This year I decided to experience the third annual Walker Art Center’s International Cat Video Festival from the comfort of my own couch with my own refrigerator and snacks within easy reach. No need to worry about parking or finding a spot to sit on a lumpy lawn. Nope, this year I was going to stream it and my cats could even attend since they don’t get out of the house much if at all (vet visits when absolutely necessary). Of course being cats they were not around when I wanted them to share the past year in cat videos with me. (Funny how the minute I try to write one of the few checks a month I write, girl kitty Z always manages to show up to make sure anyone who gets a check from me thinks I have recently suffered a stroke thanks to the constant bombardment of her head to my pen.) The dog and I figured screw them, and were super excited to be able to stream via Animal Planet’s live channel on the Roku so we could see all the action on a big TV and not on a tiny iPad. (A quick shout out to anyone not familiar with a Roku. They are the bomb. The new starter model is slightly larger than a USB drive and I can’t say enough how much I LOVE this device.)
Of course no streaming event would be complete without some technical difficulties, the first being the giant inflatable screen going down, and then when that came back up again the live stream went down. As Roseanne Rosannadanna (RIP Gilda) would say, it’s always something. My wireless has also been going down a lot and just when I was beginning to think this cunning little plan of watching from home was not so cunning after all, Animal Planet Live was actually ALIVE again. Yeah!! All was right with the world, until two things happened. First of all, Gotcha Kitty was robbed and only got third place, third place for a face this cute and so very sorry? For shame WAC Golden Kitty Award voters, for shame.
And then boy kitty A came flying up the stairs, with something dangling from his mouth. At first I thought it was a tuft of fur. Anyone with cats knows about these random balls of fur that suddenly appear and float across floors and you think jeez, why did I spend $400 on that Dyson and vacuum everyday when I should have just gotten a hairless cat? It seems so obvious now. But the smart-assy swagger in his step pretty much confirmed my worst fear in that it was no mere tuft of cat fur in his mouth, but the fur of a tiny rodent. A dead one I hoped, incorrectly. I grabbed the dog and we jumped on the countertop as boy kitty paraded around the kitchen and dining room enough to interest the tiredest girl kitty in the universe, Z, from one of her epic naps. I was so distracted and grossed out by his behavior that I barely saw who won the Golden Kitty Award this year which was The 8 Signs of Addiction.
Like most cat owners I don’t expect A LOT from my cats but I think a bare minimum should include that in the unlikely event that there is a rodent in our home, not only should they catch said rodent (minimal props to A for that), but they should take care of it like Michael did to Fredo in The Godfather. And if you can’t do it yourself call a hit cat, just get rid of it. This did not happen. Both cats chased it and batted it about so much that I actually started to feel sorry for the mouse as obviously these two cats had not such a good time in FOREVER. Finally I got sick of sitting on the hard granite watching somebody else have that much fun so the dog and I went to bed. I closed the door and stuck a bath towel under the space between it and the floor and hoped to find, as much as it would pain me, a dead mouse body in the morning. Preferably somewhere obvious. No such luck. At first they acted super interested under a computer armoire and then the living room couch and by the time I was ready to leave for work they weren’t interested in anything except going to sleep because they had been up all night partying with a mouse and were very tired because of it. Seven hours later, this is what boy kitty possibly looked like:
For the rest of the day and since then, neither one of them has acted like anything was askew in their world and I was beginning to think that a miracle had occurred and that the mouse found its way out of my house just exactly the same way it had found itself inside my house. ( I know this probably isn’t true but I can dream, can’t I?) And then on Saturday when I went to put something in my pantry after I’d been to the store I smelled that smell. That singularly gross smell that can only mean one thing: death. Because I don’t always like to face these facts right away, if at all, I waited one day before investigating any further. I got a plastic bag ready for the removal and put on my Playtex Living Gloves (well, one of us was alive poor Mr. Mouse Man) reserved for only the gravest of household chores like body disposal. I started to remove things from under the pull out shelves while trying not to think too badly of my cats, boy kitty A in particular who got me into this whole mess, when I noticed the smell was emanating from another area. I saw a russet potato in the wire racks (potatoes are known stink bombs when they go bad) but this one passed the smell test. Then I saw a plastic bag with some new potatoes from the farmer’s market in it and I knew I had discovered where my dead mouse smell was coming from, only it wasn’t a mouse at all but a potato. The mouse lives!
For those of us whose cats aren’t internet superstars but are just regular old cats who when called upon to do ONE thing in their entire lives and can’t even do that, take solace in this song and know that you are not alone.