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.
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?”