Yesterday, while on ICQ, I noticed unusual activity in my cats, who were in the same room with me. They were crouched at the ends of the bookcases, staring avidly at something between the bookcase and the wall, that I could not see. Periodiclly they would rush back and forth across the room, to the other end of the bookcase, to crouch here and stare.
I know this routine. They had cornered a mouse. The mouse was safe behind the bookcases for the moment. But mice, tiny creatures that they are, have a fast metabolism, and without food or water, they will die of starvation or thirst in 24 hours or less. Sooner or later, the mouse had to make a break for it. And the cats could long outlast the mouse.
At this point, the game was up for the mouse, although it had only begun for the cats.
Presently the cats became calmer, and I wondered whether the mouse had escaped back into whatever crack it had come from. I went to bed, arose hours later, and left for work. When I returned this morning, lo, the mouse, stretched out cold in the middle of the upstairs hallway. A cat was near by, playing sexton, I suppose. I gravely thanked the cat, and removed the mouse for burial at sea, or whatever small part of the sea extends up into my toilet.
|WEE, sleeket, cowran, tim'rous beastie,|
|O, what panic's in thy breastie!|
|Thou need na start awa sae hasty,|
|Wi' bickering brattle!|
|I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,|
|Wi' murd'ring pattle!|
|I'm truly sorry Man's dominion|
|Has broken Nature's social union,|
|An' justifies that ill opinion,|
|Which makes thee startle,|
|At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,|