Beemer and the mouse

by Diane

Finally, a day which has consisted of nothing that looked like work at all.

Beemer continues to settle in. Her relationship with the other cats is shifting: improving, in at least one case. Goodman, whose early response to her varied between shock/horror and annoyance, seems to have calmed down now to the point where he Doesn’t Care About Her (at least that’s the impression we’re supposed to get). He still looks at her, as covertly as possible, when she goes by. For her own part, Beemer is interested in him but is presently keeping her distance.

This is probably secondary to Squeak’s attitude toward her, which is one of uneasy hostility, sometimes breaking out into aggression. To his credit, he hasn’t done more than hiss, growl, and slap her around a little with the claws in. I suspect this mostly has to do with a feeling that he needs to assert his position as most senior cat in the group (and to support this I would add that he has also slapped Goodman a couple times after whacking Beemer — an occurrence which has left Goodman staring at Squeak as if he’s taken leave of his senses). Beemer hasn’t been hurt by Squeak — she’s been more astounded than anything else — and she’s learning to “walk wide” around him. What she really needs to learn is not to stare, which male cats see as an aggressive gesture that they have to respond to by asserting themselves.

My only concern is that Beemer right now isn’t all that much bigger than the rats which Squeak prefers to kill by bashing their skulls in. Later on, when she’s bigger, he can hit her and I won’t be so worried about it. For the meantime, we’re not leaving her alone with him until their relationship becomes a lot more casual.

Meanwhile there was a comic interlude the other night. Goodman, after getting a little friendlier with Beemer, went out and then brought in a rather small mouse. Small for him, anyway, and it was surprising that he’d brought it in; normally he just eats them outside. But Goodman brought it in to the mat in the front hall, and Beemer ran in to see what he had.

Goodman was crouched over the mouse, gazing at it. The mouse had just enough energy in it to try to run behind a briefcase in the front hall. This did it no good: Beemer caught it as soon as it tried to move…and then bit it, broke its neck, and started eating it.

Goodman looked at this in astonishment, and finally got up and walked into the kitchen, where he sat down with a rather confused expression. It looked as if he’d been planning to bring the mouse in and say to Beemer, “So look. This is a mouse, and here’s what you do with it — ” And then he would have shown her. But he never got the chance.

I called Peter to come down and have a look at all this. Beemer was getting started on the mouse when he arrived. Peter said, “Oh well. Let’s see if we can take the rest of it away from her and give it back to Goodman.” He picked Beemer up…and the mouse came with her. She eyed Peter, and growled, a very small RRRRRRRRR (or perhaps more of an ‘rrrrrrrrrrrrr’), like a miniature chain saw, while the mouse hung from her teeny little jaws like that sheep in the Brooks Brothers logo.

Peter couldn’t do much but put Beemer down and let her finish the mouse. This she did with every evidence of satisfaction. After a while she went into the kitchen to get some dry cat food, and Goodman slipped into the front hall to check out the mat, on the off chance that there might be some mouse left. No such luck…

Meanwhile, Beemer’s had her second dose of worming medicine. If she’s going to be eating mice, she’s going to be needing it…

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