Thursday, March 08, 2012

Pirate, Caesar, and a Mouse Named Tom

Years ago I had a feline companion named Pirate. He was a stray I took in. He was an excellent hunter who would mouse on command. Very intelligent cat; understand English, sometimes complied with instructions like, "Get your tail out of the way" and, "Go to the foot of the bed" when I didn't want him sleeping wrapped around my face. I named him 'Pirate' when the first night he lived with me he hove along side, boarded my plate, and stood there licking the sauce off of my spaghetti.

Anyhow, some years later, we acquired an orange marmalade tom about six months old whom we promptly named 'Caesar' because he walked in like he owned the place. Pirate mostly ignored him and let him think he was important. One day, not long after he had arrived, I was sitting in the living room when a mouse ran across the hearth and darted behind a potted plant. Pirate immediately hunkered down and started to crawl across the floor on his belly. I said, "Pirate, wait." So he settled down right where he was, watching intently. He became one with the floor—great ninja cat trick. None of the other living creatures in the room saw him.

Caesar eventually noticed the mouse when it ran out the other side of the potted plant and pounced. He missed and the mouse scurried behind plant. He came out the other side. Caesar noticed, pounced and missed. Mouse ran behind plant and out the other side. Another miss by Caesar. Mouse started doing this on purpose, and got Caesar all riled up just like a cartoon cat so he was perfectly out of sync. When he pounced on one side, the mouse was on the other side. When he pounced on the other side, the mouse was back on the first side. Caesar eventually became so frustrated he sat on his haunches looking vexed.

Whereupon the mouse came out from behind the plant, stood on his hind feet, and started wagging his whiskers and waving his paws at him. It was a perfect field mouse performance of "Nyah nyah nyah." Poor Caesar, mocked by a mouse! He didn't try to pounce this time. He knew he couldn't get it. He sat there in abject humiliation. I mean, really. Here was a creature about the size of a teaspoon who couldn't have weighed more than a few grams harassing a creature about a 600x larger than himself!

At that point I leaned down and whispered, "Okay, Pirate. Go get him." Ziiiiiip! Black lightning streaked across the floor and caught the mouse by the scruff of the neck. He trotted over to me and presented the captive. The mouse hung paralyzed in his grip with the "HOLY SHIT WHERE DID THE CAT COME FROM?" look on his face. I told the mouse, "Pride goeth before a fall."

I fetched a plastic bowl, held it in front of Pirate and said, "Drop it." He plopped the mouse into the container. I took the mouse outside and set him free, unharmed.

You just can't let the cat eat Tom from the Tom & Jerry Show.

Tom never came back in the house, and I'm sure he never taunted any more kittens after that.

No comments:

Post a Comment