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MMMmmm. Tasty dead mouse.

>> Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dogs can be unutterably disgusting.

Allow me to back up.  In addition to our two basset hounds who make regular appearances on this blog, we also have three cats.  Our girl kitties are strictly indoor cats because I feel strongly that it's far better for their health and safety and the safety of the local bird/rodent population if cats are kept indoors.

However, as proof that our household is really run by our male cat, Tucker, he gets to spend his days romping outdoors.  How did he achieve this?  By the simple expedient of urinating on everything we own for about 9 years until we finally let him outside in an act of sheer desperation.  (Yes, he's neutered, and has been since about a week after the neighborhood kids dug him out of our apartment complex dumpster and presented him to us, worm, flea and earmite ridden, at about 6 months of age.  He also has a remarkably clean bill of health from the vet.  He's just a stubborn, determined little stinker).

We spent years cleaning cat pee off everything we own and frequently racing around the neighborhood after him while barefoot and shivering in snow, mud, rain and dark after he repeatedly magically escaped.  I swear, he can melt his 12 lbs through 1" openings.  He's a master at darting out underneath a dog's legs, and given the length of the basset hounds' legs that's seriously impressive. 

About a year ago, we gave in.  It was either that or strangulation for our fine feline pee-pants friend.

Tucker is absurdly happy with his newfound freedom.  Now the only things he pees on are our front and back doors, the gardens, the cars, and the barn.  Hey, it's huge progress - I'll take it.  He regularly expresses his appreciation of our decision to allow him to be an outdoors cat by bringing us "presents" in the form of dead things.  Yesterday, Tucker actually left the dogs a gift mouse underneath their run.  (Seriously, buddy?  The HUMANS are the ones who feed you and pet you and clean your litterbox.  What do the dogs do for you?  Whuffle you half to death and steal your food?  And you deem them worthy of a dead mouse gift?)

Here's killer, looking his most ferocious:

Lucy, as is her wont, discovered the dead mouse and immediately pouched the poor disgusting thing, like a hamster. She's a master at this.

Spouse was astute enough to notice that she was looking furtive, and had enormous bulges in her cheeks.  The pathetic little tail hanging out the left side of her mouth was also indicative.  He asked her what she had, and she darted away, looking over her shoulder at him, trying frantically to swallow.  He told her to "leave it" - a command she knows perfectly well but wasn't even going to consider complying with.  Even the offer of treats had no effect.  Finally, he pounced on her and grabbed her lower jaw, in an attempt to pry the thing out.

For a full five minutes Spouse wrestled around on the ground with Lucy, trying to pry her jaw open far enough to be able to snatch the mouse out.  Lucy spent that time clamping her jaw shut as hard as she possibly could and trying frantically to swallow that damn mouse whole.

After about a minute, Spouse's efforts weren't effective in the least, not only because Lucy's jaw is absurdly strong, but also because Spouse was rendered utterly helpless by fits of the giggles.  Every time Lucy tried to gulp, he'd break out in fresh bouts of laughter.  After a few moments he would realize he was losing the fight, and his pride would take over, giving him renewed strength.  The battle would then resume in earnest.

I am no help under such circumstances, wiping tears from my eyes and being utterly helpless with laughter myself.

Spouse did finally win by stooping to Lucy's level.  He paused, looked her in the eye, growled at her and snapped his teeth in the general direction of her snout.  Lucy was so startled she briefly allowed her jaw to slacken, and Spouse snatched the rotting, damp, nasty little thing out of her mouth with a crow of triumph that surely the whole neighborhood heard.

Aha!  Success!  (until the next time)

The guilty party, on the right, sans mouse, looking accusing:

I realize our objection to Lucy's swallowing dead things whole is just our human sensibilities.  Clearly, what makes us feel sort of green and nauseated is vastly appetizing to our canine companions, and for that matter to our feline ones too.  A dog's body temperature is significantly higher than a human's, making dogs very good at fighting off infections.  And heaven only knows what's in their saliva - the things they consume, digest and expel are truly incredible.  The worst thing likely to happen to Lucy if she actually swallowed a dead thing would probably be a case of worms, and it's not like that hasn't happened before.  The worst thing to happen to me would be the permanent trauma of having to scoop poop... uh, afterward.  Probably with that pathetic little tail waiving out of the center of the pile like a belated flag of truce.

Ew.  Poor mouse.  What a sodden, unromantic fate.


Sneaksleep November 3, 2009 at 5:19 PM  

" a belated flag of truce." What a hilarious post! I am cracking up picturing the wrestling match.

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