Of Mice and Men

My ferocious tabby, Booyah, has a really annoying habit.  She’s like Lenny in Of Mice and Men… only the feline version. 

Okay, so she doesn’t really talk. 

But much like Lenny, she likes to make friends with small creatures.  Insects, rodents, you name it… she tries to befriend it and play with it.  And, like Lenny, she does not know her own relative strength.  She’ll bat at it, try to cuddle with it and, more often than not, she will end up squashing the poor helpless creature into an untimely death. 

In the case of spiders, this is a good thing indeed.  I hate spiders.  The mice and shrews she leaves on my door mat… not so good.

And, occasionally, she won’t entirely finish the job.  Such was the case a few weeks ago, when I found a maimed baby bird on our back lawn.

When I saw the poor little thing, I knew I had to do something.  It was obviously badly hurt, and could not fly.  But what should I do?

I turned to my vet for the answer.  She said that, in all likelihood, Tweety was a goner, and there was nothing I could really do.  The best thing to do, she said, was to put it out of its misery.

And here’s where my dilemma started.  Spiders excluded, I’d never killed an animal before.  And thus began the formulation of “Operation Put Tweety Down.”

I called Jay at work.  “Maybe he’ll come home on his lunch break and take care of it for me,” I thought.  Drat.  He was in a meeting and didn’t answer his phone.

I Googled:  “How to kill an animal.” Big mistake.  I was immediately turned off by all of the sadistic, graphic advice out there on the internet.  Gross. 

I re-Googled: “How to humanely kill an animal.”  The best solution I could find was to put Tweety in my freezer.  And there was no way in a million years I was doing that.  That was even grosser.

In desperation, I sent out a plea for answers via Facebook and Twitter.  Crickets.  Apparently, no one wanted to touch that one with a ten foot pole.  I don’t blame them.

I was about ready to give up, when I had an epiphany.  I suddenly remembered the Red Rider BB gun in the garage, a Christmas present from my in-laws.  (Yes, that’s a story for another day).  Up until that point, I’d only used it to shoot holes in pop cans.  And I was pretty good at it, too.

But on this particular day, my trusty BB gun had another use.  Quick, painless and to the point.  And I felt absolutely awful about it.

The whole episode made me realize how sucky it must have been to be George… always cleaning up Lenny’s messes.  And while my story isn’t anywhere near as eloquent as Steinbeck’s, it does have some strange parallels.

Except my story?  Would be titled, “Of Birds and Women.”

Mama's Losin' It
#4. Your pet’s least likable character trait.

14 thoughts on “Of Mice and Men”

  1. lol oh dear…glad I've never had to put anything down (gross insects aside). Am over here from Mama Kat's writing workshop.

  2. Oh you are brave! Heck I can't even kill a spider because I am so afraid of them, there is no way I could have done that!

  3. ahhh kitty presents aren't they grand.. Luckily what my cat does not finish my dogs politely save me from the corpse springing back to life thing..

  4. Of Birds and Women, the new American classic.Have to tell you, laughed out loud at the first big para and the photo. Nice work.

  5. Who needs Steinbeck, this is the most heart warming post I've read all week. Did you shoot it point blank or from a distance? Either way, the powers that be over at Google probably have you on some sort of watch list now!

  6. Oh, I'm so sorry you had to do this! I hate, hate when they play with things and cracked up how you compared it to the book! Haven't thought about that in years.I love that you have the BB gun, and you must write a post about it sometime. You are a little bit like Annie Oakley!

  7. I would've missed the shot due to the tears fogging my vision. Definitely would have had to call someone else to take care of that one. I'm impressed by your humanity and strength that drove you to follow through and not leave the poor thing there to suffer.

  8. Oh poor bird…poor you. You were brave to do that and it was the humane thing to do. 🙂

  9. You did shoot the bird in the back of the head, right? If not, how inhumane of you, Geor…errrr…booyah's mama.And I can't believe you googled how to kill an animal. That has to be one of the best cases of unintentional googling ever.

  10. Ouch…sorry you had to go through that girl. Eeech.Btw, too funny googling how to kill the bird. I cringe anytime I hafta use google. The stuff that comes up…yeesh (as my son would say)

  11. When our hamsters were close to death my mom would put them in a plastic bag and them put them in the freezer. It was pretty much the most horrible thing ever and because of my trauma Max will NEVER have a pet rodent. Ugh. Way to go on being humane about killing the bird. I probably would have freaked out and left it there.

  12. Man, oh, man…I can only imagine what came up when you googled how to kill an animal. People are crazy! Glad you didn't put it in the freezer, though…

  13. Gah – I used to have a cat that did this, except she wouldn't really maim the animals, she would bring them into the house gently then let them go. I came home with live birds flying around the house more than once. Can't say which is worse – well ok – definitely have to shoot a baby bird with a BB gun is definitely worse, but trying to shoo a freaked out little swallow out of a house is not so much fun either. Good luck with that and sorry you had to turn to baby bird homicide to rectify the situation!

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