I can’t exactly call it a WiP, because it would indicate the book in progress, and I haven’t started writing it yet. But this humorous piece can give you some taste of what my non-fiction book about cats is going to be like (although, not everything is going to be as funny). It appeared here first, and people seemed to enjoy the silly but true story of a cat refusing to catch a mouse. I might re-write it for the book, especially the end part, but all the fun stuff will stay. So, without further ado, here it is.
Oh, and you also get a chance to see what my writing looked like 9 years ago. Not too bad, I hope.
Once upon a time, Kes was a big, strong cat who hunted everything that moved. He was able to catch a fly while it was flying; several times, we have found remains of a big, fat pigeon which served as his snack. People in Belgrade tend to feed pigeons so much that they become too fat to fly, or at least too fat to fly away in time. A heaven for cats!
However, with years Kes became lazy. He could move fast when he wanted to, but he preferred to sleep and be fed and petted. And of course, my mom and I loved to feed him and pet him. Still, I believe my mom thought he should catch a mouse if an opportunity arises; I also believe Kes didn’t share her opinion.
One morning, when I came back home (my boyfriend and I were celebrating our fourth anniversary), mom was panicking. She told me a mouse appeared in our apartment last night, and she had barely slept because she was afraid it would climb her bed and bite her. I gave her a puzzled look.
“Mom, mice don’t climb beds. And why would it bite you?” I said.
“I’m not afraid of mice,” she said. “But if it bit me, I could get some disease. Kes didn’t even notice it; I believe it’s somewhere in your room,” she added.
I shrugged. What’s so scary about a cute furry little thing, anyway?
Kes was sleeping on my bed, as usual. I petted him and turned my computer on, to read some book I’ve downloaded.
Later, I went to the bathroom. Mom summoned me from it, clearly in panic.
“I’ve seen it again! It IS in your room! I put Kes so he could see it, and he ran and hid under your bed!”
I laughed. I couldn’t help it. Just imagining Kes — the biggest cat I’ve ever seen (black with little white fur on his lower belly, as if he was wearing panties, if you want a more clear image) running away from a tiny little mouse — made me laugh. Of course, I knew he wasn’t running away from the mouse. He was running away from my mom, because he felt like sleeping and didn’t want to be bothered. At the age of twelve, he was a senior kitty citizen and was rarely in the mood to hunt.
I tried to explain to mom that such a tiny thing as a mouse couldn’t possibly be a threat. Besides, if it spent entire night in my room, it was probably half-dead with hunger (I don’t keep food on my floor) and fear. Mom reminded me that hungry mice chew on cables. Ouch. I also remembered that if it hid behind some big furniture piece and died of hunger, it would be extremely difficult to find and get rid of. Ouch again.
And Kes still refused to get out from under my bed. He decided to take a nap there. A very long nap, if necessary. Nice kitty.
Eventually, I had to catch the mouse myself (well, people do compare me to a cat, sometimes 🙂 ). It wasn’t difficult, really. It was in the middle of my room, confused, and all I had to do was to throw an old T-shirt on it. It was so scared it didn’t even wriggle in my hands. I took it out of the house and set it free. It disappeared in the bushes. Cute furry little thing. I hoped it would survive.
My boyfriend’s comment to this was: “I know you grew up with cats. It’s all right to catch a mouse, we all do it sometimes. Just don’t eat it.”
Kes? Once it was all over, he went to the kitchen to get a snack. Then he got back to my bed and fell asleep. He seemed satisfied.
Several months ago, Kes disappeared. Sometimes he would disappear for a week, or even more, especially in February (or whenever there was female kitty company to please). But he had never disappeared for months, and knowing he was more than thirteen years old, there isn’t much hope he’s still somewhere, lost but alive. 😦 The only thing that comforts me is that he was a happy cat. He had a good life, and is probably chasing females somewhere in kitty heaven.