We once had a cat who was (initially) terrified of mice. We always knew there was one about, because she would freak out. She acted like one of those stupid girls in horror movies, she hears a sound and just has to go check it out (even though it is clearly the horrible serial-killer … um, mouse… hiding in the bathroom) - but off they go anyway, stiff-legged in terror, fur sticking out all over. Okay, so the stupid girls in horror movies don’t usually puff up like that…
Anyway, we moved to the East Coast, and apparently it was only Colorado Mountain mice that terrified her. East Coast mice apparently play better. I came upstairs one day after hearing something strange going on in the dining room. The (formerly mouse-phobic) cat was playing with a mouse. Happily batting it back and forth between her paws, then tossing it HIGH in the air, then batting it around again, biting it a few times in a friendly way…
I watched quietly, having noticed the mouse was very dead, and curious as to whether she’d eat it or not.
Nope. Having finished an exciting round of whap-splat-fling-bite, the cat watched the dead mouse carefully for a moment, mewed plaintively at it, and poked it with a paw, as if to say, ‘your turn, run around and play, now!’ She poked it gently a few more times (without using claws, I noted), and looked at me and made her sad cry again.
Said cat then launched into the full whap-splat-fling-bite rountine again (I’d swear she sighed first). (Making it very much a case of ‘here, let me show you how it is done!’) Followed by another couple of pokes to get it playing again. Darn mouse stopped playing! The cat even came over to me and led me back to the mouse, then poked it again… like, ‘Hey, fix it! The darn mouse is busted.’ I took it away. Cat was very miffed.
On the other hand, we didn’t have much in the way of a mouse problem after that. Mice don’t like playing whap-splat-fling-bite, apparently.
Personally, I (usually) only freak if a spider takes me by surprise (suddenly dropping from the ceiling in front of my face is a big bad no-no). Mice are fine, as are most bugs. Except those long-legged centipedes … ::shiver:: … ick.