Monday, November 14, 2005


They say that some people become like their pets, their manner and appearance gradually taking on something of their familiar’s. Could it be that a similar process develops in people with an antipathy towards a particular animal?

I ask, because our campaign of the last few weeks against the cunning and persistent Mus musculus seems to have begun certain changes in me: the faintest rustle or scratch will freeze my pose, even as my head swivels to triangulate the source. The eyes concentrate more and more on the world of ground level, seeking cracks and crannies, cover and clearings. Even my nose, previously deaf to all but the most violently fragranced cheeses is now sensitive to days-old mouse traces.

This might all be put to an overactive imagination, except that it is getting results – I, who had never seen a “wild” mouse have recently tracked and found several, indoors and outdoors. Newly-sharpened senses are awakening atavistic instincts are awakening. Late at night, I slip silently into a darkened kitchen, stand stock still in ambush, listening hopefully, almost hungrily: furry flight is tremendously exciting, an irresistible invitation to chase.

Am I becoming a cat?

Update: Last weekend, I found myself waiting with great anticipation beside a mouse hole

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