When Pat, Roger and family moved into the summer cottage, converted into a year round house, a good portion of the local mouse population moved in as well. It’s nearly impossible to make a tight, new home, mouse proof. An old house is like grand central station for the residents of Mouseville. To say these extra residents were straining marital relations was an understatement.
“Roger, you do something about these @#$% mice, or I’m leaving,” was the final ultimatum screamed by Pat when a mouse scampered across her leg as she relaxed on the couch in front of the TV one night.
So Roger reluctantly stirred his brain cells and considered his options. Poison? No, too many kids and dogs around, besides the litter of victims would probably get pretty smelly.
Traps? No, too many tender toes, especially his own; besides you had to set traps and then empty them. Something Roger’s frayed nerves might have trouble with. And how could you get a decent night’s sleep, when just after you doze off, the darkness is punctuated by, “SNAP!”
A cat! The perfect answer! Automatic, self-cleaning, and zero maintenance considering the mouse population.
Tabby arrived the next day and within minutes had nailed her first mouse. One down, about a million to go!
And Tabby had a built in fan club. Pat was thrilled, Roger was relieved, and the girls were happy with a new pet. Jay at 18 months was enthralled!
His cheering for the new hero was vocalized as only, “Unnh, unnh, Unnh! Kitty!” as he observed and excitedly jumped up and down at each new capture and consumption of the rodent population. If the Bombers had fans that enthusiastic, they’d win the Grey Cup every year.
All was well with the world until that fateful day.
Pat entered the living room, where Jay was sitting in the middle of the floor. The cat was excitedly tearing around and around him obviously searching for an escaped mouse.
In horror, Pat rushed to pick up Jay knowing the cat’s latest victim was hiding somewhere under or on his person.
Pat stooped, reached out, focused, and then froze. There was the mouse, at least the hindquarters and the tail, all of which were visible, dangling from Jay’s smiling mouth. Jay had figured, what’s good for the cat is good for the kid!
Pat freaked! She couldn’t bear to touch the mouse.
“Spit it out, Jay! Dirty! Spit it out!” she screamed in panic.
Jay grinned, clenched his newly sprouted teeth and shook his head, “No!”
The mouse’s tail twitched and its hind legs kicked futilely.
The cat continued tearing around Jay looking for its lost snack.
Eventually Jay gave up his prize, the cat regained his, and Pat after disinfecting Jay, and pouring herself a stiff drink, managed a motherly kiss.
This all happened over nearly 30 years ago. Jay is happy, and healthy. . . No word on whether his own kids have followed his example or if Sweetie kisses him with her eyes closed. Pat still shudders.
But Jay, Farley Mowat would be proud of you! So am I.
This is a rewrite of the first Squirrel Pie, originally published nearly 30 years ago. It is a true story.