Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sympathy for a Field Mouse

I love cats. There was a time when I didn't really care for them, but now I love the damn things. I love them so much, I have six. Sure, two of them haven't come home in a few weeks, but that still leaves me with four, and that's still a lot of cats. They're great, have distinct individual personalities, and they're all named after King Arthur characters. Hey, I'm a writer, what can I say?

On the night of July 16, however, my cats seriously pissed me off. For the last few weeks, when the sun goes down, they've been capturing, torturing, and executing field mice. All four of them have been doing it, Arthur and Tristan in particular. They are the reason that I now know that field mice, when tortured, sound like baby birds. I'd rather have never learned that, but I sleep with my window open and the cats prefer to conduct their torture sessions right outside of it.

Arthur, it seems, has exhausted the local supply of adult field mice and is now (along with Tristan) in the habit of "kidnapping" infant field mice from their mothers, all of whom I'm presuming are now dead as well. But last night, I went ape-shit. I heard the chirping of a tortured (and I do mean tortured) field mouse and I rushed outside. Sure enough, three of my cats were out there taking turns swatting, biting, and otherwise scaring the little creature to death. I brushed them aside, picked up the mouse, and headed down the street to hide it somewhere so it could get away... which is when I noticed that its eyes weren't open. The damn thing was still a baby.

Ah, the predicament of animal lovers. I have little sympathy for dying people, but show me a dying animal and I'm there to help in a heartbeat.

What to do? What to do? I couldn't let it go now, for it would die anyway without its mother. And I couldn't take it back to the field, because Arthur and Tristan would most certainly recapture it before any chance of a surrogate mother coming along. Shit out of luck on all counts, Mickey. Well, what could I do but put it in the field and hope for the best? Then I put it in the field again... and again... I swear, if the government would hire my cats to find Osama Bin Laden, he'd be incarcerated by now.

I spent about a half-hour with the little mouse. He had a tiny mole underneath one leg, there was a small remnant of his umbilical cord, and he wasn't yet coordinated enough to walk. Of course, he was so little, he could've been a she, but I'll never know. I admit, I was upset... still am, really. But nature's cruel and my cats are more than willing to prove that to me.

It seems my only option is to close my window. And that kinda sucks.


Anonymous said...

I don't know what to tell you, man.

Our cat will capture and even taunt field mice, and then kill them. But he doesn't "torture" them per se. I guess even in cats some are more inclined to mercy than others...he gives them a quick death.

You should have stuck with dogs. Dogs usually only kill to preserve territory. You know, dogs are the Imperial Pets...or your own little Army. :)

Posted by Geoffry on July 19, 2006 - Wednesday - 7:02 PM

Anonymous said...

i feel ya... i would have kept the little mouse. bless his little heart!!!!! :( my cat used to kill mice and leave them in my room at the foot of my bed as a little present for me. i, however, never heard them scream or anything. sorry you have...that's terrible.

jada once found a baby bunny nest and was "investigating" and the little bunnies (eyes still closed but furry) were screaming...but they were just scared i guess b/c when i ran over there to beat her ass and try to save them, there was nothing wrong with them. she was licking them. after that, everytime we would go out, she would go over to check on them. never anything mean, but just check. the day that they were gone she got so distraught. yeah, dogs rock!!! but i love cats too...

nature is nature and that's what cats do. i don't get too upset when nature takes her course, but if people kill animals (unless it's chicken, turkey, or cow...i like meat that is raised for such) i get so pissed off!!!! yeah, and i love animals WAY more than people as well. fuck animals!

oh, and i saw a bunny get hit by a car yesterday morning and it was horrific!!!! i cried on my way to work. i had turned around to maybe move it off the road but i couldn't get close to it b/c there was blood and his little tail was twitching...oh God it was terrible!!!! :(

people at work thought i was crazy for being so upset...and maybe i am?! but i don't care. so, i guess we can be crazy together...and yes, we can do that in mexico!!!

Posted by you have no idea... on July 20, 2006 - Thursday - 8:42 PM

She Writes said...

This almost made me like little tiny rodents. Almost. Rather heartbroken for the little mouse.

Tom said...

tender heart! i once watched a cat catch and release a chipmonk for about 10 minutes from my kitchen window...don't know what the ultimate outcome was, but it was quite a revelation. btw, i got kid named Gareth; some good names in those old stories.

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