Bijou, the little scamp, really tried me yesterday. I came home at 3 p.m. to find one dead and one live baby field mouse on the rug. The live one was so tiny, its eyes not yet open. I picked it up in a paper towel and took it next door to Eugene (he loves animals and rescued Mojo and two siblings), who said he would take it to the animal shelter. I gave him a can of formula that I had left over from Bijou’s early days.
Fifteen minutes later Bijou burst through the cat door with another one, also alive. He played with it, patting it around as it squeaked. I made that delivery to Eugene, forgetting to latch the cat door to keep Bijou indoors, and so of course by the time I returned from next door Bijou had fetched Number Three. Eugene could see me through his window holding my head as I knocked. We didn’t know what the animal shelter would do with them and didn’t want to know. If we were farmers or rural types we would have just taken care of them without a blink of an eye.
There were no more baby mice, but not for want of trying on Bijou’s part. He must have cleaned out that particular nest.
I don’t remember Mojo, my one-year-old who didn’t come home eight months ago, being so assiduous on the hunt. I’m sure he was doing what came naturally though. He would bring me presents on the bed, sticks, tree bark, and I was just waiting for the day when my hand in the dark would encounter a critter. Pinky, my heart, who left me five years ago, brought me a live mouse on the bed and we spent 30 minutes chasing it around the bedroom. That and other episodes are in my short book “Meow’s Way,” which won in the Animals Book Awards in 2014.
It is all part of being guardian to cats, anyone knows that, but it is the part I’d sooner do without.