Henry’s fur is growing thicker and it feels softer and more luxurious.
I knew that my husband had business elsewhere this afternoon and that I’d be coming home to an empty flat. The front door was locked, the doors to the garden were closed and locked, and like he often does, he had closed the doors to the study and the bedroom before leaving. I made myself a nice cup of coffee, grabbed something to eat and flopped on the sofa with a book to read. Henry had to be outside as he was nowhere to be seen or heard.
I started on some overdue household chores and switched on some loud music.
I finally decided that enough was enough and some pc time was called for.
When I opened the door to the study Henry, who usually doesn’t hold back with mews and miaows, gave me the most reproachful sideway glance and stalked silently past me – as if it had been my fault that he’d been locked in!
After stretching his legs and dismissing his food bowl, Henry has now settled in his favourite place on top of the ironing board and just glares at me.
Oh, what a fate – to be the servant scorned by her king!
I’ve gotten pretty good at understanding Henry. A certain kind of miaou can get me out of bed faster than I thought I was capable of. It means: “I am a great hunter! I am THE great hunter! Come and see!”
Of late, most of the mice Henry brings in are dead and I praise him and clear away the mess (usually by calling my husband). But occasionally they are not. This either means we have a living mouse in the house for a few days or we have a dead, rotting mouse in our house in a few days.
This time I was fast enough. Henry carried his playfood to the bathroom where it hid under the scale. I grabbed an old box which normally houses cleaning stuff and dumped it over the little rodent. While looking for a stiff piece of plastic or something to slide under the box I grabbed my camera, obviously.
No mouse was harmed this day. Henry, however, is confused. He inspects the bathroom ever so often. I guess the smell lingers on.
I had to have strong word with Henry. He cannot bring his friends in the house and have them for dinner (like mice, shrews, butterflies, bugs …).
I don’t think he heard me. He did it again:
Every now and again Henry disappears behind a cupboard or desk only to emerge again a little later covered in dust bunnies and cobwebs. He is a living duster.
I always thought he enjoyed this as part of discovering the nooks and crannies of our flat but now I’m not so sure anymore. Three, four nights ago he brought in a mouse and let it loose in our study. He tried to find it for a while behind the boxes and shelves and desks and then lost interest.
We closed the study door, resolved to find the little rodent in the morning when there would be better light. I heard it rummaging around in the morning and assumed it was still there and doing well.
By the time I got home from work our whole study had been turned upside down or rather inside out: most of it was standing on the patio. My husband had been mouse hunting, overseen by a bored and disinterested cat. But: No mouse. He was absolutely sure that the mouse could not have gotten out. But the room was definitely mouse-less. No squeek, no rustling.
Yet after a couple of days we couldn’t deny it anymore: there still was a mouse, it didn’t squeek anymore and it had started to smell.
We finally found the lifeless body of a little mouse, decomposing and seeping in the wooden floor behind the heavy desk. We removed it, buried what was left, cleaned the area, sanitised the area, put soda in an old sock to get rid of the smell. Our study hasn’t been so clean since we moved in.
I am beginning to suspect that this was Henry’s plan all along.
Henry thought Easter without looking for something is not really Easter. Hence he decided to not spend the night at home and not come back to his early feeding time. I am sure he spent his time hiding behind a bush where he must have enjoyed seeing all three of us in regular intervals stomping through the garden with cries of “Henry! Oh, Henry!”, “Where are you?”, and “Come here, you miserable son of a … pussy!”
Anyway, he turned up long after lunch, ignored his food bowl and decided to crack an egg.
It had to happen sometime. Henry has gone over to the other side.
For the first time ever he snuggled down on my husband’s side of the bed.
What did I do wrong?!
Henry doesn’t tolerate covers. He might curl up in his box, or under the old sewing machine in our living room but he needs his freedom. He sleeps for a few hours on the footend of our bed (my side, of course). He doesn’t spend the whole night there, it’s like he gives this to me as a boon. And while he might drape himself over my arms when I type, he never curls up next to me when I’m sitting on the couch. A very independent cat
Today I found him like this. Our grandson had bedded him like a doll, put the cover right up and tucked him in. Henry just let it happen and even seemed to enjoy it. That’s the difference between being a friend and being staff.
Now Henry is suffering due to the Corona virus fall out. For the same inexplicable reason that we have a shortage of TP there also seems to be a shortage of “fish in jelly” of his favourite brand. He has complained to me so much over his food bowl during the last few days that I dared to venture out today and tried to find his favourite nosh. Nothing doing. So I bought single pouches of various other brands. Tonight I offered him a bowl of trout in jelly from a premium brand, about 3 times as expensive as his normal food – and he just looked at me in disgust. I confirmed his opionion of me that I’m useless at forageing.
It is kind of disconcerting if the vet calls your ferocious feline “Mäuschen” (mousy).