Friday, January 17, 2014

Of Mice and Cat Ladies

Move over, Ylvis, because I, too, have a catchy tune: “What Does the Mouse Say?”
It seems that Pye loves mice—not the real-life “gruesome offerings,” as Maeve Brennan wrote in her story “Cat House” (1955), reprinted in the recently issued Big New Yorker Book of Cats. Make no mistake: Pye likes her mice to be made of cloth, and preferably stuffed with catnip.

The newly anointed Pye Palace (formerly the Expedition Room; sorry, Cat Man) is stocked with about 20 toy mice, and Pye likes to play with, attack, and hurl them all. We hear Pye running furiously about the room, stalking her prey. At some point in the early hours of the morning, usually around 3:00 a.m., she becomes exhausted and retires from the hunt. But not before leaving a perfectly aligned row of mice for us to discover upon awakening. Sometimes Pye chooses three mice, other times five.

We cannot walk into the Pye Palace without stepping over mice. We get it, Pye! We are honored by your carefully chosen gifts to us and especially delighted that the rodents are fake.

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