I have a flaw in my character — I don’t have a killer instinct. I couldn’t bring myself to kill that mouse in cold blood. I carried the can into the woodlot behind our house. I gave the mouse a stern warning. I told it exactly what it could expect if it came inside the house. And then I dumped it out with the ruined seed.
The story doesn’t end there. Two mornings later, I got up after my wife did. I walked into the other room and found her sitting at the computer desk, looking down at her feet. Her cat was crouching on the floor staring at her slippers. Under my wife’s foot was a mouse, alive but very unhappy. My wife was having a good time watching the cat tease it and, at the same time, commenting on how cute the mouse was. I left them to their amusement and went downstairs for breakfast.
About 15 minutes later, my wife came down. She asked me to go upstairs and pick up the mouse tail that was lying on the hallway floor. Yep. The cat had eaten the mouse — all but the tail (I’m sorry — I didn’t think to take a photo). As I picked it up in a Kleenex and tossed it, I couldn’t help remarking, “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
And while I’m on the subject — this is the only reason that I have ever been able to discover for owning a cat.