Thursday, March 13, 2008

Play "Mousie" for me

I thought letting the two tabby cats in and out of the house every 15 minutes this week was really annoying—until it started raining. Then the big tabby curled up on the bed and went to sleep. The little tabby started fetching her toy mice and bringing them  to me—in the shower, in the kitchen, at my desk. The arrival of a mouse is followed by a 5-minute grace period during which I can either get up and play "Mousie" with her or have my office bulletin board destroyed.

"Mousie" started a few years ago as a game in which I would throw mice down the basement stairs and she would chase them. It evolved into a game in which I would follow the mice down, she would run up, and I'd toss them up to top of the stairs, where the cat would leap in the air and field them.

At that point, the big tabby got involved. She'd thump halfway down the stairs, sit in the middle, and play infield. She is so good at it that sometimes the little tabby gets disgusted and leaves.

But usually I pitch to both the infield and the outfield. Eventually, all the mice are upstairs again and then I toss them to the little tabby as we gradually make our way down the hall and into the livingroom. Eventually one of us gets bored.

But on a rainy day, the little tabby, who has the metabolism of a hummingbird, is ready to play again 30 minutes later. We have played "Mousie" about six times today. There are white and gray mice scattered all over the house. If I see another mouse, I'm going to scream.

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