Captain Nemo, our gray tomcat, has trained us to do another trick. The last trick we learned involved chasing live mice around the kitchen, buying an expensive trap for the ones that got away, and releasing mice into the wild so Nemo could catch them again.
Not one to rest on his laurels, The Captain recently devised a new training regime for us. We needed a few nights to catch on because we’re slow learners and, in our defense, we were half asleep.
The first night, Nemo brought a dead mouse into the bedroom and meowed in a piercing voice until my husband Dee got up and moved the mouse to the bathroom waste basket. We thought the episode was over. But this was only Step One.
The next night Nemo brought a dead vole, called for attention, and objected in a loud voice when Dee headed for the bathroom. Nemo ran to the bedroom door and looked back, asking to be followed. He led Dee into the kitchen, where Dee placed the mouse in the trash and refreshed Nemo’s bowl with cat food. Not quite what Nemo had in mind, but it was a good start. Step Two accomplished.
The third night brought another mouse and more demands from the cat. He led Dee into the kitchen again. This time, after Dee refreshed the cat food dish, Nemo guided him to the refrigerator and waited near the second food dish, where we hand out his favorite treat – a squirt of whipped cream. At last, the light bulb came on in Dee’s brain. He tossed the mouse into the trash and gave Nemo whipped cream.
Now, almost every night The Captain brings a mouse to the bedroom, awakens us, and runs for the kitchen to exchange it for whipped cream.
“You guys can eat the mouse if you want,” he seems to say. “I like this whipped cream a lot better.”
Anyone for stewed mouse?
Have you been trained by a cat? I’d love to hear your stories!
Sammie Justesen is a publisher with NorLightsPress and the author of Dialogue for Writers: Create Powerful Dialogue in Fiction and Nonfiction
“Dialogue for Writers” is a writing course with a cover. This is a fantastic resource for all genres.”