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I'm not cat people.
I like--and I use "like" loosely here--my own cat in the same way you like your weird Uncle Hank, because he's family.
My cat got a bee up his bonnet sometime this summer and now insists on going outside all the time. And by insists I mean that he bellows at the door in the most obnoxious fashion until one of us has just had it and throws open the door. Sometimes I come very close to deciding that the sound coming from that feline warrants death instead of my submission to his will. However, thus far, God in heaven, who cares even for the sparrow (we'll get to that in a moment) and His Spirit inside me have stopped me from murdering that small, gray tabby.
And at night when I scratch under his chin and he purrs wildly, I am reminded that there are times when I'm fond of him.
Although I would prefer that he stop bringing me his "finds."
Not long ago he found a beautiful, yellow bird. It was, of course, deader than a doornail by the time I saw it lying between the chairs in our family room. I've heard that you are supposed to praise your cat for bringing you presents because they are trying to gain your approval. If you scold them, apparently, they think the gift wasn't good enough for you and go in search of more.
"THANK YOU, OLIVER! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS BEAUTIFUL, DEAD BIRD," I said with a smile. "There really are few things I love more than cleaning up bird carcasses. However did you know what I wanted most this morning?" And I promptly disposed of the feathered friend.
Yesterday, just a few minutes after Troy got home from work, Garrett came upstairs and found us. "Uh, guys," he began. "Oliver brought a mouse inside and it ran under the chair."
"Are you serious?" I asked him.
He smiled big and nodded emphatically.
"Are you sure it isn't already dead?"
"Mom," he said with slightly more than a little sass. "I told you it ran under the chair."
"Are you sure it was a mouse?" Although, I don't know why it mattered what Oliver had brought in that was still alive and currently living under my chair.
"Well, it had a long tail," he replied.
"Show me how big?"
He motioned with his fingers and gave me the reassurance that we were not dealing with a rat. Praise God.
Troy and I clobbered down the stairs and, with each step, were met with hysterically excited giggles from the reporter. Sure enough, the cat was guarding the chair with a great deal of interest.
And then it took us approximately ten minutes to get that mouse--who seemed perfectly alive and well aside from the convulsive shaking--out of our house and into the yard.
The cat ran upon seeing us and took off over the fence. The dog started off as an assistant and ended up locked in the bathroom. My husband, wearing ski gloves and wielding a stick (I still have no idea what the gloves were for. Apparently he thought a cold front was about to blow in.) eventually herded it out the door but not before it darted under one chair, back out, under another chair, back out, under the couch, out, back under, out, back under, out. In the end, getting it under the chair nearest to the door and then strategically placing Garrett and me in various spots in the room while Troy poked it with a stick did the trick. Out it ran and then promptly disappeared into the grass.
I am definitely not a fan of dead birds being brought into my house but I think I like herding mice even less. It's all well and good as long as we're successful but the idea of live mice running amok in my house is disturbing.
I've decided that there is one good thing about winter. Oliver tends to take one look at snow and remain indoors for the following six months.