Conspiracy! Right under my nose!

On top of everything else, today I have to make a trek to the hardware store to pick up some mouse traps. “Why?” you might ask, “Don’t you have a vicious evil cat?” Yes, I do, one with a temper and long needle-sharp claws and fangs she will bite me with if I have the temerity to pet her too familiarly. But we currently have a little mouse problem, and she’s not doing the job. We had a cold snap after a week of warm weather, and whenever that happens the outdoor mice scurry into the nice warm house for a while, and then decide they like it and want to stay a while.

So last night I found the cat posed sphinx-like on the floor, it’s paws before it, and between them…a very fat roly-poly little mouse. “Well, stop torturing it and end its misery,” I said, “so I can clean it up.” But then I noticed that the cat was purring, and the mouse was softly ch-ch-chittering, and the cat was nuzzling it with her nose. They were having a conversation. And the cat had her claws fully retracted.

That’s what rankled. She doesn’t even grant me that little favor.

So now…mouse traps. I don’t think the cat has ever killed a mouse in her life, and now I understand why: they’re her little friends, and she likes them better than me. Well, I’ll take care of that.


  1. Ice Swimmer says

    Is this some sort of Mirror Universe? An obligate predator is friendly with mice and a vegetarian has to purchase equipment from international merchants of death to kill the mice.

  2. R. L. Foster says

    I think your cat may be lonely and grumpy. I know this is advice you probably won’t want to hear, but I suggest you get another cat as a companion for your current cat. We have an old, ill-tempered, human hating cat named Sammy who won’t even let us near it. My wife got so exasperated with him that we went to the shelter and adopted a sweet, affectionate, one-year-old female named Layla about six months ago. At first Sammy went into full territorial protection mode. There was growling and hissing and cat fights for the first week. Then, as if a switch had been thrown, Sammy and Layla started to share the couch and then the bed. When I open a can of food they both come running and eat side by side. She now licks his head and ears and he purrs contentedly. They still fight, but it’s more like fun wrestling. Sammy now holds his tail high and even allows us to pet him, though not for very long.

  3. PaulBC says

    Ice Summer@1

    Is this some sort of Mirror Universe?

    It sounds like the Peaceable Kingdom in miniature (Isaiah 11:6-9). Maybe end times really are upon us. Who would predict the first sign coming to an atheist in Morris, Minnesota?

  4. stroppy says

    Just when you think you’ve got them figured out, they find new ways to mess with your head.

    My father used to call our cats The Katzenjammer Kids.

  5. robro says

    Perhaps you’re anthropomorphizing? Our cats often “played” with the mice before killing them and eating their tiny heads off.

  6. PaulBC says

    they’re her little friends, and she likes them better than me. Well, I’ll take care of that.

    BTW, if you start killing her friends, she will probably like them more and you less. At least that’s my naive take on it. I realize there counterintuitive possibilities like Stockholm Syndrome, but “I’ve killed all your friends so now you have to have me as your friend.” isn’t the first tactic I’d go for (but it’s probably more common than I think).

  7. christoph says

    It’s not uncommon for animals to bond with or adopt animals of another species. I’ve seen skunks adopt kittens, also cats adopting baby skunks.
    BTW, I hope you’re not using glue traps. Those things are hideous-they cause a long, agonizing death for the mouse. If you have to kill them, it’s better to do it quickly.

  8. pete says

    One of my cats protects mice when they are in the house. Outside it sees the mice as food, but inside they are just a toy to be played with and protected. Once I even had to pick up the cat to get at the mouse hiding under it.

  9. blf says

    Since fitting miniature PZ Myers masks to the mice to encourage the evil cat to torment them apparently didn’t work, try the opposite: Poopyhead should put on a giant mouse costume. The evil cat may then be “nice” to its new oversized wrong-smelling friend. Or it may associate the smaller mice with its claw-toy, and stop being “nice” to them also. Or it may not be fooled at all, and show that it’s not fooled (safety tip: wear plate mail armour underneath the mouse disguise). Or it may not notice, and nothing changes. Or it may decide to go to sleep, meow for food, set the house on fire, and / or eat the internet modem.

  10. christoph says

    @blf, #13: PZ solved the cat-not-liking-him problem a while back. Turns out it wasn’t PZ the cat didn’t like, it was the color clothing he was wearing.

  11. Tethys says

    The cat did catch the mouse. I’ve had other cats who treated mice indoors like a very tiny kitten rather than prey. He was quite unhappy when I took his terrified adopted mouse back outside. The poor thing was ridgid with fear after being thoroughly bathed by the cat.

  12. unclefrogy says

    from my experience I would bet that the cat is seldom really hungry and always eats commercial cat food..
    I have seen cats that were not that interested in raw meat before made then seen kind of ignorant. I was surprised. Hungry cats only really need to learn one thing (if they already like raw meat) that is mice are made of meat. The only reason I tolerate the cats that have taken it to live in my yard is that now there are no rats and mice so I feed them some they never leave any which helps discourage the ‘coons” possums and skunks that are some time visitors from massing and tearing things apart looking for grubs in all the potted plants.
    alas no dogs at present great for keeping the other big varmints out but not much use with mice and squirrels kind of OK on rats.
    uncle frogy

  13. DanDare says

    My cat Tiger used to sit companionably on the front lawn with a local possum watching the world go by.
    Now I miss him all over again dammit.

  14. wsierichs says

    You know this was predicted in “Ghostbusters.” Next thing we’ll see is dogs and cats living together.

  15. outis says

    Scandule! A collaborationist cat, is there no end to shame?
    But seriously, this gives the lie to something I read once, that the mere presence of a cat will keep mice away in a radius of 50 feet or so. Either the Hellcat is so stealthy mice don’t detect her, or those rodents have the hearts of lions.

  16. publicola says

    There are only two living things on this planet that I deem to be utterly useless: mosquitoes and cats. I think the biosphere could survive nicely without either.

  17. davidc1 says

    I use catch alive traps ,anywhere I could put one of those spring traps ,the cats could put a paws in there .
    Given enough money to those sodding vets .