RigorMouse remains where I discovered him this morning. He looks small and a bit pathetic, but he will have to stay there until Husband comes home and removes him. My grisly discovery was made as I walked out of my bedroom this morning and the corpse is the final piece of the puzzle.
Last night was not a good night. Husband and I were fractious and consequently did not settle well into our slumber. We slept listlessly until around two in the morning when the cats began to disturb us with scratching, pouncing and purring. Husband and I are the owners of two cats. I have to confess to being predisposed to liking animals of the canine variety. Husband is firmly a cat person. I desperately crave the company of animals of most descriptions (I draw the line at reptiles of any kind, snails and newts. Anything else is fine) and as a compromise it was agreed that we should get cats.
The first I shall call Don Corleone which should give you some indication of the appearance and nature of this cat. He is a gargantuan creature with an air of superiority and a bearing which suggests that he barely tolerates his existence with the two humans he clearly considers should be permanently enslaved to him and his every whim. Mostly those whims involve food which contributes to his continued growth. Sideways. He is however; a mummy’s boy and I have a genuine fondness for him, especially when he rests his bulky self on my lap during the evening. There is something comforting about watching CSI with a large, black cat purring softly on your lap.
The second feline is affectionately known as The Pebble. She is diminutive, grey and skittish. She is also supremely intelligent. She prefers not to be touched and often seeks the solace of the great outdoors in an attempt, I suspect, to kill her doting humans with the terror of her being killed on our busy road. Quite what she would gain from our removal I cannot be sure, but it could have something to do with wanting the super king size bed (and functioning electric under blanket) all to her self.
Our sleep was disturbed by the noise the cats were making. We presumed they were wrestling each other in a poorly matched weight class contest. What was really happening was a malicious, calculated fight to the death. They hunted together. Good cop, bad cop, though I find it difficult to determine which would be which. Of course I have made these assumptions based purely on the evidence I see before me, like any good CSI would. Grisham has taught me well. If this were an episode of CSI it might go something like this:
I see a miniature rodent corpse. Standard field mouse I assume. Certainly not a rat. What is mysterious is that the body shows no signs of struggle. No ligature marks, puncture wounds or defensive wounds. The onset of full rigor suggests that the victim has been dead for some time. The surrounding area has been disturbed – chairs are askew, items have been knocked to the floor. The victim might not have fought but he did try to run. And he was pursued. Given the angle of the misplaced objects I assume that he was pursued by something considerably larger than himself. Witness confirm hearing strange noises in the night, like two cats playing and periodic silence before the “playing” commenced again. No one was able to give a description of the two felines in question. I judge that the cause of death was massive coronary failure. Brought on, I suspect, by the exertion of running for his life. Or he could quite simply have died of fright. Looking around me I am forced to assume that the predators can only be The Don and his trusted sidekick, The Pebble.
Later that day, when accusations are made, both suspects admit their guilt under my furious questioning (and denial of tasty tinned cat food. Prawn flavour. It’s tantamount to torture), confirm that the Rigormouse hit was part of wider gang related violence. The perpetrators are granted parole and placed into a witness protection programme in exchange for information. The closing scene shows Don Corleone lying peacefully and non-violently on a bed, doing his best to spread his black hair all over the white duvet cover. Cut to Pebble who is sitting in the sun minding her own business (but one still suspects her placid demeanour belies the ruthless mind beneath). Meanwhile elsewhere in the neighbourhood a ginger tom cat is under constant surveillance…
The reality of it is that I now have a dead mouse lying on my floor and don’t have the nerve to dispose of it. I cannot possibly pick it up with my bare hands. I expect he will be….gelatinous. I consider using Husband’s barbeque tongs to pick Rigormouse up and take him outside to his final resting place. I have prepared a small grave for him under a bush in the garden. The cats watched me disapprovingly as I dug it using my pink trowel. I suspect that this is the cat equivalent of a human watching someone else bury a beautifully cooked leg of lamb. Still, even with the aid of the tongs, I cannot quite bring myself to approach the mouse. Looking around in desperation my eyes finally settle on the glass top of my Nigella Lawson Living Kitchen cake dome. Perfect! Thus encased RigorMouse awaits the return of Husband so that he can be moved. In the meantime, Don Corleone sits staring intently and somewhat menacingly at the tiny corpse under the glass. For the first time I am grateful that we don’t have dogs. Dogs would certainly have exhumed the mouse and brought the partly decayed corpse back into the house just when we least expected it….