Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Useless Cats

Question: Why would a cat lie at the very bottom of the stairs, right next to a door that has not one but two big huskies on the other side of it? Huskies who consider cats to be something of a cross between snack food and play toys?

Answer: There’s a mouse behind the bucket with the dog bones.

Now, at first glance, this actually makes my cats sound quite normal. Even sensible, considering all the years of programming passed on through the generations.

However, when I moved the bucket to see why I had a couple cats fixated on that particular spot, the cats just sat there.

The influx of mice this year has been a bit irritating. I’m not a fan of creepy crawly things in general, and the only thing that ever made me look favourably on mice was experience with rats when I lived in BC. Alberta is blissfully rat-free, but I do not like rats. Or BC spiders, those gigantic ones. Freak me out, I hate those things.

But I digress.

So I left it to Kevin (who I’ve been bugging to do something about the mouse problem for a while) to deal with the mouse.

If I’d been thinking I would have gotten myself popcorn and a comfy chair.

Now, the players in this scenario, other than Kevin were:

Nootka, who is basically the cheering section

Chinook, the alpha male

The Mouse

Skittles, now known as Stupid

Stuart, who is now known as Spawn of Stupid

After I determined there was a mouse there, I replaced the bucket. The standoff had been going on for a few hours, and to be honest there was no better way to prove my point about the mouse problem than the proof that the presence of multiple cats was not deterring them from venturing upstairs.

And admittedly, I didn’t tell Kevin what was behind the bucket when I told him to pick it up.

At this point, it became something of a comedy.

Now, behind the door, as I mentioned, were two big huskies. They were on the landing. Kevin moved them behind another door, the one that goes to the basement, and left the door from the upstairs to the landing open. He got a container and decided he was going to catch this mouse.

Then he looked down and said, “Where did it go?”

Stuart had been lying on the bottom, right by the door, but she’d been tossed up to the top of the stairs. Skittles was lying two steps up, and still lying two steps up.

Kevin moved the few pairs of shoes on the sides of the stairs. No mouse. He then scoured the landing. No mouse.

Surely the mouse didn’t get past Skittles?

Why yes, it had. As Kevin moved more shoes, there it was, having gone up a full step past the cat, who was oblivious to its presence.

Kevin’s attempt to catch it sent it scurrying back down, and Skittles did nothing more than turn his head to watch.

Stuart just sat there, watching as well, proving herself equally useless.

The mouse scurried across the landing, and slipped under the door to the basement. It took less than two seconds for that mouse to do a 180 and run back out to the landing, clearly more frightened by the dogs than the cats, so it headed back for the stairs.

Kevin did manage to get his container over it. He then managed to lose it. Off it went, so fast, it proved itself stupid enough to forget what was behind door #2.

And when Kevin opened the door, there it was, a dead mouse covered in dog saliva.

Our cats are very good sleepers.

Great at grooming.

Outstanding at commandeering chairs and settling down for 18-hour naps.

But two of them have proven they haven’t got anything on the dogs when it comes to catching mice.

(I was going to include more photos but blogger is being pissy this morning.)

In other news the original Spinetingler site has been updated, along with the new pdf for download, and Angie has Megan Abbott In For Questioning this week. Check it out!


norby said...

See, your cats are indoor cats. You were supposed to catch the mouse, kill it, and put it in the food bowl for them.

Chinook, however, has had to fend for himself. He knows what to do about small scurrying creatures. He just appreciates you guys putting him in a room and then chasing the mouse to him.

Anonymous said...

Seems as if your cats have you and Kevin very well trained.

JamesO said...

Buddug is so fluffy she's been known to lose a mouse in her fur. From the mouse's point of view, this is probably the safest place to be. And warm, too. Quite often the sanctuary stays in the one place for hours as well, hunkered down and staring at the desk in the front hall where she thinks the mouse is still hiding.

Mortimer, the DevilDog, on the other hand, is a natural mouse-catcher (or at least was until the arthritis got him.) But he's also a born lier. I've seen him look at me with a 'mouse? what mouse?' expression of purest innocence on his face, slightly spoiled by the tail poking out of the side of his mouth.

Sandra Ruttan said...

I think I must disagree Anonymous. If the cats had us trained we would have provided them with the mouse in their dinner bowls.

Letting the dogs have the spoils wouldn't be part of the plan.

And James, I've seen that look too. Ultimately similar to a child sucking up a strand of spaghetti.

I think if Buttons hadn't been in my bedroom, and Pip hadn't been segregated with her new kitten, it would have been a very different story.

norby said...

I'm sorry, I just noticed this.

"Stuart had been lying on the bottom, right by the door, but she’d been tossed up to the top of the stairs."

Your cat Stuart is a girl?! Heehee.

I really hope that's not a typo, because then I get to send evil thoughts to a certain someone.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Nope, not a typo. Stuart is a girl. I promised the firstborn of the house would be named in honour of He Who Must Regularly Prove His Insanity and the firstborn was a girl, born in the litterbox.

I'm a woman of my word.

spyscribbler said...

I am in love with Skittles and Stuart! What adorable little babies! (I lurk on your blog all the time, but when you post a picture of those cuties, I can't help but come out cooing, LOL.)

My one cat was a great mouser for awhile, but only during a certain age for about two years. Weird.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Spyscribbler, I have so many cute babies. Rebus is adorable, because with his brown eyes and being all black, his expressions are just priceless. He always looks like he's staring wide-eyed, slightly freaked out (unless he's half asleep). I should really post photos of the new kitten, who is getting to be quite adventurous!

angie said...

I dunno...maybe anon has a point. The kitties evidently were more interested in the human/mouse dance than in actually catching and eating the little rodent. Sounds like they got exactly what they wanted - a great show!

*loved my word veri - ifukd*

Anonymous said...

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall for that.
I love your pets, they are just too cute...
My cat, she used to bring me dead rabbits/rats and birds!!!
Very sweet yet also disgusting. As for my dog. Well he eats flies and bee's, thats it!

norby said...

Don't let chel fool you, flies and bees aren't all that dog eats-that's just the only wildlife he's got room for after he gets done eating in the house. He begs like crazy, but he's cute so he gets away with it!

Eileen said...

I love this post. Clearly your cats are vegetarians or peace protestors. Maybe they should have little signs saying "give mouse peace a chance."