Spring is definitely thinking about springing, and Little Cat seems to be emerging from the hunting stupor that is winter. I know this because she caught a mouse last week. I know that because The Dude helpfully mentioned as I was preparing to go up the stairs that he “thought the cat had something in her mouth when she went upstairs earlier”.
Cue half an hour moving bits of furniture in a futile attempt to catch the mouse. A remarkably small and uninjured mouse.
I saw it the following morning. Still alive, and behind the writing bureau.
And then two mornings after that. It was skinnier now, but I had seen Little Cat catch the rascally thing at least twice and gently let it go each time. It was like she was playing a game with her pet mouse. Either that, or she was trying to teach me to hunt.
But I didn’t see it for a few days, and that was a relief, because my mum was coming for a visit. I figured the cat had finally put it out of its misery (although no evidence had been found), or it had died of starvation, or somehow it had figured out how to get down the stairs and out the cat flap.
My mum arrived Monday. No mouse. Little Cat behaved as though there had never been a mouse (“hunting mice is so-o last week, dahling”). Tuesday and Wednesday, the same. Thursday afternoon, I climb the stairs to find Little Cat staring intently at the heater on the landing. And hidden behind the heater, much skinnier now, was the mouse. I tried to edge it towards Little Cat, but our inter-species communication was as its normal level of “what are you on about?”. So it ran into the spare bedroom and under the sofa bed.The one my mum would be sleeping in soon. I went downstairs, said nothing. What could I say? (“Um, there may have been a mouse in your room this whole time, Mum. I sort of forgot to mention it.”)
Friday morning, The Dude found the unmarked remains of the mouse at the foot of the stairs.
I still haven’t told my mum. Except now, obviously, I have.