Saturday, January 01, 2011

Working hard over the holiday break

I wasn't doing much of a non-vacation nature, but you can judge for yourself whether these guys were working hard.

Buddy, on the far left, is bagging himself, as usual. In the middle photo, Seymour and Ursula (left to right) show their keen awareness of hot spots in the house. In the third photo, Seymour (with Buddy in the background) catches up on his beauty sleep, which appears to be working.

Their biggest and certainly most excellent adventure of the week involved a gray mouse that had the misfortune to find its way into our house. This proved to be a fatal misstep for the poor creature, but only partly due to the cats' efforts.

They have some of the chops for catching mice, as all cats do by instinct. But I gather that actually killing mice is a learned art from one's mother. Hard to say, at this late date, if any of these guys ever got the full training, but I rather suspect not.

Two nights ago, before going to bed, we noted, from the cats' keen interest, that there must be a mouse under the stove area in the kitchen. Then at about 2:30 in the morning, there was a commotion. Seymour apparently had carried the mouse in his mouth to the foot of our bed, where he jumped up and started catching and releasing it.

This game, however splendid from his standpoint, was a bit disturbing to our sleep. But then, worse still, he let the mouse escape. I felt it skitter past my head and pillow, after which it jumped down to the floor and went behind a heating unit in the wall, from which neither we nor the cats could reach it readily. That was it for the first night. We all went back to sleep, knowing that this was just the first round.

The mouse next was spotted behind a chair in the late afternoon on New Year's Eve. This led to multiple chases by our feline tag team. Some of the chases resembled outtakes from a Marx Brothers movie (which we were watching on TMC during breaks in the action), and a few led to temporary feline capture followed by release.

I hate to criticize (and really, what could possibly be the point of criticizing a cat), but I will say that none of them entirely had the old-fashioned spirit of sticking to a job until it's done. They treated the entire situation like a moderately interesting movie that you stay with only until the next slow scene or commercial break.

Finally some of the humans on the scene, none of whom wanted a live mouse in the house, succeeded in administering the coup de grace and ending the intruder's suffering.

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