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Duncan's been sleeping on the job

I’m a little concerned about Duncan.

There’s irrefutable evidence of a mouse in the house, but Duncan seems either oblivious or indifferent to it. The mouse is running roughshod all over the basement, which Duncan visits several times a day, since his litter box is down there. The mouse even destroyed a gorgeous wool sweater, while Duncan sat back placidly and did nothing.

The sweater was my fault. I left my hand laundry in the basement for quite a long time, waiting, I suppose, til I was seized by an irresistible urge to do hand laundry. The urge took months to arrive, and it wasn’t really so much as an urge as it was a nagging sense of guilt combined with a desire to wear things in the hand laundry pile.

mouse1But when I picked up the sweater, I saw that it had been irreparably damaged by a small rodent with sharp pointy teeth and a fondness for wool.

This wasn’t the first evidence of the mouse. I’d seen mouse turds on top of the little table in the laundry room. I knew he was down there. I figured Duncan would take care of him, just like he took care of the 2008 mouse.

After I found the sweater, I sat Duncan down and tried to have a serious talk with him.

“Is there a problem?” I asked. “Can you see okay? Do you need glasses?”

Duncan yawned and snuggled up and wrapped his arm around me.

“Is it a workload issue?” I asked. “Do you need an assistant?”

duncan_mouse1Duncan dozed off.

I think that might be the problem. Duncan sleeps a lot. Probably somewhere in the neighbourhood of 20 hours a day. That leaves him only four hours to eat, go to the bathroom, cuddle, play with his toys, throw up, get high on catnip, look out the window, trip people on the stairs, shed, and demand extra food.

Personally, I have about 16 hours a day to do stuff, and there still isn’t enough time to get everything done. Duncan has far less free time than I do, so maybe I’m being unreasonable by expecting him to catch mice. Perhaps it’s time to buy a mousetrap.

17 comments to Duncan’s been sleeping on the job

  • Maybe he’s just reached a state of zen about the essential mousiness of the li’l guy in the basement? Or maybe he’s trying to atone for kitties captured/killed in the past? Or maybe he’s decided you had to learn the lesson about not protecting the beautiful sweater in the laundry area the hard way, ’cause maybe you didn’t understand/heed his warnings on the subject? Cats can be harsh taskmasters.

  • I have remarked in the past that my dogs seem to lack a work ethic. I suspect that Duncan is similarly afflicted (incidentally, I am typing this with the laptop precariously balanced on one knee, so as not to disturb the 30lb dog asleep in my lap).

  • sassy

    Duncan has learned a new word – prorogue. Check your phone records for a Duncan-call to the GG’s office.

  • Aww. He wants a raise. Good strategist, that Duncan.

    Off-topic here, a wonderful blog that I discovered from your blogroll and that I’ve reading – Also a Talker – has gone private, by invitation only.

    Sadly, I had to take it off the blogroll at DAMNIT JANET!

    Zoom, do you know why this is?

  • Toni, somehow I don’t think cats are big on atonement, so it must be one of the other explanations…

    Laurie, yes, it could very well be a work ethic thing. And that laptop thing? I do the same thing with Duncan – sometimes in the middle of the night, my arm goes numb from the weight of him on it, but I endure it because I don’t like to disturb him when he’s comfortable.

    Sassy – that comment cracked me up!

    deBeauxOs – I know, I loved that blog too. She wrote a last post saying she no longer felt like talking about herself so much, so she was shutting down the blog. Next time I looked, it was private. However, she does have another blog that she updates regularly, and it’s very good too: It Ain’t Meat Babe

  • grace

    If the damage is confined to the bottom of the sweater it may not be irreparable . . . can be frogged back and knit top down to give it new ribbing.

  • Sadly the damage is not limited to the bottom of the sweater. The mouse apparently had a much stronger work ethic than the cat.

  • Your cat has been taking lessons from OC Transpo. When you need him most, off he goes to the picket line. Or your lap.

  • Are sections of the sweater intact so that those chunks can be repurposed as something else – a pocket, say or perhaps used decoratively on the lapel of a coat?

    I’m thinking of how lovely it might be, appliqu├ęd to a denim jacket, perhaps.

  • Mo

    Duncan sounds a lot like my orange cat. He’s mostly a very mellow guy. He doesn’t care much for evidence such as turd trails or chewed clothing. He needs to actually SEE the mousie tap dancing across the floor in front of him and then (and only then) will he take the job.

    The good news is that as soon as this happens, he becomes a very persistent and diligent stalking kitty until he gets his mouse.

    P.S. My guess about the 2008 mouse incident. Duncan caught the basement mousie. He then brought the little fella upstairs to show his proud mama what he had done and that is how he ended up under the stove.

  • So sorry about the sweater. I too leave handwash only knits for a terribly long time. I wear them until they are obviously stained or just smell really bad, let them marinate in a laundry basket for a month or two and then take them up to Mom with my sad puppy dog face on and she does them.

    I actually want some mice in my house just to see what the cats do. Tux will probably sleep, but Rocky was a barn cat before coming home with me and Peno was a feral cat – I think they would be great mousers.

  • Kathleen

    Zoom, what a good article, you are such a good writer. It sounds like a job for your wonderful friend Logan. I just love Duncan, he is so beautiful.

  • Heather G.

    Soak woolwash has eliminated my stinky marinating handwash basket. I just fill my washing machine with lukewarm water (I fiddle between warm and cold water while it’s filling), add Soak, add the wool items, leave it all alone for an hour or so, then spin the water out. The hand wash stuff just needs to be laid out to dry for a bit, and with Soak, no rinsing is necessary.

    Just don’t agitate!!

    (and for those of you without your own washing machines, salad spinners work well on smaller items for removing most of the water)

    Perhaps you could try felting the shredded sweater and use the felt to sew up some fancy mittens or slippers??

  • My cats do what cats do best: eat, sleep, clean themselves in a loud, disgusting manner, eat, sleep. We have mice on and off (we live next to a field) but my cats couldn’t be bothered. I wondered if they’re developmentally delayed.

  • XUP

    If Bazel wasn’t so agoraphobic, I’d bring him over for a mousie playdate.

  • Kay

    My other half has two cats (who in turn have kitty friends who call round) but he still had to call in the council pest control man when he discovered a rodent problem. Cats just ain’t what they used to be!

  • Zookm I agree with whoever suggested you felt that bitten up sweater and use it for something else. It looks like it’s just the bottom edge – you probably have enough felt to make a nice knitting bag with the remainder. Its really beautiful don’t let it go to waste!. I Wish we lived closer, I’d send over Luna – she’s a supreme mouser, and I have heard that females are better mousers than males – mouser or lover?