The Tragic Life of Bob

This morning our spastic cat, Tazzie, walked up to me on the back porch to ask me to let her inside the house. She does this by pressing herself up against the glass and swimming with her front paws as if she's drowning on the glass. But when she walked to the back door I swore I heard a squeak, like a cartoon mouse or something. I looked in the direction of the sound and there, cowering right next to where Tazzie was standing, I saw a round, fat, little gray mouse.  Tazzie didn't even notice it.

I cursed the retarded cat, moved some things aside, and scooped the mouse up into a flower pot. Then I stuck it down on the ground and waited to see what Tazzie did with this apparently invisible mouse she hadn't seen or heard.

At first she just looked at the pot like she had never seen one before. Then she walked over to it and sniffed it. The mouse was squeaking away in there all the while. Yet Tazzie acted as if she had no idea what the squeaking was. Finally she peaked over the edge of the pot and looked inside. Immediately she climbed up on the rim and stuck both of her front feet into the pot. She stuck her nose right down on the mouse and sniffed. The mouse stood up and looked like he was going to bite Tazzie. So she whacked him with a paw and sent him running to the other side of the pot. She kept prodding him and watching him run around and around. Then she got bored and came over to where I was sitting and sat down next to me.

Stupid cat, why don't you eat the damn thing??

She periodically stuck her face into the pot or a paw to irritate this new toy, which I decided to name Bob, but she didn't show the slightest interest in eating him.

This was really annoying to me and after awhile I got bored, too. So I picked up some birdseed off the concrete that had fallen out of our bird feeder and I dropped it into the pot with Bob. He didn't seem to pay attention to it much. I picked up a little plastic half-ball that was from some broken cat toy and I put water in it. Then I put it into the flower pot with Bob. I had heard, while trying to poison a mouse in my attic one winter, that mice won't eat poison unless there is water with it. I figured maybe mice are really picky and Bob just needed water to go with the birdseed. So I gave him some.

Bob immediately ran over to the water, stuck his paws on the edge, and dumped it over, spilling the water all over himself and inside the pot.

"Wow, Bob," I said, "you are really super dumb."

Bob sloshed around in the water getting thoroughly soaked, but he never drank any and he still didn't seem interested in eating any seeds. I took a Kleenex and dried up some of the water, leaving half the pot clean and dry and half still wet just in case Bob changed his mind about wanting a drink. Bob preferred to remain in the water and ignored the dry section.

I left Bob in the pot for awhile and went off to work on other things. I came back later to see how Bob was doing. Bob was fine, but still standing in the water and still wet. Nothing had been eaten as far as I could tell.

My other cat, Stinky, meanwhile came wandering up to join me. I pulled out a folding chair, unfolded it, and sat down to watch Stinky play with Bob. At first Stinky didn't notice him. Then Bob, ever the genius, squeaked. Stinky spun around to see why a flower pot was squeaking. He sniffed it and then looked inside. Then he, too, climbed halfway into the pot with both front paws and began poking at Bob. And then he, too, stuck his nose up to Bob and sniffed him. Then he climbed out of the pot and sat down, looking at me as if he was bored and wanting me to entertain him somehow.

I got up and went into the kitchen to get Bob some cheese. I wanted to see if he'd eat that since the seeds didn't seem to interest him. Stinky immediately jumped up into my chair and made himself comfortable. "You asshole!" I remarked to Stinky, who looked at me with total contentment. Then I got a piece of cheese from the refrigerator and brought it out to Bob. I put it in the pot with Bob and swept Stinky out of my chair so I could sit back down and watch Bob eat some cheese.

Bob ignored the cheese. I put it right next to him, but he didn't move towards it. Stinky, meanwhile, was curious about what I'd just put into the pot, so he stuck his nose into the pot and sniffed. Then he put a paw in, knocked Bob aside, and ate the cheese.

"When the hell did you start eating cheese, you stupid cat:?!" I demanded of Stinky. He just looked at me as if he wanted me to go get more cheese for him to eat. When he realized I wasn't going to get any more, he laid down on the concrete near my feet.

Tazzie returned. She stuck her nose in the pot, made sure Bob was still there, gave him a poke with her paw, and then went to the back door and began pawing at it to be let inside. She couldn't have cared less about Bob.

I eventually let both cats inside and went in with them. I ate supper and they ate cat food. I didn't give them any cheese.

Later that night I went outside to see what Bob was up to. Much to my surprise, Bob was lying face down in the damp flower pot. He appeared to be dead. My cats came outside with me to help check on Bob. They both sniffed at him, poked him with a paw, and then walked off. Bob never moved.

I turned the pot on its side and let everything slide out onto the concrete. Bob's lifeless body plopped onto the ground. His underside was wet and matted. The rest of him looked perfectly normal. But he was unmistakably dead.

I have no idea what happened to Bob. My cats never clawed him up or bit him. They barely paid him any attention at all. He didn't eat anything I fed him. He didn't appear to drink any water, just slosh around in it.

So what do you think? I'm no expert on mice. Was he sick to begin with? Is that maybe the reason my cats didn't seem interested in eating him? Did being wet make him cold and then as the sun went down he froze to death? Could he have drowned? Do you suppose he tried to eat one of the seeds I gave him and choked to death on it? How long do mice live, anyway?, All his fur was gray so it isn't like I can say he was old and gray-haired and obviously ready to die already. What the hell do you suppose happened to Bob?

R.I.P. Bob the mouse

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