The Cat. The Mouse. And the Strawberry.


So, I was running late and had to get to the office.  (I’m now going in a couple of times a week.)  My son was running late for the bus and we’re racing about when the cat suddenly goes crazy in the kitchen.  He dashes behind the wine rack tray in the corner, rattling the bottles.

He comes out with a mouse in his jaw.  My son and I run to the back door and try to get Saber to take his prize outside.  Nope.  He lets it go.  It frantically scrams and the cat gives euphoric chase. 

Catch and release. 

Catch and release. 

Every time he catches it, my son and I encourage him to take it outside.  He just sets it down in front of him and stares at it. 

At this point, the tiny thing’s sides are heaving in terror and the rest of it is frozen. I feel so sorry for it.  So does my son.  He picks it up with a dustpan and puts it on the back porch.  We close the door, thinking it’ll run off.

Instead, it begins this pathetic death crawl back TOWARD THE HOUSE. 

I couldn’t stand it!  My son had to leave and I really needed to as well, but I simply could not put it out of its misery.  Not that I would have asked my son to either.  Jeez.  But I couldn’t just let it lie there in pain!  I try to get the cat to go back and end things, feeling like an accomplice to murder, but Saber merely stands in the doorway and watches this thing crawling.

Toward it. 

Jeez.  Again.

I have to go, so I decide to leave it a snack, hoping it’ll give the thing the energy to take off into the woods.  I place the snack near it, glad to see it looking at me.  Maybe it’s just scared.  That’s what I told myself so I could leave for work.

So, later that afternoon, I’m calling my daughter.  I always call her when she’s coming home and I’m not there.  I know she’s sixteen and capable and all that, but I just do.  She’s on her cell phone, going around to the back of the house and she suddenly goes, “Mom?  There’s a dead mouse on the porch.  Next to a big strawberry.  Why would the cat leave the mouse a strawberry?”

I tell her what happened.

“At least you tried to give it something good, Mom,” she says.

Later that night, I’m telling the story to my sister, Jana.  Her response?

“So, the last thing that crippled, pain-filled mouse saw as it died was a beautiful, lush, red strawberry just out of reach?”

Oh man. 


About Rinda Elliott

Writer.I love unusual stories and credit growing up in a family of curious life-lovers who moved all over the country. Books and movies full of fantasy, science fiction and romance kept us amused, especially in some of the stranger places. For years, I tried to separate my darker side with my humorous and romantic one. I published short fiction, but things really started happening when I gave in and mixed it up. When not lost in fiction, I love making wine, collecting music, gaming and spending time with my husband and two children. I’m represented by Miriam Kriss of the Irene Goodman Agency.
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13 Responses to The Cat. The Mouse. And the Strawberry.

  1. Tez Miller says:

    Saber is a great name for a cat – well done to whoever thought oit 😉

    Have a lovely day! 🙂

  2. relliott4 says:

    He’s a great cat. You can see a pic of him in the slideshow on my Myspace page.

  3. Michele says:

    At least the mouse had something pretty to look at while it died.

  4. I hope it went to a better place and doesn’t decide to stick around and haunt you. 😉

    Rinda making fruit salad. “Eeek. Eeeeeek.”

  5. Carol says:

    The mouse had its revenge. You’ll never look at a strawberry the same way again. *LOL* I think you and my sister Susan are kin. That’s the kind of thing that would happen to her. Carol

  6. Oh, you’d probaby be pretty disturbed to know how hard I laughed over this story.

    And the fact that you fed a dying mouse health food. Not junk. A fresh strawberry. If I come die on your porch, will you give me a strawberry? 😉

  7. Jen says:

    I should probably not admit that I find this absolutely hilarious!! Then again, I hate mice, so that might be part of the reasoning behind it.

  8. relliott4 says:

    Rachel, if you even look sick on my porch, I’m taking you to the hospital. 😉 Hey, the strawberries were on my counter already. I didn’t think it could handle a Bit O Honey.

    I’m glad you guys found this hilarious. My sister got a giant kick out of this, too.

    Saber leaves me lots of presents. Recently, the worst was a baby rabbit.

  9. Sharon D says:

    I have been laughing so hard. RMAOL. Wait, if that’s too risque, how about ROTFL. But, I would not have wanted to be your DD finding a dead mouse and a strawberry – she might have to go into therapy. But, I hate mice, so I am also laughing that it was at your house, as I would have been screaming if it had been at my house. Another reason not to get a cat! Rinda, I’ve added to my blog, check it out.

  10. saly says:

    You are soooo sweet. I am the very same way. One time my house had a mouse and we set up the trap that would kill it instantly and put peanut butter on it for the enticement. Each morning, the peanut butter was gone, but no mouse. I actually felt happy for it that it was getting a good treat, but I had to be realisitic too. We tightened the sling and sure enough, the next mornng there was the dead mouse. I cried.

  11. A baby rabbit! Saber killed Thumper?

    Your cat is so not allowed to play with my cat. 😉

  12. Pingback: Use The Fury « The Write Snark

  13. Julia Hinkle says:

    I laughed my ass off……Just like jana…..I love my kids……..

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