Bertie is no ordinary house cat. Not by any means. Oh, he may look the part; big fluffy ears and a soft warm belly that loves to be rubbed; but underneath the cute exterior lies a wild feral animal; a hunter, a killer.
Proof of this is evidenced almost on a nightly basis when the cat flap can be heard swinging furiously, followed by the muffled mewing of a cat with something cute between its jaws. To remove any doubt of his natural killer instinct, Bertie leaves a trail of conquests strewn all about the house as he eats what he catches.
He is king of the woods, the man of the house; the beast to be feared. Or so we thought…
One night, Bertie came home with a mouse. A beautiful chestnut coloured thing with big ears and an adorable squeak.
There was no way I could leave this mouse to its fate, so I attempted to rescue it. After successfully taking it out of Bertie’s mouth, I then found out how quick mice can be. I couldn’t catch it. I thought I had it cornered many times but it eluded me. Finally, in a bid for freedom it bolted under a cupboard and disappeared. Yes, instead of letting Bertie finish what he had started, I had actually managed to release a mouse in our home. All was not lost however; Bertie knew where it was and was sitting guard waiting for his second chance. So I went to bed, with a slight twinge of guilt that I hadn’t been able to save the mouse.
A few days past and the mouse incident was forgotten. Bertie continued to be a big fluffy terror, and we continued to pick up the pieces.
However, nothing prepared us for what we discovered come cleaning day.
While in the kitchen I heard my wife, Antonia, call me over saying “I think you better see this, quick”. So I abandoned my mop and headed to the storage cupboard where we keep the vacuum cleaner and coats. There, behind the vacuum cleaner, was a small nest of shredded paper and detritus. Inside the nest was a very sleepy and cosy little chestnut brown mouse with big ears and adorable squeak. Mousey (as we affectionately called him) was alive. Not only was he alive, but he was also making a mockery of our killer cat. You see, it had been at least four days since the mouse was assumed KIA, so he would have needed food to survive for such a long time. When we pulled his nest apart we saw that Mousey had been keeping alive by carrying away and eating Bertie’s cat food from across the hall! Yes, the nest was full of cat crunchies. Not only had Bertie lost his prey, but he had also allowed his food to be carried off right under his very nose. This was one seriously brave mouse and he earned our complete and utter respect for surviving, indeed thriving, in the lair of such a deadly hunter. Therefore Bertie had failed. King of the jungle, terroriser of all things rodent, had been beaten by a mouse.
This beautiful chestnut coloured mouse with big ears and adorable squeak was soon rescued and returned the hedgerow where he belonged. He scuttled away happily and never looked back.
To this day my wife and I look at our fabulous cat, in awe of his majesty and prowess; and we smile when we remember that this king of the jungle was humbled by such a small mouse; or ‘mouse-gate’ as we fondly call the whole affair. If this story got out in the cat community poor old Bertie would be a laughing stock. But as good and loyal subjects, we won’t tell anyone. Don’t worry Bertie, your secret is safe with us…