In Which My Cat Presents Me With an Offering

Pictured at left is eight feet and one ton of Feline, who goes by the always-appropriate moniker "Loki." Here, he's curled up and looking as cute as can be. But within this unassuming exterior hides oh so much more.

For several weeks, the cats were fascinated by the oven. They sat and stared at the gap between oven and floor for long periods. We figured they could hear some little noise the oven was making, some noise we couldn't perceive. I'd pulled the oven out not long ago to clean out months' worth of accumulated muck, and found nothing amiss - just dust bunnies and dessicated potato cubes and onion bits.

So, last week, I arrived home from a day of listening to Democrats shout about how awesome Democrats are and how much McCain Sucks (which is, of course, true, but is also beside the point). Loki, mysteriously, was not at the back door to greet me as he usually is. It was hot and I was tired. I stripped down to my shorts and laid down on the bed to read for a few minutes and probably take a nap. After a minute or two, Loki comes in and hops up on the bed. He likes to be near us when we're home; in the kitchen with us, on the couch with us, in the bed with us. This is not unusual. I greet him without looking up from my book.

Suddenly, Loki deposits something on my bare belly. It is a small gray mouse, smaller than my thumb, and it is almost but not quite dead, and it is twitching away its last handful of breaths in this world. This was not an accident. This was Loki proudly presenting to me his contribution to the household.

Now, I'm a Manly Man. I like football, I can open pickle jars and reach high shelves, I mow the lawn and I know the names of lots of different kinds of tools. And, Manly Man that I am, I refrained from screaming like a little girl at this point. But only just.

I did, however, shout, "Oh, my God!" and roll over to let gravity take the mouse from my bare belly to the bed. Loki was perhaps a bit nonplussed at my reaction to his offering, but it didn't last. He was playing with it again in moments, tossing it and batting it and watching it continue to twitch.

I called Mle and said that I'd figured out what the cats had been staring at under the oven. By the time I was off the phone with her, the mouse had stopped twitching. Though I knew Loki would feel cheated, I didn't really want him to eat the thing, so I picked it up and tossed it out into the back yard. I rewarded him instead with effusive praise and a handful of salmon-flavored kitty treats.

Loki spent several minutes looking for the mouse even after that.