The owners of The Rascals, two beautifully black-and-white patched brothers that could barely be considered ‘kittens’, lived at an incredibly beautiful spot. Just a few steps away from the city, but yet at a rustic location. Standing in front of the living room window, you could see the Rotterdam skyline as a backdrop of the narrow river that was situated right behind the house: a beautiful picture! The house was surrounded by a considerable patch of land, where Fynn and Morris, as that what the two brothers were called, could roam around at their heart’s desire. During their days, they would spent a lot of time sleeping. Sometimes, when returning home from work, I’d run into them in the garden. They were always happy to see me, running towards me and then rolling around right in front of me on the garden path. Very likely they achieved their gorgeous black-and-white fur through these self-massages. Otherwise, they would be snoozing in their beds in the hallway, only to enthusiastically jump out of it to greet me as soon as I inserted the key into the lock. To this day, I’m not really sure if this affection was food-related or not… Albeit not really being lap cats, they nevertheless thoroughly enjoyed fuss and cuddles. They could purr like the best of them; it definitely sounded as if someone had turned on a machine!
But the night belonged to them! That was the time when they really got into action. The morning after the first night of the sit, I initially had no clue what I was looking at. For starters, the floor of the hallway and kitchen had altered from plain grey to a pattern with black cat paws on it. But that was definitely not what drew most of my attention. In the back of the kitchen, I saw something lying on the floor that almost looked like filleted fish with a very long tail. But I couldn’t think what kind of fish would have such a long tail. And as I saw a great deal of long smears on the floor next to the perceived fish, I expected the worst. Unfortunately, this turned out to be the truth. As their owner defined it after I sent her the pictures; the kitchen looked like a crime scene. More than likely, The Rascals had toyed around with the poor mouse for so long, that the blood must have gushed out of its little body. Although never again as bad as that first morning, few nights went by without them leaving me a minimum of one, but up until four ‘presents’. In fact, generally I would find an even amount. As if they were kind of competing about me: ‘if you are giving her a present, I can do it too!’ And as I understood they meant well, I would never forget to show them gratitude for whatever they had caught for me. In spite of being more or less terrified of mice. Even the thought of one being in the same room makes my heart jump! Luckily, their owner had assured me they would always dead as the cats dragged them inside. Which suited me fine, as dead mice scare me less than living ones.
It was Morris who would not stick to that unwritten rule twice! At the first occasion, I heard the strangest noise coming from the kitchen; a bit like one of those squeaky toys for babies to squeeze into. It turned out to be a tiny baby mouse in agony. As the little body already looked quite tattered, I took it away from the cat. I switched a button in my head and finished the job for him. And just like that, the brothers did me another favour: they taught me to shift my boundaries, if need be!