The Fast Pitch
By Allison Adams 09-18-11, Submitted to The Greeneville Sun on 09-19-11
Our cat is a hunter-gatherer.
She preys on moles, squirrels, frogs, locusts, and even tweety birds.
She plays a cruel game with her vulnerable, unwitting, opponent, which eventually ends in its death. Game over, she gathers whatever remains of her victim and lays her offering at our back door.
You know the type.
I knew with the first cold snap in the air she’d begin to add mice carcasses to the altar.
This morning my husband declared that the season was upon us.
“Your cat left us a dead mouse on back porch”, he announced.
“I hope you don’t mind, but I went ahead and disposed of it before you had a chance to admire her work.”
“I thought you’d feel that way. Just be sure to praise your cat next time you see her. You don’t want to hurt her feelings.”
“I promise to react appropriately”, I replied.
I added mousetraps to my shopping list.
A couple of hours later I stopped just inches short of stepping on a deceased mouse lying near our backdoor, but this time it was INSIDE.
I hollered to my husband who was firmly planted in his recliner, clutching the clicker, and staring at the football game on TV.
“How did you say you disposed of that dead mouse earlier?” I asked.
“I picked it up and hurled it into the backyard. It was a great throw, if I say so myself”, he replied.
“Why didn’t you throw it in the garbage can?”
“Unnecessary. I hurled it with great velocity! Its waaaaay out there!”
“Well, your cat must have found it and brought it back. There’s a dead mouse right here by the back door – INSIDE!”
“Impossible”, he replied. “Can’t be the same one.”
“What did your mouse look like?” I inquired. “Was is brown with little bitty ears and a little nose?” I inquired.
“Yes, it was” he replied. “Does that one you’re looking at have a tail?”
“Yes, but it’s not a long tail. I’d say its tail is in proportion to its body.”
“Hmmm. Sounds about like my mouse”, said my husband.
“Did your mouse look like this when you found it?” I did my best dead rodent impression, but my husband never took his eyes off the TV.
“Yes”, he said without looking my way. “My mouse looked a lot like that, except its belly was white.”
“Snow white, or more ecru?” I asked.
“Can’t really say. Do you see any signs of a struggle?”
“Well, the lamps haven’t been knocked over, nothing’s broken, and there’s no sign of forced entry”, I reported.
“No - I mean, is there any indication of trauma on the body of the deceased?”
“No, not really. It just sort of looks like its been played with to death.”
“Same with the one I tossed into the backyard earlier this morning. Probably the same mouse. Maybe we should start tagging them for identification purposes. I’ll bet your cat retrieved it and brought it back.”
“I thought you hurled it with great velocity?”
“I did!” he said, “I used my fast pitch!”
“Well, can you come and get rid of it again, please?”
“I’m sorry. I can’t hear you.”
“Fine. I’ll do it myself. Only this time I’ll dispose of it outside in the garbage can.”
“That’s a great idea.”
“Honestly, I can’t believe you picked up a dead mouse with your bare hands, and hurled it into the backyard – with great velocity”, I said.
“Oh – that reminds me, don’t use the blue plaid oven mitt.”
I added oven mitts to my shopping list.