Last night, right after I had fallen asleep, Apollo furiously scrambled onto the bed behind our heads. Lately in the hot summer, he’s not been coming to sleep with us except in the early morning if at all. I turned the light on on the headboard to see what all the ruckus was about. He was pawing between the mattress and the headboard, like he’d dropped a toy down there in that black hole where sometimes Carmex, Kleenex, and toy mice often end up. He was pretty frantic about it, and rather than have an upset cat trying to get his toy back while we try to sleep, I thought I’d help him. I reach my hand down there, but didn’t feel anything. But he was insistent it went down there. So I tried again, reaching further. I felt a soft, furry toy, but couldn’t grab it. It was down too deep. I tried again, tried to bring it up again, and then tried yet again, all the while thinking, “this toy feels smaller and softer than any of his toy mice…” Then the horrible thought hit me: that’s no toy mouse. I finally fished it out, flipped it up onto the bead near the cat and caught a glimpse of little feet as Apollo quickly grabbed it and jumped to the floor.
Nope, that was no toy mouse.
Last fall he caught a mouse and we made him release it outside. At that time, earlier in the night before bed, we were fully clothed, but this time we were wearing pretty much nothing, as we were asleep and it was summer. This time, Stan grabbed Apollo and held him over the toilet, shaking him a bit and grasping his jaw, causing him to release the mouse. I checked just to make sure we weren’t tossing out a perfectly good toy mouse. Nope, it was real. Dead, but real.
Apollo looked so bewildered as he watched his prize get flushed down the toilet. It was like a kid having his parents destroy a great toy. We told Apollo he was a good cat for thinking of us and feeding us with the prey he caught. But the poor guy, he was probably devastated watching it get flushed. He went back to the toilet later and looked to see if he could find it.
It could be worse. I’ve heard stories of people who wake up to a dead mouse on the pillow next to them. Cats are so nice to think of their humans.