Mau versus Maus

The Egyptian word for cat is Mau, which is where my ‘Maus in the House’ blog title comes from. Egyptian Mau cats are often called ‘maus’ by us cat lovers. After my last post, I got a comment from @peter_berlich that maus in German means ‘mouse’. Pretty ironic, right? Cat and mouse. Even more ironic is that my maus are terrible at catching mice! Or any critter. Here’s a typical scene in our house…

One morning, in the wee hours before daylight, I could hear my cats playing. Thumping paws, tails and bodies smacking on the floors and against the walls aren’t unusual during one of their feline smack downs, but after awhile I could still hear them. A good smack down ends after a few minutes (to allow for ruffled fur to be tended to) so I began to suspect/dread what was really going on.

I rolled over on my back to listen some more. Quiet. Then thumping into the closet. Quiet. More thumping out of the closet and toward the bathroom door. More thumping back into the closet.

They had a bug. And they were torturing the poor thing by not really killing it, just chasing it all around and trying to figure out what to do about it.

Serenity stalking (from the bug's perspective)

After about 20 minutes (yes, I lay there pretending ignorance), it was Serenity, our silver classic Mau, who knew just what to do. She thumped onto my chest and touched her cold little terra cotta colored nose to mine. I opened one eye. “What?”

“Meeeeeew!” She looked very worried and it was clear from her cry that she thought the matter was urgent.

“What’s that Timmy? Someone’s fallen down the well?”

“Meeeeeew! Meeeeeew!” She never appreciates my Lassie jokes. Wrong species, I guess.

So, at o’dark-thirty I drag myself out of bed, identified the intruder (a June bug, nerves frazzled), grabbed a heavy shoe from the closet, and squished it.

Now, a note for those who don’t approve of killing things. If I scoop the critter up and take it outside the cats are confused and continue to look for it, mew pathetically, and sulk FOR HOURS. So, I kill it and then leave it on the floor for a few minutes so they think they’ve killed it themselves. It gives them time to circle it, realize the threat has been neutralized, and feel some feline pride about the whole thing.

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