PG’s sister has two cats. They are both outdoor cats, and as such, wander at will around their neighbourhood. (Not my idea of good cat ownership, but whatever. I’m allergic to cats, so it’s actually better for me if they’re out and about whenever I visit.)
Last week, one of the cats proudly brought PG’s sister a mouse. A still-very-much-alive-and-upset mouse. Apparently, this is a cat’s way of taking care of its people: “Hey, dumbass, you’re too stupid to hunt for yourself, but I love you and I don’t want you to die from hunger, so here’s a mouse for you to eat. You’re welcome.”
PG’s sister wasn’t especially interested in eating a still-very-much-alive-and-upset mouse, so she yelled at the cat to drop it. The cat did, and the mouse scurried away. The cat chased it through the house, PG’s sister hot on their heels, hoping to shoo them both outside. Unfortunately, the mouse managed to disappear. In the house. The cat kept up the search for quite a while, then shrugged (probably) and walked away for a well-deserved nap. PG’s sister did not shrug and walk away for a nap – she was a little too dismayed for that. And she wasn’t best pleased that there was now a rogue mouse somewhere in her house.
Fast forward to a few days later. No one, either human or cat, had spotted the mouse during that time. PG’s sister dared to hope that somehow, it had found its way safely outdoors. She went to work early that morning, leaving a note for her daughter to empty the dishwasher before she went to school.
When PG’s sister came home later in the afternoon, no one else was home yet. The young man that she had hired to work on her garden arrived shortly after that and after a quick chat with her to confirm what he was to do that day, he set to work in the yard. She went into the kitchen, checked that her daughter had indeed emptied the dishwasher, but noted that she hadn’t reloaded it with any of the dirty dishes that were strewn all over the counter. She muttered something about “Kids these days!” and opened the dishwasher all the way to reload it herself.
There was something dark and shriveled at the bottom. A banana peel? she thought. What is THAT doing in my dishwasher? She bent down to take it out. And realized that it wasn’t a banana peel at all.
It was the now-quite-dead mouse.
It had somehow gotten into the dishwasher, and when the dishwasher went through its cleaning cycle, it did not survive the experience.
PG’s sister is not a “girly girl”, nor is she particularly squeamish. But this … this grossed her right out. She screamed in shock and just couldn’t bring herself to fish the mouse’s body out of the dishwasher. So she hurriedly went to get the guy who was working on her garden to come and do it for her. He very kindly removed the body and disposed of it. He also pulled out the dishwasher’s filters for her, rinsed them off outside, then popped them back in place.
But that didn’t quite satisfy PG’s sister. The very idea of a mouse being washed with her dishes creeped her out so very much that she decided that every single dish in the house needed to be rewashed, since she really wasn’t sure which dishes had been in there during the mouse’s … um … fatal bath. She hadn’t emptied the dishwasher, you see, it had been her daughter (who later just couldn’t understand how she hadn’t seen the body when she’d been in there in the morning. How could anybody miss a dead mouse in their dishwasher, even a sleepy teenager?)
That happened on Tuesday. Now it’s Thursday.
And I’ll bet PG’s sister’s dishwasher has been running pretty much constantly since then. She’s got a LOT of dishes …
… and a cat that’s probably still wondering whatever happened to that lovely mouse he brought his people last week.