The other night, I came home to no Charlie. Elly and Sophie were there demanding attention, but no Charlie. Came in, gave lots of pets, talked loudly and no Charlie. Where was he? We started wondering if he had gotten outside, something not allowed since he is a carrier for feline bronchitis or some such disease. Fed treats to the animals and no Charlie, but I heard a growling in the corner of the kitchen.
Charlie was there with a nice dead gopher. Big teeth, ugly shape, very distinct adult gopher. Charlie was growling to ensure no cats, dogs, or humans got near him and his prize. My first thought was were did he find the gopher. Bob’s first comment was “get rid of that gopher”. Now you need to understand the rules of the lewis household. Those that find a mess, clean up a mess. That includes cat barf, dog hair, and gopher guts. It is amazing how no one can see such things occuring. If you step in cat yack and then holler in dismay; everyone knows you found it and you get to clean up the mess. I had acknowledged Charlie had a gopher; it was my problem.
Approached Charlie armed with some plastic bags. He growled, picked up his prize gopher, and ran for the living room. I followed, he ran around furniture and back into the kitchen. Repeat the process a few times and it becomes obvious that I cannot catch the cat. Mentioned later to Bob I was dismayed about him not letting me get the gopher and her responded in a very serious voice “Of course, you never abandon a perfectly good dead gopher. Everyone knows that.” And of course we do have experience with dead gophers. I do remember Elly running around the yard with a very dead speciman, gulping it down as she ran away from her humans.
Bribery was the only solution. “Sally, Sophie, Charlllieeeeeee” I called. Response from two cats. Repeated the cry while getting some deli ham slices from the fridge. Still only two cats in the kitchen. Started putting down plates with small pieces of ham; finally the competition for good food got to Charlie and he came running. The gopher got abandoned in the dining room and I was able to retrieve it. Later he spent over an hour trying to find his gopher. But he didn’t blame me for the disaperance. After all, why would I want a perfectly good dead gopher?
The next part was inspired mischief. Called Kate and got her after a long hard day in the bathtub. “Kate, I’ve got a problem. Charlie caught a gopher and both of them are loose in your bedroom”.
“What?” she responded.
“There is a live gopher in your room. It’s vicious and even Charlie who caught it can’t deal with it. What do you suggest I do?”
“What? YOU LET CHARLIE TAKE A GOPHER INTO MY ROOM?”
More conversation and Bob helped embroider the story. Kate (who is a good sport) finally sighed. “OK, I am going to get dressed and come over to take care of this gopher”.
At that point we relented, laughed and told her the truth. It was a beautiful prank, only one day before April Fools day.