Karen M. Rice
Karen put the morning pot of coffee to drip and shambled back to the bathroom, scratching a rampant itchy place and yawning. She had just settled comfortably onto the porcelain throne when Larry the Cat appeared with a morning treat and leaped into the bathtub next to her.
The ramshackle old farmhouse they all lived in was inviting to mice, and catching them was Larry’s job. Unfortunately, Larry wasn’t given to consuming mice. Instead he liked to play with them endlessly, not quite understanding why they disappeared when his short kitty attention span lapsed for a minute to lick himself or grab a quick bite of cat food. Also, he had learned to avoid Tina. That pushy being would take Larry’s treasured mice away and flush them down the toilet. No, that person was someone to avoid.
Larry had learned, over the course of time, to only catch mice when Tina was sleeping. He also figured out, very wisely for a cat, that if he carried his captured treasure in to the bathtub that they couldn’t scale the slick, steep sides if his attention lapsed a bit, as a cat’s will.
Karen quickly tended to business and left the bathroom in a hurry. “Tina,” she yelled, “it’s your turn. I had to flush the last one!”
Tina yearned for that first cup of coffee, but she shook it off and dutifully staggered to the bathroom. Dizzy from just having wakened, she teetered and she tottered, threatening to pitch head first into the bathtub. Karen was worried, so she grabbed Tina’s waist and held on. Tina held the irate Larry back with one hand, groped for the mouse using a handful of toilet paper in the other hand, all the while teetering wildly above the tub in all her pink, naked glory.
At last she cried out, “Ah-hah! Got it!” Karen jumped back out of the way, refusing to watch the drop and flush. She went to pour Tina’s coffee. Then she heard Tina yell, “Oh, shit!” Fearing the hapless Tina had taken a header into the tub, she ran to the bathroom.
Tina was bent over, peering into the toilet, throwing handful after handful of toilet paper on top of the valiant mouse, which was treading water with a skill that would have made Mark Spitz proud. Karen joined into the toilet paper toss and repeated flushings until at last they achieved success. Tina leaned against the while. Karen leaned against the sink. Their eyes met, and both said at the same time, “I feel like a murderer!” All the while, Larry meowed at the top of his lungs, mourning his lost prey.
©Copyright April 2, 2008 by Karen M. Rice