Story telling time! I was having a long chat via FB message with a friend, and after talking about bulls and cows, mares and stallions, and their respective habits when it comes to mating (and how they need…help, at times), we turned to other farm-related animals you’d find in Ireland.
Namely, mice and rats.
My friend was all happy about catching a cute mouse and letting it go again – with a calf-nut in its mouth. Calf-nut seems to be a very Irish term, and yes; it makes me giggle a bit. I try not to giggle out loud. It is just a name for cattle feed. I said I’d rather carry Mr Jingles a lot further away, myself. He then told me that once, his sister didn’t go far enough away with her captured mousie and her cat came back grinning with Mr Jingles a cold corpse in his mouth.
Then he said he hated cats (for killing cute mousies).
I, of course, stated about a billion reasons not to hate cats. This is not what I’m here to ramble about.
Then said he hated rats. I personally don’t see any difference between a wild mouse and a wild rat. They both carry a disease here; a pretty nasty, hard-to-diagnose one: Weil’s.
I’d decided to attempt to gross him out, however (because I just LOVE grossing out grown-ass-men, it’s a hobby of mine. And he deserved it for saying he hated cats). So I told him this story. And since I had to type it all out for him, now I’m going to try to gross out all of you, too.
I like to share.
I had lived for several years in a house in Akron, Ohio, with one human, two cats and My Good Dog. For two days, I had noticed that the cats had been staring at a particular cabinet door. They weren’t trying to open it, and not making any noises: just staring. Since that’s where the dog and cat kibble was kept, I didn’t think too much of it.
Until I reached my arm into this same cabinet, into the dark cabinet, under the counter, and deep into a dark bag of kitty kibble. And. I felt something MOVE against my reaching fingers.
I’m pretty sure I made a noise I will always, always, be ashamed of. The other human in the house ran like hell at the noise I’d made, knowing well that if I was freaked out, it was serious. I slammed the cabinet door, and yelled at the cats for being useless.
Then I steeled myself to play the game, “what’s in the bag?”
I pulled the bag of cat food out into the light, slowly, gently… trying to avoid making that noise again. The cats had run out behind the human; useless pampered indoor kitties… luckily My Good Dog, Shade, was right there, very excited and willing to help. I recalled the very sad dead-baby-bunny-incident, and knew Shade was well able to help me with whatever might be lurking in the depths of my Purina Cat Chow.
As they piled out of the bag, one by one, he killed all five sewer rats, one by one. It was a blur of quick death. But I can still see their nasty, scaly, peeling tails. Despite his blood-lust, he let me take their nasty, filthy, grey, scabby-tailed bodies out of his mouth. Such a good boy. I took them outside and dropped them in the city sewer grate. Ashes to ashes, sewer to sewer.
The eejits who had owned the house previously had moved the kitchen sink, but never removed or capped the pipe that led down to the sewer. It never smelled bad, so it was never a problem. That week it had rained a lot. A lot. I can only think the water level was so high that the nasty rats could reach our pipe and decided they had found nirvana there in the warm dry dark full of food.
They never expected me and My Good Dog, Shade.