Of Mice and Me

by Marinka on November 29, 2011

On Thanksgiving day I had a delightful meal at my parents’ dacha and then retired to my bed to await rigor mortis. Before it had a chance to set in, however, I drifted off to sleep in order to dream of a better world.

Imagine my alarm when a few hours later I heard a lot of commotion in my room.

It’s pitch black at night at the dacha, there are no streetlights, so I could not see a thing. As so often happens when one loses a sense, the others became more intense. I had developed bionic ears. Every sound was amplified. I heard loud thrashing.

I listened for a moment, trying to decide whether to turn the light on or not. Apparently I am pro-light, because I clicked it on and I saw something that I will never forget.

Nicki was sitting on my bed. And next to her was a dead mouse. Not in the best of health. Rigor Mortisized.
Needless to say, I almost passed out.

Then I went to find Husbandrinka. He was reading in the living room, still occupying that happy space where he didn’t know that there was a dead mouse on our bed.

“There’s a dead mouse on our bed,” I told him.

“What are you talking about?” he asked in a not very friendly way. I never know how to respond to questions like that. Is I’m talking about the dead mouse on our bed a response that experts in marital bliss frown upon?

“Nicki killed a mouse,” I told him. Because I didn’t want him to think that I was on some kind of a post-holiday meal murderous rampage.

“And where is the mouse?”

“Our bed, your side,” I reported. I stuck to the facts, just as they taught us at the Police Academy. Before Charlie took me away from all that. And now I work for him.

“I really wish you hadn’t told me that,” Husbandrinka said and went back to his book. Probably a manual on How To Ignore Your Wife In Her Time Of Crisis. Which he had written.

So I went and did what I should have done right away.

“Mama,” I stood at the foot of my mother’s bed, “wake up!”

After a few pokes, she woke up and I told her the news.

“Cats kill mice,” she said. “This is normal.”

I readily agreed that this was indeed normal, and as luck had it I wasn’t there because I was worried about Nicki’s developmental issues, but because I wanted to sleep without a dead mouse on my bed if at all possible.

“So throw it out,” she said, apparently not sensing the emergency and also pretending like she has never met me before.

“I thought maybe you could throw it out,” I suggested. I read that older people like to feel needed and useful, so I was just doing my part, really.

Mama got up. She looked unhappy. I don’t understand why people always seem so put out when you wake them up. Shouldn’t they be celebrating that they’re able to wake up? I bet the mouse on my bed would be delighted to wake up. Which, incidentally, is exactly why I was hesitant to touch it. I’ve been watching soap operas for long enough to know that coming back from the dead is pretty common these days. And the last thing that I need is a rodent resurrection.

Mama went to get some tongs and threw the mouse into a plastic bag. “Good girl, Nicki,” she told Nicki. Nicki looked sad. Like her baby was just taken away from her by an evil Lifetime television for women movie nurse.

“Do..Do you think she killed the mouse?” I asked, gesturing towards Nicki with my eyes. I wasn’t going to make any sudden movements and become her next victim.

“What, you think mouse look at Nicki and has heart attack?” Mama laughed at me.

“I didn’t see any blood,” I defended my perfectly reasonable question.

“What blood? Nicki didn’t stab mouse. No blood.”

After Mama threw out the mouse and I turned off the light, I tried to get back to sleep.

“Do you think she is going to kill more mice and put them in our bed?” I asked Husbandrinka.

“You’re the one who wanted her to kill mice,” he pointed out. A little too accusatorily, if you ask me.
Which is true. Because two summers ago Nicki was what I lovingly refer to as mousing impaired. Like a mouse would run across the room holding a piece of cat nip and Nicki would fall asleep looking at it.
So yes, I did want Nicki to be a mouser. But I wanted her to kill the mice and pile them up in a corner somewhere. Preferably somewhere where I didn’t have to be or see or hear.

Her own private killing field.

Is that too much to ask for?!

(Read Nicki’s account here.)

One year ago ...

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

November 29, 2011 at 7:23 am

Poor Nicki – losing her playmates for the evening. My last three cats have been horrible mousers.


MFA Mama
November 29, 2011 at 9:23 am

You have caused me to do much covert giggling at work with this one. Love it!


b a seagull
November 29, 2011 at 9:43 am

Does she give lessons?


Tonya November 29, 2011 at 11:05 am

It’s a perfectly reasonable question: Did Nicki kill it and if so, why isn’t there any blood? My cat has done this and I wondered the same thing…as I tried to pack all of our possessions into one broken suitcase while screaming “we’re moving out of this craphole of mice heaven!”


Marinka November 30, 2011 at 10:35 am

I now know the answer! They break their necks while the victim is in the jaws of death.


magpie November 29, 2011 at 11:31 am

Yeah. Been there.

Years ago, we were at my father’s house in the CATSKILLS with our two cats. I went to bed; when my husband came up, there was a dead mouse on the bed that I was ASLEEP in. By morning, there were three more, delivered to the bed by the very pleased CATS who were KILLING in the CATSKILLS. Four dead mice on my bed, along with tiny little bloodstains.


Marinka November 30, 2011 at 10:35 am

Hello, officer? I’d like to report a stolen thunder, please.

Nice going.


November 29, 2011 at 1:31 pm

“Probably a manual on How To Ignore Your Wife In Her Time Of Crisis.”

Oh my god I love you.


November 29, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Our cat used to leave dead mice, birds and squirrels on our doorstep for me to step on barefoot when I went out to get the paper in the morning. But I think a dead mouse in bed is worse.


deb November 29, 2011 at 4:54 pm

i hope the “scene reenactment” truly is that and not the real deal, because OMG, i’m pretty sure that’s a RAT in the picture! That’s sure one way for Nicki to make a statement about her “skills!”


dusty earth mother November 29, 2011 at 5:20 pm

“Oh, Angel, you make me laugh”



Chantal November 29, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Better than a mouse: how about two pigeons ? One dead and just about featherless (yes, the feathers were all over our bedroom) and the second one definitely still alive. Needless to say, my husband snored through the whole ordeal…


the mama bird diaries
November 29, 2011 at 9:45 pm

1. Didn’t you change the linens?!
2. This is why I don’t own a cat.
3. Upside, now you have the plot to your next children’s book!


No Drama Mama
November 30, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Oh, no! Nicki was going to eat that! You took her Thanksgiving dinner!


December 1, 2011 at 7:48 am

Our dog doesn’t bring us anything. Though, I think I could live without the mouse in the bed.


December 1, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Hilarious Marinka. You had me laughing the entire time.


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