Brick by Brick: A cat and mouse story

My feminist alter-ego is dying an operatic death, draped over the chaise longue of domestic despair.  I not only do the lioness’s share of cooking and cleaning, but somehow I’ve copped the manly tasks as well, like DIY… well, light bulbs anyway.

Mission for Dangermouse
There’s one exception to this and that’s cameo appearances by rodents. They can only be dealt with by my other half as they reduce me to a gibbering wreck. And as most of you probably know, rodents are a fact of Copenhagen life. If you see a rat, you are under a legal obligation to report it and can be fined for not doing so. Some 5,000 sightings are reported annually.

The first time it happened to me I screamed my head off as a furry thing zipped around our kitchen chased by our two ecstatic cats, who probably brought it into the house in the first place.

Enter husband, in hero mode, wearing underpants just like Superman, only without the tights underneath (it’s first thing in the morning). Grabbing an empty tofu jar he joins the cats on their ecstatic circuits around the kitchen and finally catches … was it a mouse or a rat? He says mouse, but it looked quite big to me. Although rats can apparently grow up to 55 cm from nose to tail, which is obviously not going to fit in a tofu jar.

Apparently it’s the ears you have to look at: mice have round ears, rats have pointy ones. I decide not to mention the pointy ears to husband; as a scientist he has Spock sympathies that have deepened with the recent passing of Leonard Nimoy. Any affinity between him and our furry enemy could spell disaster.

Cat that got the beam
The next day, I awoke to thumping outside the bedroom. I found half a rodent on the rug outside the door. It was the tail half so I couldn’t inspect the ears. There was a splatter of blood and a proud looking cat sitting by it, as if to say: “Look, I left you a bit.” I knew this was the biggest gesture of love a cat can make and tried to muster a “Thank you”.

I scoured the house for signs of infestation and found none at all, but still the next day I awoke to a delighted cat playing with a mouse in the bathroom. I left my spouse to do his job, but the cat was wise to the tofu jar thing. The only option was to chuck the cat out of the front door with the prey in its mouth.

Tak Hong Kong Phooey!
This led to one of those “Good Morning Copenhagen!” moments as the professor burst out of the front door holding the cat as far away from his body as possible, his dressing gown adding a kung fu hero touch.

For a moment I felt quite moved: here was my knight in shining armour. I may be draped on the chaise longue of domestic despair, but I get rescued from rodents. And just to underline the fact that I am loved, the cat came back and began to show an abnormal level of interest in one of my wellies. Closer inspection (and still yet more screaming) followed, discovering he had surpassed his previous gesture of devotion, this time by leaving a whole mouse.