Of Mice and… Tanya

While many serious things happened yesterday, a lighter, even humorous story unfolded. We thought it would be funny, especially to our friends in Ulan-Ude, to read about it. Tanya, our friend pictured here, called yesterday in near hysteria. She said, “Mike, I only have one question. Do cats eat the mice they kill, or not?”

I answered plainly enough, “Domestic cats usually don’t. They chase and kill mice for sport.” This was met with increased hysteria and even anguish. Tanya has few fears, but, strangely enough, she has a terrible phobia for mice, living or otherwise. Apparently, (and I had to deduce this from various clipped Russian/English phrases among her cries of anguish) her cat had murdered a little mouse right in her hallway and Tanya was left to dispose of the fallen furry creature’s corpse. Well, to shorten this diatribe, I had to try to calm her down, via a cell phone, and then walk her through the most acceptable method of disposal. It went like this, “Just take a paper towel and pick it up…. Oh, what? Calm down Tanya! Bad method, sorry, scratch that. Get a dustpan, put it on the floor in the vicinity of the deceased and then, with a long handled broom, sweep his little remains onto the pan, trying not to look. Take a deep breath, and, when you are ready, look away and, working only with your peripheral vision, grab the dustpan handle and make for the trash. Can you do that? Okay, great. We’ll pray.”

Anyway, it was funny to us, and later, even to Tanya. She gave me permission to blog it.

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