When I got home after two nights away with my sisters, I asked my husband how it went with the cat. You see, Useless is my cat. My husband tolerates him, and actually shows concern for the cat to the point he will sit in my chair, with my blanket over his legs so my cat will have a lap to sit on when I am away. My husband is a softy, but don’t tell him we know.

After my question, my husband tried to glare, and said, “Your cat!”

I asked, “What did he do?”

“Friday night I fell asleep in my chair and Useless was in your chair. About 2:30am he woke me up bumping my leg.”

We know that means he wants to go out.

“I was half asleep; I let him out, then went back to my chair to wait for him to come back. About 3:30am I heard him meow at the door. I thought his meow didn’t sound right, but I got up and let him in. He had a mouse or something in his mouth but I didn’t figure that out till he was already inside.”

I tried not to smile. My husband doesn’t think it’s funny when the cat brings us a live present. I said, “And of course he let it go.”

“You know he did, and then only half heartedly tried to catch it again. I think it was a mouse, but it hopped.”

I laughed out loud. “That would have been a field mouse; they have big ears and big back feet and can hop.”

“Damn thing hopped all over the room. The cat would take a step toward it, and then look at me to do something about it. I finally went to the kitchen and got a plastic container from Wegmans and was able to trap it from above, slide the lid under it and pick it up. I wasn’t paying attention to the cat so when I slid open the back door and gave it an underhand toss to make sure the thing ended up outside, the cat went flying out past my feet and startled me. I slammed the door shut.”

By this time I am laughing so much he can hardly talk over me. I should backtrack and tell you that a few years ago my birthday present was a chipmunk have-a-heart trap so we could catch and get another little critter out of the house. It was used about once a year. A good present.

My husband continued. “By this time it was 4:30am. I left the cat outside and went to bed thinking I was really glad I had my pajamas on during the whole episode.”

The visualization and explanation still have me chuckling. I will think of it whenever I think of my Useless that old age and illness took from us on Christmas Eve. He was a wonderful lap warmer, a good companion and far from Useless.