The Mouse Caper
To Muffin’s credit, she did try to get along with the newcomer; for several days she tried curling up against the puppy’s belly as she had always done with her beloved Kim, but little Madison pushed away from Muffin each time. By the weekend, the heartbroken cat gave up and withdrew to the bed she had shared with Kim. The problem was that Madison had already decided the huge floor pillow was the perfect toy.
That Friday morning I heard screeching, hissing and a whole lot of scampering. Madison had taken the edge of the bed in her mouth and was trying to shake off the cat who had been napping.
Clinging to the bed with her long claws, Muffin’s howls changed to growls; any other critter would have understood that she meant business. Not Madison who was too young to understand the language of an outraged Siamese cat. One final tug and the cat went flying into the air; Madison took her prize and dragged it to the far end of room. It was time to play with the toy.
Muffin got to her feet, marched to where the puppy had settled down to chew the edge of the pillow. Before I could stop her, the cat jumped onto Madison’s head, dug her claws into the sides of her head and sank her fangs into the folds of skin just above the puppy’s eye.
“Muffin, no! Bad kitty!” Taking the puppy in my arms to examine the wound, I failed to notice the cat leaving.
The rest of the day I was busy preparing for the Labor Day weekend, too preoccupied to think about the incident. By bedtime I was exhausted; after putting Madison into her crate for the night, I dove into bed earlier than usual. Had I but known half of what Muffin was plotting I would not have slept so soundly.
I overslept; my weekend company was due to the house by one in the afternoon and I still had some food shopping to do. I jumped out of bed, First things first, I needed to take the puppy outside before she soiled the crate.
“Good girl!” the crate was still clean. This pup had been easy to train. “Such a smart, Madison.”
I took her in my arms to carry her outside, giving her no opportunity to have an accident on the way outside. With bare feet, I hurried toward the back staircase to let Madison out through the back door. First step, second, third, fourth, oh what was that?
I felt it beneath my right foot, something soft, furry and slightly damp. I looked down and saw a dark spot on my foot.
“What the hell!”
I hopped down to the next step and felt a similar lump under my left foot.
“Holy Shit! What is that?”
I moved down to the next step where once again there was something beneath my foot. I screamed. and slipped. Had I not been able to grab the railing I would have fallen. Madison squirmed in my arms; my balance became precarious.
At the landing now, I stopped, steadied myself and checked the remainder of the four steps. Each step had one dead mouse placed in exactly the middle where one’s foot would land, walking down the stairs.
As Madison scampered off across the back yard, I hunted for Muffin. This time I swore that the cat would not survive another twenty-four hours. I was so angry that I had forgotten I was still in my nightgown.
And I still had eight or nine squashed mice to scrape off the carpeting on the back staircase steps.
Muffin did survive another twenty-four hours because, as usual after each of her misdeeds, she did not come home for several days.
It wasn’t easy, but we three, Madison, Muffin and I eventually learned to coexist.
A week later the Siamese cat jumped onto my lap and rubbed her head against my inner arm. I knew then she had forgiven me and we were friends again.
Besides, her litter box needed cleaning.
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