After a long day of, well, I don’t know how the days disappear so quickly, but I was tired so, we did something. I sat on the bed with a heating pad under my feet as I clicked buttons on my computer. The dogs snored from the floor beside the bed and Gimli the cat darted about the house as he usually does. After the cat circled our bed twice, I realized he was carrying a toy. This is odd for two reasons. First, because the cat flings his toys from place to place instead of carrying them. Second, the cat doesn’t walk around the bed. He walks the side of the mattress. Sideways. He navigates our room like a cross between the creepy baby in Trainspotting and a Parkour YouTube celebrity.
I left the comfort of my heating pad to check on the cat and it was immediately clear that he was carrying a real mouse. A freshly dead mouse gently draped from the cat’s mouth and I imagined the mites and filth that parasitically live on mice. I called stacheman to help me save the cat from whatever cooties the mouse was incubating. Stacheman walked in the room. He walked in the room quite quickly for someone who usually claims he couldn’t hear me calling him. He looked at me trying to convince the cat to drop the treasure and he giggled.
I scooped up the cat and held him away from my body instead of carrying him snuggled against me. As if the cat wouldn’t notice that he was being carried like a toxin, I baby talked to the cat. “Good Gimli. Drop it. Good kitty. Spit it out.” I had Stacheman tickle the cat’s toes. The dead mouse remained firmly in the cat’s jaws.
I marched up the stairs with the cat in my outstretched Frankenstein monster arms. Stacheman walked behind me. Silently. As we walked past the wall of the bathroom, I yelled for Doug to come help us. I alarmed Doug. “What is it? What happened? Details! I need details!”
I started to take the cat, the dead mouse and Stacheman into the occupied bathroom, but we were turned away. Doug did not appreciate the entourage, which would normally seem weird for someone who loves an audience, but even extroverts have their limits.
Our redneck Fellini parade marched toward the kitchen and I tried to formulate a plan. What if I put the cat in the sink and CRUNCH.
“I stepped on it! I stepped on it and it popped like a victim on Fringe. Burn my foot!”
I hopped on one foot howling for Clorox as Doug finally joined the sitcom already in progress. He looked at the furry body that was now accompanied by a crime scene pool and splatter of blood. “Where’s the head? I need to find the head before you put the cat down.” I continued hopping and screeching that the remains of the head were probably on my foot while Doug ignored me and searched the area for a tiny amputated mouse head.
As Doug declared the mouse disfigured, but intact, I realized that Stacheman was still by my side. Smiling. Stacheman silently watched and enjoyed the entire freak show with a giant grin stretching from earlobe to earlobe. It was almost as though this exact moment was the culmination of an elaborate plan that was orchestrated before Stacheman ever asked for a new kitten. Like the Brain’s plan to rule the world, the hilarious prank had finally taken place. Stacheman gleamed.
I shoved the rag doll cat in Stacheman’s arms. “Go brush his teeth!”