It was only a matter of time. Tonight there was a spirit of collaboration and collusion hovering over our home as we drove down the driveway, and a singular absence of the usual feline Welcome Committee.
Climbing the stairs from the garage to our home, I wasn’t expecting “the present” awaiting me. There on the mat was a beautiful mouse with two acolytes – a surprised kitten and a guilty looking old Tom cat. Neither really admitted the gift and they both scurried off, embarrassed.
I got a paper towel and picked the wee thing up; an adult. It was beautiful and totally unblemished. His little yellow teeth were gritted with determination, but it was his paws that made me cry. They were clenched. This little guy had gone down fighting, like a prize boxer. This was no “timorous beastie” of Robbie Burns.
I felt like I needed to find a kaddish for this little mouse, to show my respect, to say a prayer over the grey furry grammes in my hand.
So I wrapped him in the white towel shroud and took him to a burial place - the compost bin. I murmured prayers as I laid him to rest amongst leaf sweepings, green veggie leaves, tea leaves and potato skins. A meal fit for a mouse, buried in a black sarcophagus, with a banquet for the afterlife.
And as for my two confused hunters, tonight they are on short rations.