Putting the 'pet' in petulant
It's dead under a stool in my kitchen right now, and no, I am not going to do anything about it. Not until my visitor has come and gone. He's due in about ten minutes, and I'd hate to be caught red-handed, heartless and with a body on my conscience. Once he leaves, I'll roll it up and carry it at arm's length to the basement – the logical place to stash a corpse. Until then, I'll just act casual.
I won't pretend I didn't get a sense of satisfaction from the kill, maybe even a little adrenaline. I am entirely capable of killing again. The deceased should've known better than to enter my home uninvited, sneaking around at night, stealing bits he thought I'd not notice and presumably defecating in miniature throughout. I wouldn't accept that behaviour from a person, it's just not polite. For a mouse, that behaviour is punishable by death – preferably the quick, sudden and immediate sort.
The entire scenario feels as though it might've been orchestrated by a higher, comic power. Just this week, my boyfriend proposed getting a hamster – a sad interim replacement, I think, for the cat he can't have thanks to his roommate's allergies – to keep in his own corner of the house, his bedroom.
He seemed surprised by my disgust with the idea, perhaps having seen me as the quintessential Canadian, in tune with nature and with love for all animals. Likewise, I expected more of him. He's English, after all, and you'd think the Black Death would've been enough of a lesson.
I said everything I could to deter him, short of threatening to never spend the night again and letting him imagine the horror of that on his own. I spoke of pee and wood chips, pet shop odour and the relentless whir of exercise wheels. A bedroom is no place for a rodent, and I think both Richard Gere and most gerbils would agree.
Faking my best heartlessness, I resolved to tolerate his particular rodent, but only as fodder, until it came time for us to move in together and I'd get a cat and let nature take its bloody course. You know, like Darwinian selection for pets. I was mostly joking.
Still, when I saw a mouse in my house yesterday, I set traps straight away, with delicious canapés of dried fruit, cheese and whole wheat muffin crumbs. One bite for me; one bite for the undead.
Before long, the mouse enjoyed its last nibble and now I am faced with the only thing more disgusting than a rodent scurrying unchecked about my house, and that's a dead one.