Nearly every morning, weather permitting, I escape to the back deck to read and drink coffee before the boys wake. It’s incredibly peaceful, especially when the birds are in full song.
Salem joins me for two reasons: 1) he likes to be wherever I am and 2) he has things to kill.
So I sat there reading while Salem pillaged. I’m in the last quarter of HP and the Deathly Hallows, which is quite tense despite having read it twice before, so I was easily startled when Salem came darting up the stairs. My body jumped a second time when I saw the mouse in his mouth. He walked over to the “Wipe Your Paws” doormat and sat down his kill.
Except it wasn’t dead. It was twitching and squeaking. Unable to move or make sounds while in the clutches of Salem’s jaw, it was now free to writhe in dying pain. The squeaking was unbearable to listen to so plugged my ears and closed my eyes. Upon peeking, I saw Salem still sitting there intently watching his victim.
Within a few seconds it appeared to be over and my cat took one last swipe at the mouse’s lifeless body. It didn’t move. Satisfied, Salem turned and walked my way, weaving in and out of my legs with affection. He let out a little meow when I patted his head before settling down underneath my chair.
“I love you, too, Salem,” I said. And then he took a nap.