For those who don’t know, this is Colby Jack. To be specific, this is Colby Jack last night after a series of events culminated into unexpected results. What is that look? Resignation? Depression? Only the cat knows for certain.
Colby is primarily an indoor cat. He does feel that he has rights when it comes to the great outdoors, particularly on Caturday. But, those feelings are somewhat tempered by the fact that he doesn’t like to get his feet wet…and we live in Western Washington. Late fall, winter, spring and early summer are somewhat tough for Colby. But, he loves those fleeting months of summer.
I arrived home after dark yesterday (which is easy to do this time of year) and the cat began trumpeting his desire to go outside. Now, I don’t particularly like him to go out in the dark because of racoons, coyotes and the like. However, sometimes the boo-hoo’ing wears on me. So, I set the timer for 18 minutes, opened the front door and told him how much time he had. Off he went.
Ten minutes later I hear the flap-flap of the cat door in the family room. “Colby?” I asked. No answer. I walk to the entrance to the family room and there he stands. “What are you doing back in so soon? You have 8 minutes left.” He glances wildly behind him into the laundry room.
“You did not bring a shrew into the house, did you?”
Calling Colby a hunter is a generous use of the word. He’s more a catch and release kind of boy. Or, catch and lose track of them. Or, catch, get distracted and drop them. You get the idea. Most of these activities occur outside in the back yard, to our great entertainment. But, occasionally he gets it into his fuzzy head to bring one of his buddies indoors. Such was the case last night.
From what I can piece together, Colby brought the mouse into the laundry room and dropped him in front of his food dish. Perhaps he was trying to be friendly? “Come in for a meal, little buddy. Warm up a bit.” Buddy wasn’t going for it and was pressed into a corner up against a cupboard.
I, of course, started yelling at the cat, who looked at me with injured eyes as I ran into the garage to grab a bucket. I returned to the laundry room to discover that Buddy had somehow lodged himself into a very small crack between the cupboard and the wall. All that I could see of him was his tail. Sigh.
I opened the drawer and pulled out a fresh mouse trap (we live in the country, there are always mouse traps on hand). As I swirled peanut butter on the trap I scolded Colby. “It’s you’re fault, you know. Buddy has to die because of you.”
I set the trap on the floor not far from the tail, shoved a blanket under the door trap to prevent Buddy from escaping to other parts of the house and went about my business. The husband arrived home shortly thereafter and I explained what had transpired. We both stared at the cat. The cat stared back. If a cat had shoulders to shrug….
A couple of hours later the husband announced that he needed to fetch something from the laundry room. I suggested that he open the door slowly and look to see if Buddy had met his demise. He cracked the door. Paused. “Nae?” he asked. “What?” I replied. “The mouse is in the bucket,” he said. “What??!!” I yelled, “How can the mouse be in the bucket? Isn’t the bucket upright?”
Yes, the bucket was upright. I scampered into the garage to fetch the lid. The bucket in question is an plastic ice cream bucket acquired from the Tillamook Cheese Factory a few years ago. Slippery plastic sides. Probably standing around 14-16 inches tall. How the heck did Buddy get into that bucket? Obviously, Buddy’s will to live was strong. And, he was giving us an out. “Hey, guys, I climbed into the bucket…all you gotta do is set me free.”
The husband slapped the lid on the bucket, carried it out onto the patio, pulled the lid off, tipped the bucket…and off scampered Buddy. The cat? At that point he was tired and had lost interest….he was sleeping on our bed.