Posted by: dougery | November 30, 2011

Barry, Lord of the Mousers

Last night I was awakened from a sound sleep at 2:00Am by the hissed words of my wife.

“Ferd! FB! (These are the only names she ever uses to call me) C’mere! You have to come here. Right now!”

I was standing up and totally awake before she even finished talking. Adrenaline poured through my veins and my heart did a triple-gainer. Was it a fire? Did a bear break in and was it eating my frozen pizza? Legally blind I staggered toward her voice, issuing from the dining room, taking no time to locate my glasses. Which might have been helpful in that they allow me to look at and understand the world around me. I walked in to find L standing close to, but not exactly near, our fat black cat Barry. Barry was hunched over and not moving. Taking a catcher’s squat I bent low and saw something was wrong with his face. I should have known, a problem with one of our cats was just about the only thing that could ever rile up my wife like this.

But what was it? Foam? String? Had Barry, who will eat everything from celery to chocolate chip scones to ice-cream, ice-cubes, porkloin and carrots, all without asking mind, had he gotten into something he shouldn’t have? I leaned in real low and saw the back end of a tiny mouse jutting from his jaws.

I might have said something here but I don’t recall. I do remember cursing because I was now in the bedroom looking for pajama pants and my glasses. They are always right there on the dresser but not tonight. 15 seconds later I had a large rag in one had and was adequately clothed and bespectacled. Barry, because he is a cat and all cats are sadists, dropped the mouse, which was far from dead, not even bleeding, and the mouse ran about a foot before our cat displayed the kind of lightning quick strike that is so unnerving in true predators. I couldn’t help but imagine myself suddenly shrunk down to mouse size. I’d last about 3 and half seconds.

Knowing that it might be hours until he decided to end things, and of course imagining the real possibility that the mouse, who would become more and more wounded and tired but is nonetheless fighting for its life, might get free and hide somewhere in the house, we decided to take measures into our own hands. or rather, my rag wrapped right hand. L put her hands around Barry’s rump, not that he was going anywhere, I’ve never seen him so content, and I tried to free the mouse from his mouth and simultaneously catch and immobilize the rodent.

It didn’t work.

The mouse got free and made it all the way to the far wall between the radiator and bureau in less time than it took me think of the appropriate swear word. yet Barry, using whatever Nightcrawler-esque teleportation BAMF! skills all cats know when hunting was on it before it could get away. And he nonchalantly walked right back to his ‘spot’ on the dining room carpet, turned, and sat back down, mouse half in and half out of his jaw like before.

This time I went all in. It scared me to do it to the poor guy but I burlap sacked his head with the rag and somehow came away with the damn mouse pinched in my hand, back legs and tail wiggling inches from my astonished face. I leapt up, found the back door, stepped out into the rain and threw that fucker as far as I could. It might still be flying through the woods behind our house. Seriously, The Niners, Bears, and a half a dozen NFL teams don’t boast QBs with that kind of cannon fire.

L told me the prologue. I’d been up pretty late worrying and over-analyzing a project I’ve been working on (more news later) and didn’t go to bed until late. My sleep was troubled and I probably rolled around too much causing L to be more or less awake just before 2:00AM. That is when she went to the bathroom and noticed Barry staking out the alcove near our front door (which opens out into the ground level of a barn structure). He has been pretty keen about that alcove for months now. Evidently this is why. My wife leaves the bathroom just in time to hear Barry utter a warbled wobbly, mournful, jubilant meow through a mouthful of mouse. She ran to the dining room and found him as I would seconds later.

Barry would spend the rest of the evening pissed off at the thieving bastards who robbed him of an entire night’s grand adventure. He made sure we didn’t sleep much. And that is how I spnt the wee hours of Wednesday morning, the last day of November.

Reading: Out of Sight by Elmore Leonard



  1. Wow. THAT is amazing!

  2. Oooh, a secret project!

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