Goodbye to a Mouse
I love my cats but there are moments when they cause me great distress, albeit unwittingly.
Tonight it was our cat Kain – a born hunter – who presented me with a total quandary. Normally he jumps onto the door handle when he wants to come in but tonight I could hear him crying outside. This is very unusual so I was worried but as soon as I opened the door, I realised he was just crying to alert us that he couldn’t leap on the handle. In fact, he couldn’t do anything as he was too preoccupied with guarding his prey, a poor little mouse.
My husband quickly ushered him inside and lifted the mouse up ready to set it free. “Wait,” I said quietly, “It’s not going to live.” He set it down on a towel under the light and we examined it more closely. Our cat had managed to partially disembowel the poor thing and the wound was gaping and well beyond healing. It was clear it was dying. It could barely move and the breaths it took were shuddering and infrequent.
It was clear it wouldn’t survive a trip to the vets, even if there had have been anything they could do and it was also clear that it was going to suffer a slow agonising death. It was determined to fight it to the end. I took the painful decision to help things along. As the mouse took two last shallow breaths and then stilled, I whispered ‘I’m sorry’.
I try to post lovely stories about my cats and the delightful, humorous or downright strange things they have done but there are times when sometimes things are just… sad. I know it’s a natural instinct for cats and that he’s bringing a gift home but all the same it’s hard to feel anything but sadness for the end of the poor mouse’s life: by both the claws of Kain and the hands of myself.
But you can only ask yourself, could you have done anything differently? You just don’t know…