I am a pet orphan as I write this. I really don't know how that has happened, since I have had a cat or dog or both since I was a small child.
I have had cats that live to be ancient wise cats that seem to calmly sit, on a pillow-like throne, ruling the world with just their thoughts. I have had dogs that lived long lives, too, but they always seemed to not age well – they were never wise, as the cats became. They were just less yippy and jumpy.
At one time I had two wise old cats: Smokey who was about 14, very old acting, very wise acting, and very sedate. He would sit and rule the world with his mesmerizing mind thoughts. Squeak, the other cat, was 12, also very wise and intelligent, cleverly out-ruling Smokey with silent shrewd looks at her subjects – me being her main subject.
Along with Smokey and Squeaky was our Pit Bull, Rebel – who the cats knew as Dumb Dopey Dog. Dumb Dopey Dog thought he was a cat and a very unskilled cat. He'd try to purr and nothing would happen. He'd curl up in your lap like he was Squeak – but he still couldn't purr. He was sad about this – he'd roll his eyes up at you with a despondent, sorrowful stare and sigh a heavy sigh and lay his head back down, forever chagrined that he couldn't purr.
As smart as my wise cats were, they never discovered the art of mousing. I'd have to set traps in the cupboards and then carry out dead little bodies to the garbage can in the alley. But one spring day, Squeak discovered her latent ability to catch a mouse. We had a mouse that was daringly walking back and forth in the kitchen, from kitty dish to dog dish, helping herself to a cat morsel and then trying out the dog biscuits, ten times her size, and then washing it down with either dog or cat water. (I had to have separate water dishes on opposite sides of the kitchen and steadfastly point at the dog water dish until Dumb Dopey Dog figured it out that he was NOT going to get to lap up the cats' water while I was standing guard.)
And the mouse-cat-dog parade went on for days, all creatures just missing each other's presence by a hair. Until one day. Squeak discovered this little creature trying out her food dish. That was the moment her instincts took over and she discovered mousing. To Squeak, mousing involved toying with the mouse – not eating it. Blech.
She was like a cartoon cat with a cartoon mouse. She'd grab the mouse's little tail and hold it down. The mouse would run in place until Squeak let it go and then the chase would begin and she'd hunt down the mouse and hold its tail and patiently watch the running in place until she let the mouse go.
This was all good and dandy except for Dumb Dopey Dog. DDD went nutso. He'd jump on chairs and tables and couches and the piano and another chair and another table. Hopping to and fro in a frantic effort to get away from the ferocious, terrifying, horrifying, vicious, dog-eating, cruel, unstoppable mouse. It was David and Goliath! It was chaos! It was pandemonium! If that mouse could get away from Squeak's grasp, Dumb Dopey Dog was as good as Dead Dog!
I came home right in the middle of this fracas. Where's Smoke??? He's hiding under the table, hunched up, hair on end, watching the free-falling Dopey Dog and the stalwart, death-grip Squeak with total paralyzing awe.
I saw immediately that I needed to stop someone from freaking out – and the quandary was, do I put Squeak out and will she take the mouse with her? Or do I put Rebel out and can I chain him to the fence fast enough. I opened the door to get ready and Squeak immediately snatched up her little friend and out the door they went, with Dumb Dog right behind them and now he was leaping over bushes and fences and coming back to look – like looking at an accident – and then he'd jump the fence again and peer through the cracks. In the meantime, Squeak had discovered the freedom of the outdoors and she would take the little mouse tail by her teeth and fling the mouse as high and as far as she could and then chase the mouse and bat him another ten feet and continue throughout the yard. You have to realize that she is my sweet little tortoiseshell kitty that weighs only three pounds ringing wet and is the cuddliest purringest cat you have ever seen in your life. And she has become this brutal, teasing, raging bully!
The mouse finally died of exhaustion and at that point, Squeak went back inside and acted like NOTHING had happened. I rescued the Dumb Dog from the neighbor's back porch and brought him inside, where he made wide berths around Squeak and avoided her for days.
For several weeks after this incident, I put Squeak outside a lot. I couldn’t stand another mouse episode. It wasn't the mouse, exactly, it was the pandemonium that ensued. After that, I would open the front door and find remnants of mice. All headless. Which is another story, I guess. Why????