We’ve got two beautiful Abyssinian cats. Two of the characters in the book series, the Wicked Series, are modeled after the cats. The characters names are Mac and Jack, however, (my favorite beer!) so as to protect the identity of these fine felines.

“Mac” and “Jack” (remember, not their real names) are indoor kitties since the coyotes snacked on my last cat. They have an outdoor pen covered with 1/2 mesh. Prey would have to really, really want to get inside the pen. Apparently, they really, really want to. Maybe it is a game of prowess designed to build character. Maybe like wolves, all want to engage in the “Conversation of Death” to determine who is worthy of dying today.  Personally, I don’t care what the motives are, I am so over the game and the conversation I could scream.

This week, the cats have been on a tear with daily prey. Monday it was a bird. Tuesday we started out the day with a chipmunk – yes, I said a chipmunk. The little guy was chattering at us like a hysterical grandmother. Trapped behind the garbage cans, The Official Sweetie Pie (TOSP) went to fetch the Official Container for Dead Things. When we had the chipmunk cornered, he just disappeared – now you see him, now you don’t. Gone. We looked around the kitchen, gave up and went to eat lunch. After lunch we found him hiding under the stove.

TOSP barked gentle orders to me (Lie down there! Move here! Make yourself a shield for the chipmunk!) and proceeded to try various tactics to get the chipmunk out. I kept envisioning chipmunk antics throughout the house for days. We tried scooting him out with a stick. TOSP tried gently pulling him out by the tail. The cm got further and further behind the stove, into the wires and coils. Then we found him clinging to the pipe in the back where the gas comes in. He tucked his tail under his body.

TOSP sent me upstairs to get the work gloves. I retrieved them. He tried to put his hand down to grab the cm. Nothing doing. CM takes off and disappears again. Now he is SOMEWHERE in the kitchen. Since we have dismantled the kitchen by this point, we don’t know where that would be.

I got upstairs to shower. About an hour and a half has gone by. Cats are back in the house, helping find the cm. They trap him under the oven drawer, sitting in the middle of the floor. One cat on the left, one cat on the right, cm is not going anywhere. I tell TOSP to slowly lift the drawer and grab him with the gloved hand. He agrees. We slowly lift…and…cm shoots out and runs behind the small set of drawers in the dining room. 45 minutes later, we have him. He is missing a tail which we do not find until that night…after the mouse is brought in.

Yes, that’s right, we have freed the tail-less chipmunk and now have to contend with a mouse. In the midst of that struggle, I jump when the mouse comes at me and hit my head on the edge of the heavy glass lampshade. Picture Tom and Jerry here with the cat seeing stars all around. Mouse is rescued.

The next day it’s a bird. I try to save it, I really do, but I end up pulling its little tail off. It dies from the cats loving embrace.

Today it was a small bird laying on the living room floor. “I’ll deal with your dead body later,” I decide.  I fix my tea, feed the cats, walk back and forth by the dead bird, give up and get a paper towel. When I place it over the bird, it turns at me and glares, then flutters away. I finally get it outside.

As I am writing this, a mouse is brought in. This one I turn over to the care and release of TOSP so I can finish this piece. On prey…that seems to find its way into the house of the vegan (TOSP)….every day.

UPDATE: Last night (Saturday), we were at a party. We were sitting on the deck of our friends’ home, enjoying our beverages, telling tales about the mystical now tail-less chipmunk who would disappear before our eyes – now you see him, now you don’t. I looked over at TOSP and squinted suspiciously. “Speaking of chipmunks,” I said, “What is the furry thing poking out of your shirt? It looks like a piece of tail (everyone laughs and guffaws over the piece of tail remark).”

TOSP looks down and plucks out part of the chipmunk’s tail, wedged into a seam of his shirt. We’re all shocked, aghast and the laughter begins. How in the world did the chipmunks now dried tail get into TOSP’s shirt? Was the chipmunk actually named Chuckie? I have my suspicions…and we now have witnesses.

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