This morning, thankfully, there were no rabbits, dead or otherwise, in my backyard. However, the cat was perched on one of the patio chairs and gave me what I interpreted as a scathing look. It was akin to the look Brad Pitt's character on Friends gives to Rachel: I HATE YOU. If only the cat had lips, I'm sure he would mouth those exact words. I'm pretty sure he is going to sneak in the house and murder me in my bed some night soon. He usually spends the day inside, sleeping in some corner and then he goes out at night to prowl around and terrorize the local fauna. In fact, one of the rules in our house is that the cat goes out before we go to bed because he ALWAYS decides at about 1:00 am that he MUST go outside NOW and he meows until one of us (me) wakes up and lets him out. It drives me crazy and to those who actually know me, you are well aware that I don't take kindly to being woken up, by man or beast.
Anyway, yesterday, which was hot and muggy, I did not let the cat in. I didn't want his dead rabbit germs in my house or near my baby. He repeatedly came to the patio door and meowed pitiously to be let in, but I held firm and ignored him. I left him out all night too and I'm pretty sure it rained most of last night. Hence the reason I believe he hates me and has become determined to murder me. It's not just paranoia, I saw what he did to those rabbits.
Which reminds me of a story that taught me the dangers of exaggeration. When I was a little girl, I had pet mice. Two white mice named Max and David, David being named after my brother. I'm not sure if this was meant as a dig because my brother was small for his age, or if it was because I hero-worshipped him when I was little, you can decide.
Anyway, one tragic day, David decided that he would squeeze through his metal bars and explore the house. Unfortunately for David, there were also in residence two cats, called Amber and Willow. I tend to think it was Amber who ate David, she was a bit of a crazy cat. I discovered David, or what was left of him, the next morning, sicked up by one of the cats on my kitchen floor. All that was left was a tail, an ear and various guts. I was obviously very upset by this turn of events and I went off to school in tears. I told my best friend, Anna, about what had happened and another girl, Ashley*, overheard and said, "Your cat ate your little mouse David? That's sad, but how did he get out of the cage?" So I explained that he must have flattened himself enough to squeeze through the bars of the cage.
I went home later that day and told my mom about my conversation, but I thought it was kinda boring, so I embellished it a little and said that Ashley actually exclaimed, "Your cat ATE your BROTHER?" and my mom started laughing so hard, she had tears in her eyes and when she could do more than a funny little hiccuping noise, she gasped, "Is Ashley retarded? Does she think we keep tigers in our backyard?" I was satisfied with the result of my lie. I didn't care that it made Ashley look dumb (I didn't like her anyway), I was glad that I'd made my mom laugh. But then, THEN, she proceeded to repeat the lie to other people, with, I might add, great glee at Ashley's stupidity. I used to shrink back when she told this story, feeling guilty because I had knowingly lied to my own mother and in doing so HAD MADE MY MOTHER A LIAR! Well, ok, technically, she wasn't a liar because she was telling the story as she had heard it, but there she was, innocently telling this story, this complete LIE, that I had totally made up and she BELIEVED me. And that, my friends, is where the real sting lay. I had lied to my mom and she believed me because I had never before given her a reason not to believe me.
So now I was facing a conundrum. How do I tell my mom the truth without making her feel dumb for believing me? Especially after she had told about a million people? And in revealing to her what a huge liar I was, would I also become, in her eyes, exactly like my crazy, story exaggerating father?
You know what I did?
I never told her.
We're all much happier this way. Fuck being honest with each other. I mean, I do believe honesty is the best policy and I really do try to be honest most of the time. But sometimes, a little white lie pops out. And most of the time, it really doesn't matter, no one was hurt, it's a little secret for myself, you know, no harm harm, no foul. But other times, well, I tell a little bitty lie and suddenly EVERYONE gets to hear it and poor little girls like Ashley get slandered left, right and centre.
The morals of this story are: Don't keep mice in wire cages because they can become very, very flat and slip through the wire and get eaten by cats. Plastic aquariums are much better. Oh, and don't tell great big whoppers about girls named Ashley to your mother.
*some names have been changed to avoid embarrassment.