According to the New York Times, on Fridays, we in the blogosphere, when not caught up in partisan political bickering or trying to take down gasbag anchormen, apparently engage in a little catblogging.
Everyone, meet Mister Gato.
Mister Gato helps me read the paper.
Gato joined our household in the early spring of this year, following our horrified discovery of a massive, building-wide mouse infestation. Some construction up the block apparently left a huge clutch of mice homeless, and they moved en masse into our quaint, un-mouseproofed turn of the (20th) century apartment building.
We tried everything to get rid of the mice. We trapped them, with breakneck traps and glueboards and high-tech mousetraps of every description. (One so-called "humane, better mousetrap" wound up decapitating and crushing the mice it caught... hmm, perhaps it was adjusted incorrectly? And we abandoned the glueboard after discovering that mice can scream. Shudder.)
We blocked every opening we could find with copper wool, foam, and caulk, took up the dog food at night and stored it in metal containers, locked up the kitchen garbage can like it held plutonium...
We had the exterminator come out to our house to put down traps and poison three times (direct quote from the feckless exterminator: "It's been a bad year for mice.")
Finally, we recalled that the time-honored way to control a mouse problem is... get a cat!
We got Mister Gato from Robert Shapiro at Social Tees, a custom screenprinting business in the East Village that is really just a front for an incredibly effective animal rescue operation. Robert finds new homes for hundreds of animals every year.
After convincing Robert that we were loving and responsible pet owners, and that our fierce, scary Chow Chows were unlikely to commit cat-icide, we brought this beautiful, young, athletic cat home with us.
We had hopes that he would be a good mouser. Gato had been living on the street, so hunting should have been familiar territory to him.
We were unprepared, however, for the glee and ferocity with which he did his job. Dude, this cat was the Mouseinator. A rodent-killing machine. Not only did he catch them, he ate them, too, nose to tail.
I'd tell you just how many mice he killed over the first few months, but you wouldn't believe me. Really, you wouldn't. Nope. And then once that horrible number sank in, you'd run away from me going "Ew ew ew ew ew" at the thought of us living in this tiny apartment with all those mice.
Suffice it to say, we ran out of mouse skull stickers for the side of Gato's litterbox... we wanted to record the confirmed kills on his "fuselage" as if he were a flying ace.
Gato has secured a permanent position on our domestic payroll as Rodent Control Engineer. Plus, he's very affectionate, furry and soft, he purrs a lot, and the dogs love him almost as much as we do.