It's important to know a few things about our cat. This is only the second mouse that she has apprehended in our 5 year history together. In all truth, you could probably consider it the first, because Kiwi is what C and I like to call "lazy and totally infantile". The only other time she's had the opportunity (that I'm aware of) to catch a field mouse was in a small cabin we lived in for the first year and a half of her adopted life. It was a nice grey box nestled into a wooded hill, which probably made it an easy case for a pack of Italian Job forest creatures small enough to dig into the floorboards and walls. It took place, as last night, at about 3 o'clock in the morning, and in similar fashion, I awoke to Kiwi scrambling about, tearing her claws into the carpet, only on that occasion the crime scene was our bedroom. It was as pleasant as it sounds.
So the scenario played out in roughly the same fashion as last night's event, barring the fact that our vicious cat with razor blades for fingernails was totally unable to catch her prey. She looked like a blind gorilla playing whack-a-mole, throwing her hairy arms wildly in every direction, smashing the blue carpet with more spit and vigor than I'd ever seen her demonstrate anywhere. This is the cat, that when the vet needs to use the rectal thermometer to read her temperature, responds by purring loudly and rubbing her chin along the latex gloves of the lab tech holding her in place, which is a totally needless assistant in this particular instance, might I add.
Crackers are another strong love language for our fish-breath angel.
5 years ago, when C finally relented to my pleading and reluctantly accompanied me to the nearest Humane Society, it didn't take long for us to find our special friend. This was a remarkably well designed and beautifully maintained facility, and there were a number of glass-walled cat rooms for us to visit, including the unusual chamber we found Little Miss Einstein in. Going into the process, I was already leaning toward adopting a black cat or kitten. I'm not entirely sure what went into my decision, but considering my overwhelming reputation for donning predominantly obsidian apparel, it's probably due to something that happened to me as a child. So not surprisingly, I entered into a small room that was filled exclusively with black cats. I'm not certain of what message this particular establishment was trying to send, or if there was actually some kind of evidence-based motivation for this state of segregated affairs, but there they were, with every pair of lime green eyes flashing in our direction. The only exception to the color palate was a single mostly-white calico cat that was hiding under a chair, hissing wildly. It was hard not to read anything into the scene.
I knelt down onto the pale linoleum tile and waited. I was there for maybe a full minute before I was greeted, no - accosted by this one small, ratty-looking animal that was suddenly mounting my chest and summiting my shoulder. Within seconds, the tiny beast was smearing drool onto the side of my face and working it into the crevices of my left ear. I don't even think I was holding her up as she clung to my chest like a magnet on a refrigerator. Instantly, I knew that the search was over. This was my kind of animal.
As I should have suspected, there was more to this package than tattered fur and dual fountains of saliva and love. As we filled out paperwork at the front desk, the employee helping us explained that, "all of the volunteers adore her", and that they take turns bringing her home on the weekends. This is a good sign, I thought. "There is one thing you should probably be aware of, though", said the young fellow as he proceeded to inform me of her condition. You see, something went wrong when our hairy ray of sunshine was a kitten. She wasn't weaned long enough, or perhaps it was that she was weaned too long, but either way, she developed a certain coping mechanism to deal with stress. She suckled.
Suckled. As in, finds the nearest finger and latches on like a newborn. Well, I thought as we signed the papers, how bad could it be?
BAD. REAL BAD.
5 years later she still does it, sniffing through the bed sheets like a pig searching for truffles and nosing around in your sweatshirt for the hands you've crammed into your kangaroo pocket. She will find them, and she will not relent until she has done it. We've been worn into giving up pretty easily, but I think we're going to start keeping a pair of deer-hide mittens on the coffee table, just so we don't have to scramble around like we've entered a game of capitol-punishment Twister where you're playing against ten rottweilers and your hands are made of bacon.
All I know is that after last night, I will do whatever is necessary to keep that dirty mouth from finding one of my fingers. And please, whatever you do, don't come over today.
I won't be able to open the door after I tape these Cheerio boxes to my arms.