Monday, October 06, 2008

Gnawing regrets

I guess we should have realised that this day would come and, with the onset of winter, it seems in retrospect to be something for which we should have really been prepared. It's just one of those things that one doesn't particularly want to contemplate, no matter how inevitable it may be.

I know we shouldn't be surprised. We adopted Sammy a year and a half ago and he was over 16 then - in the intervening time he has not grown any younger, nor has his hearing improved.

This, then, is the lamentable outcome of adopting an old, deaf cat.

Mice.

Oh, Sammy's fine. He's polishing off great bowls full of food and has bravely managed to overcome his distaste for the fairer sex by sleeping ever closer to me over the past six months until this week, he is actually sleeping in my face.

I have a handy hint for those of you with dry lips: don't use chapstick if your cat is sleeping in your face. Two words: Caterpillar Lips.

The upshot of all this hair in my nostrils is that I'm not sleeping brilliantly which means I spend a great deal of time lying very still (well, he is a Very Old Cat) listening to the sounds of our flat. Last night, this included the sound of the flat being chewed to pieces by what I have since confirmed as, by the size of it's little droppings, a mouse. A very loud mouse. A mouse which was yesterday having a gay old scramble across our wood floors followed by some vigourous chewing and then another scramble.

Now, most cats of my past aquaintance would at this point be wide awake, ears swivelling, planning their decimation of the enemy. Most cats, in fact, would merely need to inhabit an apartment to keep the mice behind enemy lines. Not Sammy however. No, Sammy was actually snoring. I prodded him awake and we lay there, him no doubt wearing his disgruntled face (I couldn't see in the dark but he was hunching his shoulders in a Very Meaningful Way) and me poking him at every scuttle. Did he perk up? Did he sniff the air meaningfully and emit a low growl? No. No no no. No, because our dearest darling Sammy is Too Deaf to hear a mouse and, I realised this morning after showing him The Evidence, he is probably also 'hard of smelling'. And, possibly, a little dim in the old eye department as well.

Poor old boy, he's a simply marvellous cat but absolutely bloody useless when it comes to warning off a mouse. I wonder, has there been a surveilance team of them under our floorboards rating Sammy under some sort of mouse threat assessment? 'This one is a zero, I repeat, zero, gnaw at will'. Have they really dismissed him as harmless? Or, is he, in fact the Dalai Lama of cats - fully aware that there are mice in the place but allowing them their mouse rights under a buddhist live-and-let-live policy?

Either way, we are going to have to get in some humane traps and let our little friends loose deep in the park where they pose no threat to the wiring. While we don't intentionally leave out any food which would otherwise attract them, we do have the cat's bowls, not to mention a two year old who stuffs half-eaten biscuits into the furniture so I suspect that now they've found us and our neutral cat, our little housemates are going to be disinclined to leave without a little prodding.

Bedtime now, I'll be the one with the ear plugs in and my finger in the cat's ribs.

10 comments:

Jonny's Mommy said...

We've been lucky..even though our cats are old, they still must chase the mice away because we haven't seen one in years.

Of course we have three cats and a dog so I'm sure this deters the mice.

I love the phrase "caterpillar lips"!

Hubby must get this often as his cat likes to lay across his chest, under his chin, against his face, quite a lot actually.

She does the same to me, but I can only take it for so long. I would never do well wearing a mink stoll I guess.

DJ Kirkby said...

You. Are. Hilarious!

cactus petunia said...

Oh, boy. Who would've thought the pitter patter of little feet would be mouse toes!
I'm very familiar with the caterpillar lips syndrome...plus I have three- count 'em -3 useless mousers at my house...and none of them are 16 years old. At least Sammy has an excuse, poor dear!

Miranda said...

heh heh, very funny! Black box sent me

Elsie Button said...

is it in fact ironic that the very reason the mice are there in the first place is because of the cat and his food lying around the place? That and the food the spud leaves around of course. We have the same problem with Betty attracting the mice with her hiding food in very random places - places we would never think to look.

Very funny post!

Rob Clack said...

Ha ha, caterpillar lips! Brilliant!

I think you have it easy, however. Our cat brings the mice in, still alive and intact, and releases them in our bedroom. At 2.30 am. And proceeds to chase them around the room before, finally, eating them with faint crunching sounds. Actually, that should be eating the front half and leaving the hindquarters ready for an unwary bare foot....

The Trooper said...

Hey, my first time here...
Feel for ya in your current situation..I dont think it's very nice when you cant sleep but you want to..for whatever reason.. :(

SAVanVleck said...

I once lived in an apartment with so many mice in the kitchen, that no one, including the dog, would enter the kitchen at night.

Here, we had mice when mom lived with us and left food on the floor for the dog. Our 6.2 lb Chihuahua once cornered a baby mouse but they were equally scared of each other.

Mom has an apartment now and the food is up and we have not had a mouse all year

Michelle said...

I couldn't stop laughing, Sparx! Thanks for sharing your brilliant sense of humor!

Sparx said...

Jonny's Mommy - bless you for having so many animals - am jealous but I think Sammy would probably keel over!

DJ - Thanks!

Cactus - 3 useless mousers? I don't feel so sorry for Sammy now!

Miranda - Hi, thanks for commenting!

Elsie - yes, irony in action... it's impossible to monitor toddler food stashes some days... guess the mouse will lead us to them...

Rob - we have been there with other cats... little parcels of innards left out for our delectation... eugh... sympathy!

Trooper - thanks! Thanks for commenting too.

Savanvleck... seriously? OMG. Love the image of the chihuahua and the mouse...

Michelle - thanks back at ya!