A mouser of merit
I never liked cats much. Then Mother moved into my barn.
By Jon Katz, Slate columnist
Posted Monday, Jan. 16, 2006, at 10:16 AM ET
Before Mother, I was never much drawn to cats. They seemed slithery and remote. I have a farm, and cats didn't appear to be useful.
I am partial to working dogs—especially border collies and Labradors—that can herd sheep, fetch sticks, hike with me, cuddle on the sofa, and swim in nearby streams. I didn't really get having an animal you couldn't herd sheep or take a walk with.
Then the rats came...
Read the rest of this story here.
Mother, the barncat, reminds me of our cat Skittles, who is quite a hunter. One morning, I came home from taking Isaac to school and found a long pink tail lying on the front step and a rat head not far away. The body was missing, and I guess she ate it, because the next day, she hacked out a giant hairball. Judging from the size of the tail and head, the rat wasn't much smaller than her. We think she caught it in or around Clarence's barns.
One day, I was moving stuff around in my little garden shed when a mouse ran out of somewhere and startled me horribly. Isaac got Skittles, and we put her in the shed. She had the mouse within a moment, and to this day, she remembers that she caught a mouse there. Whenever the door is open, she goes in and checks to see if she can find another.
Our old tom, Happy, is worthless as far as being a mouser. Well, actually, he's worthless in most respects, but we like him anyhow.