Monday, December 03, 2007

Sally Lillpop: AKA, the Purrfect Mouse Repellent

By John W. Lillpop

Being of an affectionate nature when it comes to most of God's creatures, the unexpected arrival of several infant mice in my home presented a vexing dilemma.

On the one hand, I find it cruel and unusual to lure an unsuspecting mouse into the traditional trap, which terminates the critter's life with little or no uncertainty, but which also leaves an unsightly, bloody mess.

With all of the technological advances available these days, one wonders why lethal injection is not an option for executing mice foolish enough to invade one's castle?

On the other hand, mice are an unseemly lot and are among the most grotesque and notoriously arrogant interlopers in California. Only illegal aliens steal more, carry more disease, and are more unwelcome.

The bottom line: The mice had to go, sans the guts and gore.

It was with that objective that I visited an animal shelter in search of a killer cat to keep yet another litter of narcissistic mice from taking over my palace.

The cat I had in mind was to provide zero tolerance for offending mice, without directly involving me. There was to be no blood on my hands from the ugly genocide that was sure to unfold in the wee hours of the night, while I lie fast asleep and without blame.

Those looking to adopt an animal should be aware of the fact that animal shelters run by city governments are decadent bureaucracies, better known for the number of files they stuff with worthless paperwork, than for the number of animals they save from extinction.

Consequently, before I could actually interview a prospective feline, there was the obligatory criminal background check, a credit check, a sanity screening, and a morality hearing to endure. In addition, it was necessary to provide three references, all of whom had to be known PETA extremists.

References with dossiers graced by documented threats against the life and well being of Michael Vick were a real plus.

Looking back, I realize that getting a visa in the name of Osama bin Laden would be far less problematic than adopting a cat from a city animal shelter.

Still, one cannot be too careful when it comes to protecting innocent cats.

In any event, after I passed all of the intrusive checks, the animal attendant escorted me to the cat colony in which was housed the kitties and cats waiting for new homes.

It was love at first sight and sound when the attendant handed me a ball of purring fur, also know as a Tabby cat. She was a four-month-old kitty with orange fur, big brown eyes, and the most cuddly demeanor imaginable.

The moment I took Panda (her maiden, before Lillpop, name) into my arms, she purred heavily and non-stop as if to say, "It's about time, John! Let's get out of this dungeon and go home!"

And so we did. Me and this precious bundle of feline ferocity, at least that is what she was hired to be. From that first day, however, Panda seemed more content to sleep, answer the calls of nature, and purr incessantly.

Not much killer there, thought I. Would she attack a mouse, or would she run like hell should one stick its ugly head out in defiance?

After a day or so, it seemed fitting to change her name from Panda which an associate objected to because of memories of a romance gone sour. Sally was chosen as her new moniker because--hell, there is no good reason. Why would one need a good reason for naming a damn cat whatsoever one wants?

Sally is her name and it shall always be so.

At first, Sally weighed only three pounds and was so small that she often fell over on her side after a particularly profound sneeze. This antic made for a lot of rip-roaring laughter from her human host, but Sally never seemed to appreciate the humor in her end over flip flops.

It quickly became obvious that Sally was not just another abandoned kitty with the good fortune to be adopted. For instance, Sally refused, and continues to refuse, all animal treats, as well as human food such as chicken and fish. Fresh milk? Forget it. This cat eats only dry cat food. Period.

Another peculiar fact: Sally will sit for hours without touching her food. But the moment that I enter the room, she immediately races to the feeding bowl and starts eating. Extreme manners or extreme neurosis?

Sally has a very strong personality. In human parlance, it's her way or the highway.

Example: Petting is allowed, but only on her terms. She sleeps in my bed on a cat blanket, but not too close. Sally is affectionate, when she wants to be.

And what of Sally's mouse-killing accomplishments? Since her arrival, no new mice have showed up. But then again, I have not seen her hunt down any mice either.

Which is all good as far as I am concerned--no new mice and a great pet as well!