I'm in the Glasgow flat with the Affection Unit and the cat (this is a while back, but I'm catching up - but hey, I'm so settled I now go on holiday with my cat and my boyfriend, which is either what normal people or what Dr Dolittle would do).
And the problem is... I wake up. At first I think it's because he's snoring. Okay, I figure, I can deal with that. Only his snoring is... odd. Extreme. Weird. Worse than that guy who said "I grind my teeth together" and then sentenced me to a sleepless night in Crouch End sharing a single bed with either a cement mixer or a pile driver (and neither of those are euphemisms for balling till dawn). No, this noise is worse. Then I realise.
It's not snoring at all. It's scuttling. There is a mouse under the bed.
I am horrified. I have literally no idea what to do. Which is when I remember I have a boyfriend. And suddenly, I realise blissfully why I have one.
"Wake up," I say, "There is a mouse under the bed. Do something."
He stares at me. He says "wuhhhh?" a bit. He blinks. But he is awake. It is now his responsibility. Forget long country walks and evenings out and evenings in. Dealing with vermin - this is the real reason for being in a relationship. Should Ryan Reynolds and I ever get married, it's going in the vows.
We lie there for a bit. Working through the various levels of "are you sure?" and "what do we do?". To be frank, we're not actually making a great success of Dealing With Vermin, but at least we are in this together. Which is something. Even if our current solution appears to be clinging to each other like Laurel and Hardy waiting for the piano to drop.
It is at this point that the cat wakes up at the foot of the bed. She yawns with the careful luxury of a cat who has been rather enjoying the wonders of a memory foam mattress and then she stretches out a paw in our direction. "Ladies," she says, "Let me deal with this," and vanishes under the bed.
Seconds later the cat takes something to the living room. There is a lot of noise. Then an eerie silence. A few seconds later the cat returns to the bedroom alone, jumps back on the bed, and goes to sleep.
Horrified, we leave the bedroom and search the living room. Lying on an Ikea lamp like Aslan on the altar is a mostly dead mouse. The cat, fetched from her slumbers, gives it no more attention than an old catnip toy, and cleans herself.
My boyfriend is, it should be said at this point, so vegetarian even his shoes are made of lentils. But, while I stand there, crying a little, he calmly fetches the dustpan and flings the mouse out of the window. Followed by the dustpan.
"I hope the mouse didn't suffer," he says, sadly.
"Its last thoughts were that it could fly." I say.
We go back to bed. I am convinced I can hear hundreds of mice in the skirtingboard ready to pour out into the living room. So he holds me until I fall asleep. I am never going on holiday without a cat or a boyfriend again.
Sparkling Cyanide (1945)
1 year ago