I found a little dead mouse on my living room floor yesterday morning. I know it’s vermin, and I’m not forgetting the traumatic Mouse Wars of 2012 in a previous flat I lived in, but finding that tiny mammal was a really sad start to the day. I considered writing it a poem, but we already have “Tae A Moose” and I really can’t compete with that.
I’d came into the living room, set up the cafetiere and plonked myself cross-legged onto the sofa, firing up my laptop to read the morning Facebook as normal. A few minutes later I got up and I poured myself a cup of coffee, and then on the return trip to the sofa – well, imagine my surprise when I noticed the wee carpet-coloured creature that had keeled over on the floor just below where I had been sitting moments before.
I kneeled beside him. I wondered how long he’d been there. I told him, “Wake up! It’s time to get up!” but he stayed where he was, on his side, his back to me. I looked at his tiny little five-fingered foot and thought about animal consciousness, and what his last thoughts might have been, and wondered why he had died.
I was alone in the flat. I almost waited for my boyfriend to come home so that he would deal with it, but I decided that wasn’t fair. I remembered that a couple of weeks ago I had hoovered up a dead wasp, disgusted by it. That reaction seems so cruel now!
I picked him up with toilet roll, a delicate, almost weightless bundle that I apologised to, and dropped into a bright orange plastic Sainsbury’s bag. The bag then went unceremoniously into the big rubbish bin outside. What a sad way to go.
Maybe I’m a fragile, sappy little vegetarian. The whole thing could have been over in a minute, and it only meant something to me. I suppose I’m writing this because I think that maybe we should try to be more conscious, and more respectful of the world we live in and who we share it with.