Friday, July 29, 2011

Of Mice and Cats (an American Classic)

By Rocky Williams

I'm currently serving time at the Fleabag Prison with two other feline felons, so I thought it might be fun to tell you a story from my ‘Verminator’ days. They’re just a memory for me now, because I'm under house arrest for ankle biting, toe nibbling, counter surfing and other unmentionable crimes. Hence, I have nothing but time to tell a little cat-and-mouse tale. Steinbeck, eat your heart out!

Once upon a time, I had a job as Chief Verminator of Rodent Valley, California. It was a wonderful place for felines, but not so much for humans since the mice, rats and gophers outnumbered them by the thousands. Catching a rodent was a daily event for me, but not because I took my job seriously. I mean really…what else did I have to do all day?

So one day I caught a rat and promptly took him inside so the Warden could see what a good job I was doing as Chief Verminator. I hoped she would reward me with some of that yummy FELIDAE kibble I’m crazy for, but when I dropped him at her feet she screamed “Rocky, get that THING out of here!” Her lack of appreciation for my wonderful gift was appalling. I proceeded to play two-paw soccer with my rat, which I'd named Ben, but after awhile I lost interest in this little game and looked away.

Unfortunately, Ben seized the opportunity to make a run for it, and he got away from me! The Warden saw Ben scamper behind the stove. I pretended that I didn't see anything. Rat? What rat? Hmmm…I didn’t see a rat, did you?  I nonchalantly licked my paws and sauntered away.

The warden, mouth agape, stared at my backside as I ambled out of the room. I think I heard her calling after me. She might have said something like, “Rocky, come back here and get that THING out from behind the stove.” But if she had said that, what did she expect me to do? The space Ben crawled under is one inch at best, and I'm a big lad. I couldn't fit under there even I'd wanted to go after him, which I didn't.

I casually looked over my shoulder. The Warden was still staring at the stove and then back to me. I plopped myself on the couch, because I was overdue for a nap. The Warden was beside herself; she didn’t know what to do. I heard her talking on the phone, and she mentioned she had a mouse living behind the stove. Hahaha! Evidently, she didn’t notice that this ‘mouse’ had an 8” tale!

As if her mistaking a rat for a mouse wasn't funny enough, the next day the Warden found out Ben had taken up residence under the kitchen sink. He was building a little nest out of rags and making himself right at home. The Warden is such a softy when it comes to animals, and I suppose she thought Ben was hungry because she left him some peanut butter on a cracker. The next day, it was gone so apparently Ben liked his snack.

Days went by. The Warden was trying to figure out what to do about the mouse. A friend said they had a humane trap she could borrow. Hooray – Ben is saved! Oops, false alarm; they couldn't find it. The Warden looked for a humane trap at every town within flying distance on her broom, but she couldn't find one.

After a few weeks of Ben gorging himself on PB & C and leaving little droppings behind (his way of saying thanks, I'm sure), the Warden finally broke down and bought a regular mouse trap. She baited it with Ben's usual snack and waited. For three days, she checked the trap and breathed a sigh of relief that the cracker sat untouched. She really didn’t want to hurt Ben, but didn’t know what else to do.

On the fourth day, the Warden’s friend found her humane trap after all. Oh joy! The Warden skipped happily into the house and told me that Ben was finally saved. She opened the cupboard door and there lay Ben, stiffer than a board, cracker crumbs still on his little mouth. The Warden was very sad, even when she discovered that her ‘pet mouse’ was actually a rat. Me? Not so much. I’m a cat after all, and I took my job as Chief Verminator very seriously. Well, not really. I worked solely for the great benefits, aka, the endless bowl of FELIDAE cat food and the nightly Tidnips™ treats. Now THAT is what matters most to a cat!

~ The End ~

Photo by Denis Defreyne

Read more articles by Rocky Williams


  1. Why do they INSIST on bringing live prey in the house?!? CC brought a dove in once and it was pandemonium and poop EVERYWHERE.

  2. I don't love mice but I don't freak out if they are brought in but rats - now that's a different story and also birds - love to see them and feed them in the winter but can't touch one to save my life - it's the feathers!!
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx Mum Sue xx (the wimp)
    ps I don't like feather dusters either!!!

  3. Yup, the kitties here brought a bird in the house and I didn't even notice for a few minutes until I saw it moving around on the kitchen floor. I scooped it up and threw it outside and darned if it didn't fly away. The baby rabbits are the hardest to see caught by the cats. Funny story about the mouse. Take care.

  4. Well I've never actually had the opportunity...yet, but I think I'm up to the task. I think you did a terrific job!

  5. I dunno--I think you shoulda dedded it before it escaped under the stove, MOL! At least Ben got a couple extra weeks of eating well and enjoying life.
    Unfortunately, since I am an indoor kitty, I have not had the chance to kill a mousie (well, not that the Human knows about anyway, heh heh), but I do enjoy doing away with moths!

  6. I'd freak over a rat. Only once have I had a live mouse in the house--a number of years ago when "angels" Annie and Chumley were with me and they chased a mouse from our little garden into the living room, via the open patio door. I managed to save the mouse and toss him outside (eventually), but kept the patio screen closed after that. LOL.

    -The human from Fuzzy Tales...And thanks for visiting us, btw!

  7. I volunteer for a shelter here in Chicago. A few summers ago a very silly and unlucky rat took a wrong turn and ended up in the (cageless) cat room at the shelter. We are not sure how he ended up inside (he was the one and only), but I am sure you can imagine what happened! He was pretty much surrounded by a gang of feline thugs. Fortunately, one of the shelter workers intervened and put him back outside in the alley. He never returned ...

    Kristin (Pip's assistant)

  8. Sounds like you did a great job, Rocky! We chase bugs, but have never seen a real mouse or rat (well, maybe Sammy did when he lived in the feral colony). But we think we'd be okay at it, especially Moosey, because he is really good at catching flies. - Moosey and Sammy


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