Dante woke me up this morning because he wanted to go outside. I let him out into the backyard and started to make coffee. I had to be at Sheffield’s later that morning because he needed help sawing some furniture or something. Anyway before I could even get out a mug, Dante ran into the house holding a screaming mouse in his jaws. I grabbed him and took him back outside. The mouse was squirming and trying to get loose. I figured it was probably too late then . . . Dante had definitely already punctured the poor guy’s little body. But I also didn’t want to see him torture and eat him, and so I grabbed the scruff of Dante’s neck to get him to open his mouth, but he wouldn’t. He started growling. With my other hand I tried to open his lower jaw but it seemed like he was locking his teeth together even tighter. I don’t know what I did, but after a few minutes I finally got Dante to drop the mouse onto the ground. I tossed him back inside and shut the door. The mouse was lying on the doorstep now, completely lucid but breathing heavily, and his hind legs were either broken or paralyzed. He dragged himself into a small pile of leaves to try to escape. I felt sick to my stomach, because I knew I would have to mercy kill him now.

I dug a hole in my backyard and wrapped the mouse up in some cloth. I put him out of his misery and buried him. I don’t want to get into it, because it has made me so sad to think about all day, but it was quick and painless. There was nothing else I could have done to save him.

Months earlier my friend Erin had brought a mouse over that had gotten caught in a glue trap, and we did manage to completely free it using vegetable oil. It felt good to save that mouse. I wish I could have saved this mouse too. I don’t mean to sound sentimental, but I care about animals a lot, and I go out of my way to help them when I am able to do that. If my dumbass cat, who lives like royalty, and who has virtually no real outdoor survival skills, had not decided he needed to capture and eat this guy, then I wouldn’t have been put in this awful position . . . but what can you do. Dante’s just wired that way, man. And I am wired to give a field mouse an honorable death and burial at 11 am on a Saturday. I feel sad as hell about it so I guess I’m going to go to sleep.