Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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The Food Chain Stops Here

I can't say for sure but I'm afraid I might have made a weird impression on our third couples date of last week. Because how often do you get together with another couple and end up trying to maintain polite conversation while one of them scrabbles around in the dirt yelling for her stray cat to drop that mouse this instant! Is that weird? I worry my ten minute hostage negotiation with Tiger over a mouse may have come off wrong, is what I'm saying.


Cats kill mice. I know this. I may have thought facade was pronounced fake-aid until I was 24, and yeah, so what if I still say epp-i-tome (rhymes with Rome) in my head when I read the word epitome (I just did it again right there) but I sure as shit know cats kill mice as a matter of nature and such. It's as much a part of the earth as me french kissing cheese in its varied and glorious forms; on nachos, in sandwiches, tacos, lasagna, popcorn, potatoes, pasta, casseroles, eggs, in a box with a fox, on a boat with a goat, in a house with a mouse...

Kill the mice, cats! See if I care! I don't mind if I don't have to see it happen. Hell, I'm even willing to overlook the eviscerated little bodies you leave on the porch after spending the night engaged in what can only be bath salt-fueled devil worship during which you sacrifice live rodents because Circle Of Life and whatever.

Is it weird to hold funerals for those mice? I'm asking for a friend.

Anyway, stroll up to me with a live mouse in your mouth, a mouse who looks like you swiped him straight from central casting for the next great Disney animation, a mouse that catches my eye and then squeak-cries for its little life... Well, shit is about to get real difficult for your animal ass because not on my watch, goddammit, NOT. ON. MY. WATCH.

Shut up. I can't even watch nature channels because awwww! Lookit the cute little zebra! He is so adorable. Here comes a lion too! What a handsome big guy. Lions are just so beautiful. But the zebra - so sweet. The wittle bitty cute OH MY GOD what is that lion doing WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK LION I hate everyone the world is so unfair we're all going to die.

So the mouse is in the cat's mouth imploring me to do something. Yes, it is imploring, I can tell by its eyes and the specific sequence of squeaks. I beg pardon from my lovely guests, leap off the porch like some kind of deranged superhero of the rodent kingdom and chase the cat right under the deck on which we are politely imbibing the very lovely Cabernet the couple presented upon arrival. I part the bushes, peer between the lattice hammered around the porch and squint into the gloom afraid I might see Tiger chawing on an already headless mouse.

The terrified mouse has somehow escaped the cat's mouth and is running in circles as Tiger saunters over and begins lazily batting it around. For sport! Each time she swats it with a mighty paw the mouse shrieks in terror. Tiger might as well be laughing evilly and twirling a sinister whisker. She picks the poor thing up in her mouth again and I panic because oh my god what if I actually see the evisceration process? Shit. I'm in too deep but there is no turning back!

"TIGER! TIGER! YOU LEAVE THAT MOUSE ALONE THIS INSTANT!" I scream. Somewhere above me I hear the conversation stop dead. A few seconds later Serge begins talking again, his volume amped to an awkwardly loud degree in what is obviously a desperate attempt to cover the fact that his wife is now crawling around in the dirt, under the very deck on which he is attempting to entertain our new friends, trying to convince a stray cat to drop a mouse.

So, Jodie, what exactly is it you do at your job? I heard that----"


"That's fascinating. I used to know a guy----"


I'm sweating profusely, have dirt caked into the knees of the pants I had so carefully selected earlier to portray effortless kicky sass and now here I am effortlessly portraying crazy ass.

Fucking cat. I could maybe cut you a break if you had chased the mouse into the nether regions of the backyard and had your way with it. But I'm too involved now. What, am I just supposed to return to the deck and converse about which vegetables I'm planting in my garden while murder takes place directly beneath my big ass? There is no turning back. I stick my head through a hole in the lattice and try to shimmy my shoulders in as well. The lattice is rattling, I'm grunting, Tiger, that asshole, is laugh-meowing, the mouse is squeaking...

"So Mark! You're in graphics for a living? How does that----"


"Monica and I met at a gig my old band had in Salt Lake City. How did you two m---?"

"TIGER! TIGER! DROP THAT MOUSE! TIGER!" She lets the mouse go and I marshal all my extra sensory perception powers into willing the mouse to run into a tiny crack in the wall. But it just keeps running in circles. Then Tiger picks it up in her mouth again and violently shakes her head like a guilty toddler denying he had anything to do with the crayon marks on the wall. Each time this happens I panic and start shouting at the cat while pounding at the dirt to distract it from the mouse.


Fuck it. I'm just about to squeeze my ass through the hole in the lattice so I can get under the porch when, to my great amazement and relief, Tiger drops the mouse and it runs for me. I'm still clutching the paper towel I'd been holding my wine glass on when this whole thing got started and, in one smooth swoop I scoop the mouse into the paper towel, run across the backyard and let it out on the other side of the fence.

No mouse funeral today, I throw a stink eye at Tiger.

Hakuna Matata, motherfucker.

"So Mark! Serge tells me you're into graphic design?" As if I wasn't just rolling around in the dirt with a cat and a mouse before rescuing the latter from certain death. Just another day in the life of a rodent superhero.

So yeah, like I was saying...I can't say for sure but I'm afraid I may have made a weird impression on our third couples date of last week.

Reader Comments (7)

Oh the cats and the killing. We have a cat and it murders anything it can get it's claws on.

Before letting her in the house, I have to crack open the door just enough to see her mouth - to be sure she doesn't bring anything dead inside or GOD FORBID anything HALF dead inside.

She also has fleas. JEEZ cats are fun! Lucky for the cat, my kids like murderous felines.


May 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMeredith

LOL hakuna matata motherfucker..... you just made my day! You are officially a cat woman =) I make fun of cat woman but I like u lol.

May 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlejandra

You did good Monica and I would not expect any less of you. I guess some people are just cut out to intervene in life's injustices, and unhindered by social pressures, will selflessly jump into action, saving one little life at a time. And Justice for all. Kicky Sass, yyyyeeeeaahhh. Good job, Mouse lady.

May 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergina

There are tears streaming down my face. Hysterical.

May 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMeredith

I did the same thing once while cat/house sitting for my sister. When I told her about rescuing a poor, wee mouse from her cat and releasing it at a safe distance, she thought I was nuts. :-/

May 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSimplySuzi

So my husband works near a pond (man-made, mind you. In Houston.) And there are lots of ducks, and one just had babies! Yay! So each day I've been watching the babies, and cooing at them when I drop him off at work. Then yesterday his coworker posts on Facebook that she saw a turtle eating one of the babies. I about started to cry. I can't deal...I just can't. :(

May 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKelli G.

i would have been down there with you! Save the mice!

May 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercharity

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