Tag Archives: mice

What my cats taught me about gender roles today

Today was a crazy busy day.

The crazy part happened this morning when I was getting ready to take a shower.

I was reading War and Peace sitting on the toilet when a large gray mouse scurried across the bathroom floor.  I instinctively lifted my legs in the air because I didn’t want the mouse to brush up against my bare flesh.  I’m pretty sure you can catch the plague or some other early-century disease from contact with a single wild  mouse hair.

Anyway, I shrieked.  Which leads to this question: If a butch screams and no one is home to hear it, does the scream make a sound?

I started calling for Magic, our ace mouser.  It’s a very un-butch feeling to be stranded half naked, calling for your cat to help you out of a jam.

If Magic was an Angel, she'd be this one.

If Magic was an Angel, she’d be this one.

When it comes to mice, Magic is no-nonsense like Judge Judy and Kate Jackson in Charlie’s Angels, with just a touch of crazy like Lindsay Lohan.  Feral cats, you have to love ’em.

Magic was nowhere to be found.  Apparently, she doesn’t know the meaning of the word “help.”

Instead, I saw our cat Moon walking up the stairs with the mouse in his mouth.  Moon is, well, a little soft.  If he wore clothes, he’d probably don capri pants capped off with a big, billowy pirate shirt, the entire ensemble accented with an ascot.  And yes, Moon would use the word “ensemble.”

Moon is like this guy

Moon is like this guy

I watched Moon skip down the hallway with the mouse.  It was like watching Nathan Lane shoot pool or change the oil in his car.

Usually, Magic is the take-charge cat in the house, cornering mice, sneaking out of the house, engineering surprise attacks on the other cats.

Moon?  Well, he likes to sleep on our bed.  And he likes to have his tummy rubbed.  Did I mention the sleeping thing?

After today’s act of cat-versus-mouse bravado, he’s been walking a little taller and, dare I say, strutting about the house.

“You go, Moon,” I called out to him.

He was so chill that he didn’t even look my way.

It was yet another reminder that we should all break out of our comfort zones every once in awhile.

Of mice and lesbians (a re-post)

With all of the cat-mouse excitement this weekend (see here), I thought I would re-post one of all my all-time favorite posts, which details a more successful mouse rescue and contains a similar scream from your favorite butch blogger.  Look for it.   

* * *

“Honey, I need a box or a container or something,” W says.

It’s 6:00 in the morning.

The urgency in her voice suggests that she needs to dispose of a body part.  That’s the first thing that pops into my mind at 6 a.m.  I am Italian after all.

Me: What’s the matter?

W: There’s a mouse in the bathtub.

Me: Is it alive or dead?

W: I don’t know.  His eyes are open.  I’m scared.

She gives me that please-protect-me look, which gets this butch’s motor running every time.

Me: Ok, give me a second.

I go downstairs and assemble a makeshift mouse-catching kit.  I grab a plastic shopping bag, a small plastic tub, a plastic cup and an empty granola bar box.

W: Don’t worry about the blood.  I’ll get that later.

Me: Blood?

W: There’s two drops of blood on the bathroom floor.

Me: But you don’t know whether the mouse is alive or dead?

W: No.

This from a nurse.

Me: Well, where did the blood come from?

We don’t live here

It’s not like we live in that hotel from The Shining where blood seeps in through the walls.

W: I don’t know.  I have to get to work.

Me: Ok, ok, ok.

I walk to the tub, stepping over the drops of blood.  There’s a dark gray mouse sitting on top of the drain.  His eyes are open.  He’s not moving.

I steel myself over the tub preparing to grab a mouse — who may be alive or dead or in a cat-induced coma for all I know — with a plastic shopping bag.

W: Come on, I have to take a shower.

Me: Alright, alright.  If this thing moves, I’m going to scream.

I approach the mouse, hand wrapped in plastic bag.  It moves.  I scream.

I am nothing if not predictable.

Me: Oh God, oh God, oh God.

W impatiently leaves the bathroom.

I chase the mouse all over the tub with the plastic cup.  Finally, I get him to scoot inside and cover the top with the plastic bag.

Mouse in cup

He looks fine.  The clear plastic cup allows for a complete medical inspection.

Me: He’s so cute.  Can we keep him?

W: No.

She’s really grumpy in the morning.

Me: I dub you Mordecai.  Where do you think the blood came from?

W: I don’t know.  There’s only two drops.

Me: Only two drops?  That’s a lot of blood.  Have you seen how tiny this mouse is?  The blood is either from Magic …

Magic is our cat who routinely catches, maims and kills mice.  We have assumed that Magic caught Mordecai in some other part of the house, put him in her mouth and then carried him upstairs to her bathtub of horror where she could bat him around and he’d have no way to escape.  She’s like a feline version of Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs.

Buffalo Bill

Magic

W: I doubt it.

Me: Or, another mouse that’s dead.  Or, Mordecai, and he looks ok.

That’s when W notices that Mordecai is missing his tail.

Me: Maybe, he didn’t have one.

Maybe Mordecai is some exotic tailless mouse like a Manx cat, I think.

W: I think all mice have tails.

She starts singing Three Blind Mice.

W: They all ran after the farmer’s wife, who cut off their tails with a carving knife.

Because this is the definitive source when it comes to rodent anatomy.

Me: Don’t worry, Mordecai, I think it’s a vestigial appendage.

I ask W what I should do with Mordecai.

W: I don’t know.  Put him in the yard.

I worry that Mordecai will find his way back inside and into Magic/Buffalo Bill’s torture chamber again.

W: Either put him in the yard or kill him.

Me: These are his two options?  Either release him in the yard or kill him?

This thing has mob movie written all over it.

Me: So, I can’t drive him to the park?  Mordecai, how would you like to live in a park?

I end up walking Mordecai, who is safely ensconced in his plastic cup, to an old industrial park a block down the street.

Mordecai’s new digs

I decide he will become a hobo mouse.  Mordecai the hobo mouse.  I dump him out of the cup and place a Fruit Loop at his feet.  Mordecai sniffs around and then darts under an abandoned trailer.

I tell W.

W: Did you gave him a bandana and a stick?

Me: No.  Just a Fruit Loop.

W: Did you really?

Me: Yes.  I figured that it was the least that we could do after he survived Magic’s tub of terror.

So much excitement and it’s not even 7 a.m.  I try to calm myself, but adrenaline is coursing through my body.  It’s been a big morning.  A big, bloody, horrific morning.

I kiss W goodbye and tell her to have a good day.

“Keep an eye out for the tail,” she tells me before she leaves.

Good God, will the horror never end?

This is Magic in front of the tub all curled up and smiling post-torture session

Middle-age butch screams like a little girl

There was a lot of commotion in our house early this morning.  Our crackerjack mouser, Magic the Cat, had captured a mouse and carried it upstairs to the bathtub for further torture play.

W woke me up so that I could fetch a large plastic cup to trap the mouse and then set him free.  We’ve got this mouse rescue thing down to a science.

I handed the cup off to W, and she pulled back the shower curtain.

“Oh my God, he’s so big!” I said.

According to W, this gave the mouse the courage to scale the walls of the tub and make a break for freedom.

imagesCA3Q04LXWhen the mouse raced up and out of the tub, I screamed.  Loudly.  Shrilly.  Like a 13-year-old girl watching The Blair Witch Project at a sleepover.

Magic stared up at me from the steps.  “You dumb ass.  I had that mouse all caught,” she said.  “Were you waiting for me to gift wrap it for you?”

She can be a total asshole sometimes.

With the mouse on the loose, W and I decided to go back to bed and pretend that nothing had happened.

In bed, W couldn’t resist pointing out the girlish — and very unbutch — nature of my shriek.

“You just handed me a plastic cup and started screaming like a girl,” she said.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know that you wanted to play by rigid gender roles,” I replied.  “Next time, I’ll try to scream in a more manly fashion, ” I added.

And that’s how we started our Saturday.  It wasn’t even 7:00 a.m., and we were having a heady discussion about gender and roles and expectations and whether it is beyond the realm of butchdom to scream in a girlish fashion when a rodent — imagine a ginormous, fanged rodent the size of a micro-wolf — unexpectantly lunges from a tub inches from one’s body.

So, dear readers, please chime in.

If a butch screams at 6:00 a.m. in a bathroom while dodging a giant mouse and no one hears but her femme, is she any less a butch?

What’s the most unbutch thing you’ve done recently?

Of mice and lesbians

“Honey, I need a box or a container or something,” W says.

It’s 6:00 in the morning.

The urgency in her voice suggests that she needs to dispose of a body part.  That’s the first thing that pops into my mind at 6 a.m.  I am Italian after all.

Me: What’s the matter?

W: There’s a mouse in the bathtub.

Me: Is it alive or dead?

W: I don’t know.  His eyes are open.  I’m scared.

She gives me that please-protect-me look, which gets this butch’s motor running every time.

Me: Ok, give me a second.

I go downstairs and assemble a makeshift mouse-catching kit.  I grab a plastic shopping bag, a small plastic tub, a plastic cup and an empty granola bar box.

W: Don’t worry about the blood.  I’ll get that later.

Me: Blood?

W: There’s two drops of blood on the bathroom floor.

Me: But you don’t know whether the mouse is alive or dead?

W: No.

This from a nurse.

Me: Well, where did the blood come from?

We don’t live here

It’s not like we live in that hotel from The Shining where blood seeps in through the walls.

W: I don’t know.  I have to get to work.

Me: Ok, ok, ok.

I walk to the tub, stepping over the drops of blood.  There’s a dark gray mouse sitting on top of the drain.  His eyes are open.  He’s not moving.

I steel myself over the tub preparing to grab a mouse — who may be alive or dead or in a cat-induced coma for all I know — with a plastic shopping bag.

W: Come on, I have to take a shower.

Me: Alright, alright.  If this thing moves, I’m going to scream.

I approach the mouse, hand wrapped in plastic bag.  It moves.  I scream.

I am nothing if not predictable.

Me: Oh God, oh God, oh God.

W impatiently leaves the bathroom.

I chase the mouse all over the tub with the plastic cup.  Finally, I get him to scoot inside and cover the top with the plastic bag.

Mouse in cup

He looks fine.  The clear plastic cup allows for a complete medical inspection.

Me: He’s so cute.  Can we keep him?

W: No.

She’s really grumpy in the morning.

Me: I dub you Mordecai.  Where do you think the blood came from?

W: I don’t know.  There’s only two drops.

Me: Only two drops?  That’s a lot of blood.  Have you seen how tiny this mouse is?  The blood is either from Magic …

Magic is our cat who routinely catches, maims and kills mice.  We have assumed that Magic caught Mordecai in some other part of the house, put him in her mouth and then carried him upstairs to her bathtub of horror where she could bat him around and he’d have no way to escape.  She’s like a feline version of Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs.

Buffalo Bill

Magic

W: I doubt it.

Me: Or, another mouse that’s dead.  Or, Mordecai, and he looks ok.

That’s when W notices that Mordecai is missing his tail.

Me: Maybe, he didn’t have one.

Maybe Mordecai is some exotic tailless mouse like a Manx cat, I think.

W: I think all mice have tails.

She starts singing Three Blind Mice.

W: They all ran after the farmer’s wife, who cut off their tails with a carving knife.

Because this is the definitive source when it comes to rodent anatomy.

Me: Don’t worry, Mordecai, I think it’s a vestigial appendage.

I ask W what I should do with Mordecai.

W: I don’t know.  Put him in the yard.

I worry that Mordecai will find his way back inside and into Magic/Buffalo Bill’s torture chamber again.

W: Either put him in the yard or kill him.

Me: These are his two options?  Either release him in the yard or kill him?

This thing has mob movie written all over it.

Me: So, I can’t drive him to the park?  Mordecai, how would you like to live in a park?

I end up walking Mordecai, who is safely ensconced in his plastic cup, to an old industrial park a block down the street.

Mordecai’s new digs

I decide he will become a hobo mouse.  Mordecai the hobo mouse.  I dump him out of the cup and place a Fruit Loop at his feet.  Mordecai sniffs around and then darts under an abandoned trailer.

I tell W.

W: Did you gave him a bandana and a stick?

Me: No.  Just a Fruit Loop.

W: Did you really?

Me: Yes.  I figured that it was the least that we could do after he survived Magic’s tub of terror.

So much excitement and it’s not even 7 a.m.  I try to calm myself , but adrenaline is coursing through my body.  It’s been a big morning.  A big, bloody, horrific morning.

I kiss W goodbye and tell her to have a good day.

“Keep an eye out for the tail,” she tells me before she leaves.

Good God, will the horror never end?

This is Magic in front of the tub all curled up and smiling post-torture session