Permakitten Grace and I are in a fight. I’m not going to pretend it doesn’t stem from extreme cabin fever–as I type this the sky is issuing a white cold substance that I no longer deign to name–but I do think I am wrong and she is right. It comes down to this: I pay for our home and food, clean up her excretion, provide her with toys and scratches. In return she is very beautiful and sweet, if occasionally standoffish. But this extreme cold has driven a few mice into our building, and the one job you can expect any feline to do is kill mice. Heck, they’re supposed to enjoy this activity. My once-tough street kitty has become so soft that she assumes these eldritch interlopers have been invited for her explicit delight, though. The other night I even caught her cradling one as if it were another catnip stuffed animal I’d bought for her entertainment: When I walked in the room, the rodent casually stepped out of her paws and walked away while she watched contentedly. Uh, no.
I sat her down. “Look, in our house, all Rosman girls work. You can’t just play with the mice. One way or another, you have to get rid of them. That’s what kitties do.”
My talk fell on deaf ears. The next night I woke to scratching noises in my office and found the two of them happily scampering after each other in a circle.
She knew I was peeved; tried to make nice by offering up her belly, which only irked me more. “So your way of making nice is to let me pet you? Let me put this bluntly. I love you to bits but you have a job. And that job is to kill the mouse.” (At this point I should say that, yes, I talk to my cat. If I bother to live with a person, which is rare, I bother to talk to them, regardless of their species. Science has yet to explain how our communication works but experience has taught me that witches and their overfamiliars understand each other perfectly well.)
Since then, I’ve found no corpse but also no mouse. There’s no evidence that Little Miss obeyed me except that she’s lost the spring in her step and we’ve had no additional company for days. I can only assume she completed her chore one way or another, and didn’t take to it. That’s fine. Grace is a teen now in cat years, and all adolescents hate their families at some point. As far as I am concerned, she can feel however she pleases so long as she earns her keep.
The house, not to put too fine a point on it, is once again vermin-free.