I love my cat (by my cat I mean Cat That Was Given To Daughter For Her Birthday but has become a shared commodity in our house). He is like a cat-dog combo - like something you would expect to eat in a Vietnamese take-out joint. He's playful and cuddly. Loyal and aloof. He behaves and he doesn't. Needy and self-sufficient. And as far as pets go, he's all kinds of rad.
Except one little thing. And it's this one little thing that may result in him finding himself named on the 'For Adoption' list imminently. The little shit has taken to bringing me daily presents. A little bed-time treat - the nature of which is causing me to sleep with one eye open.
He's imaginative in his choice of gifts: they've ranged from cockroaches to geckos, from birds (and the wreckages of feathers and lice and nests!!) to gnarled lizards. And given that I'm such a ninny I'm even afraid of bananas, these creature/ex-creature corpses do not sit snug with me.
But last night was his finest find. I'm so deeply emotionally scarred that he's officially on his last warning.
I'd put my phone on to charge and was moving about the house, switching off lights and TVs and other noise-producing gadgets that together produce a cacophony of sound so great that I've resigned myself to the fact that I will, forever, hear a dull ringing in my ears. I'd brushed my teeth. Taken the butter out of the fridge to aid in easy butter-spreadage for the morning.
And just as I was locking the last door, the little shit slipped past me and trotted into my bedroom.
"That's quite normal," I thought. "My babies are all in for the night and now I can go and capitalise on some groovy cuddle action."
I turned away from the locked door, approached my bedroom door, chucked my keys on my bed and went to kiss The Daughter. And then I returned, exhausted, desperate to settle into some trashy literature before bed. And then I saw it: an effing mouse. ALIVE! In my bedroom.
The Pant: Cat. Stop it. Take it outside.
The cat continued to claw at the animal, chucking it in the air, dragging it across my recently-cleaned cream carpets.
TP: Take it the fu*k outside. Now. Stop killing it.
He was in an aloof mood, was the little shit, and totally ignored me.
TP: (voice rising) CAT! Take the effing mouse outside and kill it the fu*k out there.
It took Cat a good hour to kill said mouse. I would have saved it, if I'd been able but I was too effing scared that I spent that entire hour standing on the table in my lounge screaming like a cat with its foot in a blender.
Eventually the murderer left my room. And I found, deep within me, the courage to go and assess the situation: a dead little mouse, lying on its side, eyes closed - a bit like a sleeping Stuart Little but without the tartan.
I considered simply getting into bed and ignoring the corpse's existence. But I'm too afraid of lazy snakes to do that. I imagine that there are plenty of snakes in this world that would prefer their meals already murdered.
And so it took me a good further 20 minutes to scoop mouse into makeshift dustpan (read actual dustbin) using a broom and a concerted attempt to extend my arms a further arm's length away from my body. Each time the broom made contact with the mouse, I'd shriek and run to the other side of the house muttering, "Oh Lord save me - send me a man - a live-in one - what have I done to deserve this??? Please! Help! Me! I will never blaspheme again. I swear to effing God, I won't."
After much crying and snivelling and plea-bargaining, I got the mouse into the bin and took it outside. That was something for someone else, anyone else, to sort out.
And I went to bed shaken, like a passenger on a bus in Mumbai, but super effing tired.
It was when I woke up for my morning 'run' (with The BF, my people - much more peaceful) that I found the self-same effing mouse on my effing cream carpets that I've just spent another effing arm and effing leg to have cleaned. For fu*k sakes!
His mouth must be disgusting. And he suckles my ear every night.