Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Tom and Jerry Exchange

I was lying in bed this morning, trying to persuade myself to abandon the comfortable warmth of goose down blanket combined with Yellow Labrador, when I heard scuffling next to the bed. I'd shed my long sleeve T-shirt during the night because it was too warm and thought, Oh no, the cat's got it. He went through a chewing stage at one point, not unlike a puppy, and I figured he was at it again. I reached down to relieve him of temptation, and "Oh, my God!" plopped out of my mouth at the same time a mouse plopped out of the shirt onto the bed.

If that doesn't get your heart racing, it's time to get an implanted defibrillator. Microseconds passed and I realized it was dead, despite no evidence of trauma. The little guy likely had a heart attack while being the unwitting accomplice in a game of "Your Mother Warned You There Might Be Days Like This." Well-fed, my cat has no need of supplementing his diet with rodent a la sushi. He just wants to play, and for all I know, was trying to revive his companion with the feline version of CPR. I wonder what the ratio of breaths to compressions is for a mouse?

Anyway, sufficiently roused, shall we say, I deposited the mouse in the trash, dressed, and took the dog out into the first snow of the season. It's quite lovely, as you can tell from the photo. We got about five inches of the light, powdery variety that is easy to shovel and will probably melt quickly, much to the chagrin of the fellow who plows my driveway and barnyard.

I'd like to say winter arrived in a "startling" fashion, but as you know, the cat has been monitoring the price of mice on the Tom and Jerry exchange for several months. A thoughtful investor, he never misses a "buying opportunity" when he can get one. At the moment he's in the upstairs bedroom, intently inspecting the closet door, as though trying to send a subliminal message to whomever he smells within. I'm sure he's using a carefully contrived deception like, "The cat's asleep, the cat's asleep." Gary Larson (The Far Side) would be impressed.

(Photo by the author)

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