She looked at me and then flounced off, nose in the air, tail bristling with fluffy indignation. After surveying her empty food bowl she squeezed her rotund belly through the confines of her rather inadequate cat flap, leaving a loud rat-a-tat-tat sound echoing round the kitchen.
I thought nothing more of it. Second big mistake.
She eventually reappeared sometime later with a new house guest – a small, brown mouse who she proceeded to entertain in a variety of ways: salsa dancing, pole dancing (a new use for the standard lamp), morris dancing (always knew the little bells on cat toys were there for a reason), tag, hopscotch, postman’s knock … you name it, they played it. Loudly. Repeatedly. Around the lounge.
At 5am the house fell silent, so I got up to survey the damage and put the lounge back together. The chuffin cat was fast asleep, curled in a fluffy heap, snoring loudly. The house guest was nowhere to be seen. I crawled back to bed, hoping to get a little sleep before the dawn chorus sprang to life with a tirade of twittering.
Later that day I searched high and low for the house guest, but he was nowhere to be found. I glanced at the cat flap, wondering if a small mouse could punch his way through it: judging by the sheer amount of repeated head butting it takes the chuffin cat to push it open, I thought that unlikely.
The mystery was finally solved by son no 2 as he was getting ready to go to his athletics club that evening. “Why is there a dead mouse in my trainer??” he exclaimed, looking pointedly at his brothers.
Only one question remained: did the mouse die from exhaustion, lack of food, internal injuries as a result of the over-exuberant, playful nature of the chuffin cat … or was it actually due to the almighty stench of a teenage boy’s running shoe – clearly not the best place to take cover when playing hide and seek with an easily distracted cat.