What is it about cats and mice? 🐱 🐭
From a very early age, children mis-understand the fundamental relationship between a cat and a mouse. Personally, I blame William Hanna and Joseph Barbera the creators of Tom & Jerry; staple cartoon fun of inquisitive toddlers everywhere. Their brilliant cartoon animation, documenting the attempts of ‘hapless Tom’ to capture ‘smart Jerry’, leave a lasting impression on innocent young minds.
But how wrong that impression is, certainly if our 3 cats are anything to go by. We live in the country and are surrounded by wildlife and birdsong throughout the year. On the surface, it seems a very comfortable existence for all animals, large or small, living in peace, tranquility and harmony; unless you happen to be a mouse! 🐁
Just about every day, come rain, wind or shine our veritable moggies, Maddy, Willow or Lola arrive in the kitchen with a furry ‘present’ and a boastful meow. Presumably, the stricken rodent is a thank you for their cat food, cat treats or saucer of milk? The mouse in question is always ‘alive and kicking’ although occasionally plays dead in a stealthy attempt to trick their triumphant captor. But escape is futile and any break for freedom is met with a hooked claw or gummy bite. In reality, this is role reversal for Tom & Jerry and there is only ever one winner. 🏆
In our home, there is rarely a final ‘act’ as teasing and taunting seems to be so much more exciting and fun. I’m pretty sure that the shock of the experience does nothing for a mouse’s heart rate, but we usually accept the offering, rescue the mouse and release them into the garden – presumably to run the same gauntlet again tomorrow. It can’t be the same mouse being returned every day can it?
We like to think that our cats are prolific mouse catchers but let’s put this into perspective. Take Scottish cat Towser, affectionately know as the ‘Mouser’ in his Glenturret Distillery home. Between 1963 and 1987, Towser is reported to have caught the grand total of 28,899 mice ! That’s 1,204 per year, 100 per month or more than 3 mice a day, every day for 24 years.
Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Jerry… 🐈🐾