>OK, this is going to be a long one, so if you’ve got something you need to do, do it right now and get back to me later, OK?

Long-standing (or even sitting) readers of this blog will recall that some months ago, one of our cats, Li’l Momma, went missing. She came back after a week, but a couple of weeks later she disappeared again and hasn’t been seen since. Presumably, she’s MIA(oww).

For the record…

Anyway, we still have two other cats:-


… and Poppy
Panther is an elegant cat – slightly aloof but generally quite amenable. Poppy, on the other hand, is a bit of a loony. She’s fat and ungainly and she snores. She loves attention but she’s a tad narky.

Both cats are inclined to hunt, and I have had to dispose of the remains of dead chicks and mice (generally the tail-ends thereof) on many an occasion.

Which makes this tale rather odd and very remarkable…

A few weeks ago, I looked out our kitchen window and saw a shape on the concrete path under the rotary clothesline. This is normally the pickup place for the half-carcasses, so I assumed that what I was looking at now was the end result of a night’s hunting. Some minutes later I was out in the back garden and as I passed near the clothesline, I looked across to the concrete path…and noticed that the shape was moving, almost imperceptibly.

At this stage, I reckoned that the beast was seriously injured and that I might have to put it out of its misery in some way. While I was pondering how I was going to do this, Poppy wandered over to the path and stood directly over the beast.

On closer investigation, I saw that the beast seemed to be a field mouse and that it was still alive. I reckoned that it must be in some state of shock (I’d seen this previously with a pet rabbit which had escaped from its hutch and which had been cornered by a cat – it just froze from fright).

Well, there wasn’t much I could do for the field mouse, and I had other things to do anyway, so I left it to the tender mercies of Poppy and went about my business.

About an hour later, I came back to garden and saw that the field mouse was still there, with no sign of Poppy. It was still moving very slowly and slightly. I went to the garden shed to get something and on my return, I noticed that the field mouse had actually turned around 180 degrees.

Next thing I knew, Poppy came back on the scene and approached the field mouse in a threatening manner. The field mouse decided at this stage to make a dart for freedom. Poppy followed slowly. I feared that Poppy might make a lunge for the field mouse, so I clapped my hands loudly. If I did, the field mouse leapt into the air, and if s/he did that, Poppy did likewise, chasing the field mouse towards the garden shed and eventually grabbing the beast in her mouth. I chased Poppy around the back of the shed. Poppy, not used to being chased, panicked and let the field mouse drop from her mouth – the field mouse, cleverly, ran under the shed, where Poppy, in all her obesity, couldn’t follow.

So far so good, but it gets better…

… a few hours later, I was again out in the back garden and there was Poppy, standing guard over her little friend again. This time, I decide to intervene. I got a fire shovel and tried to scoop up the field mouse. My plan was to get the mouse onto the shovel and then try to “dump” it into the ditch at the back of the house. But I had never tried to get a live field mouse onto a fire shovel before – the field mouse was definitely having none of it, so after a few minutes I abandoned my efforts. The field mouse ran in under the oil tank for the central heating and disappeared.

End of story?

No, because a few weeks later, I looked out the kitchen window again, and there was Poppy, playing with her field mouse friend again. Bizarrely, it almost seems as if Poppy had adopted the beast as her pet (or her plaything). Certainly, no harm was coming to the field mouse…

…and from that day to this, there has been no trace of a half-dismembered field mouse in the back garden.

Strange or what?