I have a loaner cat.

She’s here for a week or so, because I came back from Cuba in Late February to what I can only describe as a shitstorm.

Of literal mouse shit.

After cleaning and scrubbing and still finding mouse droppings from time to time, after the kill traps and the glue traps and the poison…I found more mouse droppings by the onions.

I’m pretty live and let live when it comes to mice passing through. It’s part of living in a house in the world – you’re bound to get a few field mice. But when they hang around and get in my food, and crap all over my stuff, it’s on.

So we hired a professional. Her name is Alison. She’s all black and pretty easy going. Last night was her first night. We played laser pointer, and she demonstrated some pretty great skills. I had high hopes.

I gave her a few of her treats and then put the package on top of the fridge, next to some protein powder that nobody is ever going to eat.

She’s also stealthy. Her owners have a bell on her collar because otherwise you could trip up on her. Last night she dozed at the end of the bed for a while, and when the lights went out, she left. Presumably to start hunting – I hoped.

She popped back in and out of the room a few times, and I realized I was wide awake, attuned to the sound of the bell moving through the house. I closed the bedroom door, and let her prowl through the house. There was a couch piled with blankets for her, or a spare bed. I figured she’d just take her pick.

This morning I woke up, wondering if she’d had any success. I poked my head into the spare room. The bell was jingling up the stairs, behind me. At the end of the bed was the package of treats, with one hole torn in it.

At a rough estimate, I would say she had eaten about two-thirds of the package.

She popped up behind me.

“Honestly,” I said, “I’m just impressed by how similar we are.”

And I scratched her ears and we went downstairs for breakfast.

As I write this, she’s curled up, asleep at the end of the couch. I have to go to work now, so who knows? Maybe she’ll go a-hunting. But I have a hunch she’s just going to get into the pantry instead. That’s what I would do.


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