Our white cat, Taku, finds a mouse. It’s 6:30 AM. From my bed upstairs, I hear Taku crash into some wine bottles that we’d set beside the kitchen recycle bin. (Maybe it’s a soused mouse.) Taku flumphs up the stairs. He usually galumphs, but he’s moving at half speed. Maybe it’s hard to run with a mouse in your mouth. I sit up in the bed, while James sleeps. Taku talks with his mouth full. He deposits the mouse, whole and blinking, onto the bedroom floor. I pet Taku. I praise him. I shut him in the bathroom. Our stripey cat, Sitka, blinks from his sleep-rumple. He jumps down from his cat condo, saunters right past the mouse, and sniffs at the bathroom door. Taku is silent. The mouse sits. I squint at the dawn. I grab a coffee mug and a piece of junk mail. I figure I can catch the mouse, and release him into the backyard ravine. (Maybe he’ll come back, or maybe an owl will eat him.) The mouse doesn’t like that idea. The mouse scrams—Wait! Stop!—right under the bathroom door. Something in there clatters the garbage can. Then I maybe hear some feline chortling.
After all is accomplished, I do throw what’s left of the mouse into the ravine. But if he does come back, I’m calling a priest.
I never knew there was such a thing, but this is most definitely a barge of contentment.
Sometimes I feel compelled to lie upside-down in a chair and compose something pithy.
Q. What do you do in the middle of the night?
A. I watch the raccoons and I clean my toes.
Q. And then what?
A. I find her in the bed.
Q. What do you do when you find her?
A. I sit on her belly. Sometimes I have to head butt her until she gets on her back, and then I stand on her belly. And then I stomp on her.
Q. On her belly?
A. On the soft part. And then I bite her.
Q. Why do you do this?
A. Because she’s irreplaceable and I love her to bits. And because I’m thirsty.
Q. You’re thirsty?
A. Yes. I’ve been cleaning my toes.
Q. Then what does she do?
A. Then she makes a noise, and she gets up.
Q. She gets out of the bed?
A. She goes to the room with all the water, and she sits down. And while she’s there, I make her turn on the tap.
Q. This is what you’ve wanted all along?
A. And she’s irreplaceable and I love her to bits.
Taku got his summertime shave. He’s utterly buzz cut, except for his head, feet, and tip of his tail. After getting his trim, Taku runs around like a kid just out of a bath. I suppose because he feels good, he thinks he looks good. He prances some. His skin is bunny-ear pink. But the trouble is that Taku is just portly enough that he rumples. Parts of him truly resemble a Shar-Pei. But he doesn’t care. He’s like, “Touch me. I’m sleek. Look at me all loungy and nekkid. Watch how I can fan my toes. You know that I have a porn-star name? I do. It’s Taku. Taku Velour.”
(Originally published May 14, 2018)