadly, this mouse was just as dumb as the last one. It took a flying leap from my hands to make a run for it. Unfortunately, The Bloke had just bought a new piece of glass for the kitchen window and propped it against one of the verandah posts while he prepared the window frame. Puss was still hunting in the alyssum, but caught a glimpse of the mouse when it landed. Through the pane of glass. Naturally, he jumped straight through the glass, smashed it, snatched up the mouse and bolted, all without getting a scratch.
So, as un-Buddhist as it is, these days I leave the mice to their fates. I figure the third time I save one, it will probably manage to set fire to the house as it runs away. (Rats, of course, get to fend for themselves, because they carried the Black Death. Sorry, guys, but the sins of the fathers and all.)
So, Tuesday was the first mousercise of the season, but I didn't see what he did with the corpse. Tonight, when I opened the back door to call Mr Furpants, he was already sitting on the doormat. "Uh oh," I thought. "Bad sign." One night when I did that, he had a rat banged up against the door step and it tried to run inside to escape. Sure enough, there he was with the arse-end of a mouse. Including the tail. (He'd already eaten the rest.)
I'm torn between disgust and amazement at the way puss can deal with a mouse. He can literally eat everything but the guts and something that looks suspiciously like the liver. It's not like he's got a steak knife and an opposable thumb, here - all he has at his disposal is teeth and a set of claws that he likes to sharpen on Bloke's thongs. Repulsive, yet amazing. (The sharpening process and the mouse dissection.)
Bloke is, naturally, responsible for the removal of all corpses, or part thereof. He doesn't cook, so it's only fair. Imagine how double-plus-unpleased I was when he went overseas during the summer and Mr Furpants went a little feral and brought me eight rats in one week. After the second one, I lost the will to dig little graves for them and ended up by shrouding them in freezer bags and entombing them in the wheelie bin. Handy hint, by the way: you can put nearly anything in a bin (including prawn tails and crab shells) and it won't smell that bad, but throw in just one dead rat and all bets are off.
I probably should point out that our house and garden do not appear to be overrun with rodents. We don't have long grass in our yard, or chooks, or a state-sponsored mouse and rat breeding program. I have no idea where he gets them from, but I choose to blame the neighbours for having grubby yards and no mousers of their own.
But what I'd really like to know is, why can't Mr Furpants bring home chilled bottles of reisling and leave them on the door step? That would be much more civilised.