Saturday, September 22, 2012

"Sir Larry" Might Have Worked

Mr. Cameron's Larry
Big news. The British Prime Minister's cat, Larry, was spotted recently posing with a dangling rodent at the door of 10 Downing Street, thus fulfilling the destiny for which he had been chosen many months before. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, had hoped that his new cat Larry would contend with the mouse problem in his residence, which leads to a number of questions: why was Larry posted outside to get mice? Who cares about outdoor mice? Does the Prime Minister have a silo in need of protection? You wouldn't see the royal family getting all het up about outdoor mice, unless there was some way they could breed tiny beagles to send after them. You can take one look at Queen Elizabeth and you can tell she isn't going to fall apart if a mouse runs over her pumps. Not her daughter Anne, either. Prince Charles, maybe. And the second question: who the hell is David Cameron? Didn't they just have another Prime Minister? I thought I knew this stuff. As an American, I'm not expected to keep up. I don't even have to pass a civics test on my own country. But I did make an effort, and for extra credit I even learned the correct pronunciation of his name in his native tongue, thanks to the BBC broadcasts on public radio: Tony Bleah. Now all of a sudden we need a David Cameron? Can't anything stay the same for five minutes? It's as bad as Canada. Canada once had a perfectly good prime minister, or premier, or prefect, or whatever they call them: Pierre Trudeau. Sure, that was a hundred years ago, but what's the point of swapping them out all the time? They've got a new one now, and none of my northern friends are happy with him, which troubles me. How hard can it be? It's Canada. Keep the snow plowed, take regular reports from the Moose Registry and the Maple Ministry, and the rest of it you can phone in.

Anyway, Larry the cat finally came up with a mouse after six months on duty. I guess if you absolutely must put your cat outdoors, and I hope none of you do, it's just as well he's a crappy hunter. I could have predicted he wouldn't have been an all-star. It's the name. My first cat's name was also Larry. And Larry was no mouser. She was a pretty good mother, though. No, she didn't have kittens, but she could take down moths like nobody's business, as long as they kept beaning themselves on the light bulb and she had all night to do it. And like any good Mother, she'd eat the moths, which must have been like snacking on a tiny dryer sheet.

She was darn near hopeless with mice. I've got nothing against mice as a species but I'd rather they stayed outdoors. Unfortunately, we do get a share of them inside during the winter, and they particularly like to hang out in the dishwasher. Our dishwasher mice, our maggot pies, and our flair for expressive gastric disturbances have all done a fine job of thinning out our chronic guest infestations, but we still have the mice. When I'd discover a mouse in the dishwasher, I'd get Larry over to have a look. She was all over it. One mouse confined to a two-foot box and Larry still couldn't nab it.

What she would do was lock her nose onto the last place she saw a mouse, say, behind the refrigerator, and then there was no unlocking her. Mice could roar by her butt like they were on the way to the Sturgis Rally and she would not remove her nose from the refrigerator. Pull her away and try to fling her in the direction of an actual mobile mouse and she'd hit the floor and snap back to her previous position like she was spring-loaded. People aren't any different. Tell a bunch of people that some immigrant or a union guy is making off with all the money they deserved to have themselves, and they'll snap their noses right behind that refrigerator looking for the straw man for years on end, all the while the fat cats are siphoning off their jobs and their pensions and their benefits right behind their backs.

My Larry had patio privileges as an old lady.
So what I'm saying is, Larry is not a good name for a cat, if you want it to be a mouser.

I guess what happens in other places that are not America is you have a parliamentary system, and you get to vote for an entire gang, and then the gang gets in office and its leader gets to be Prime Minister. That's also the system we have in our house. Dave and I can vote as hard as we want, but we're outnumbered by the mice. The mice always win. Their prime minister can do a pirouette for a half hour on the flatware rack, but his term is safe.

67 comments:

  1. I think your Larry and the Queen have a lot in common, judging by their expressions. I wouldn't mess with either one of them if I were a mouse.

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    1. I had to look for a long time to find a non-smiling Queen picture. There must be an edict.

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  2. Ah... of mice and men... and cats named Larry. You always know how to turn a phrase, Murr. Thanks for reassuring me that it would be futile to acquire a cat to take care of the mice in my house. As for the upcoming election? At least it keeps amusing me when I'm not despairing on behalf of our 99 %.

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    1. My cat Larry came pre-named. I got to pick out a cat as long as Dave could name it Larry.

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  3. Now I'm kind of hungry for a dryer sheet.

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  4. I think moths taste like unsalted potato chips. Not much flavor, but a lot of crunch. The wings are crispier than you might think.

    Larry, the Prime Minister's cat, probably brought in a "Guest Worker" cat from Pakistan to snag his mice for him. Outsourcing the work means you do have occasional delivery problems.

    And really, when it comes to changing the dirty laundry of politics, we have no bragging rights. Our bosses last between 4 to 8 years,God willing, And then the whole world has to learn a new name to despise.

    Wonder what theQueen does with her old clothes? I could totally rock that ensemble!

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    1. I could see you in the hat, definitely!

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    2. Roxie, I could just see you strutting along wearing that outfit and doing the royal wave.

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  5. Proving oneself to be a good mouser should be a prerequisite to registering to vote.

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  6. We used to have a cat named Susie, who would catch the ground squirrels who would find their way into the house somehow. She would only do this at night and would proudly bring them to us while we were in bed, sleeping.

    The ground squirrels weren't dead yet, and would proceed to do the ground squirrel equivalent of the "I'm not dead yet!" dance around our bed, with Susie in hot pursuit. Somehow we'd get the whole ensemble out of the bedroom and shut the door. It's very difficult to get back to sleep after so much excitement. Life in the country is like that.

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    1. I really think I'd go to bed with the door already shut. I really do.

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  7. Murr, as a Canuck and cat owner I so enjoyed this post. My little overstuffed brain didn't need to work overtime to get the political references, and your cat character sketches are priceless. Thank you for a fine start to a Saturday :)

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    1. Oh good. I was so hoping I wouldn't offend your maply brains.

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  8. We Canadians speculate endlessly about what the Queen keeps in her purse, from little silver flasks to crocheted hankies, spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch..and quite possibly, Philip. Now methinks it's time to consider her own pursonal pussy cat to catch the mice at 10 Downing Street whne she goes calling.

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    1. Testicles? Wallet? Remember the joke about the fellow who had a leatherworker make something special out of his foreskin and was disappointed when the leatherworker handed him a wallet? "Sure," the craftsman said, "but when you rub it, it turns into a suitcase."

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    2. Oh, is this the one about the jewish fellow who was in a wreck and the medics thought he was crossing himself like a Catholic? "Just checking - spectacles, testicles, wallet, watch. All there."

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    3. Oh good, some evening laughs to match the laughs you delivered this morning.

      Murr, You might want to work another joke in here someday with the punchline, "Welcome to Jamaica. Have a nice day." Perhaps you're familiar with it.

      I celebrate the day I found your site.

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    4. I thought the story was about a mohel (pronounced moy'el), who is the Jewish "circumciser", who saved up all the foreskins from a lifetime of work, and they were made into a wallet. Having a single baby's (or man's) foreskin made into a wallet s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s credulity all the way up to a suitcase.

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    5. You know, I knew I had something wrong.

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  9. Fun post. Ant the poor Queen looks like she's having a gas pain in that photo.

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    1. Apparently she was watching her team lose.

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  10. Ooh, nice reference to the misdirection of people who believe the working poor are taking from them when it's really the super-rich.

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  11. Delightful post! I have examined all three photos, with special attention to the mouths. Only the queen looks like she might have a mouse in there.

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  12. I am reliably informed that Her Majesty uses her handbag as a signalling device when she needs to be rescued from people wanting to bore her with family recipes, Corgi stories and other uses for horse liniment.

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    1. I like any comment that starts with "I am reliably informed that Her Majesty." I don't even care what comes next.

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  13. I cannot trust her Maj. She may be our head of state but any woman who prefer corgis to cats is a worry.
    We had a cat who was a masterly spider hunter. He didn't like the drumsticks though and would neatly eject them to the floor. A pile of spider legs meant he had been about his business.

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    1. I'm not even sure I'd recognize a pile of spider drumsticks. So he just ate the brisket and the eyes eyes eyes eyes?

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    2. Spider drumsticks! Fantastic, EC!!

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  14. Terry McLeish is a local Ottawa Valley singer songwriter, and he's the inspiration for the thought today...here's his GREAT tune "I Wonder What the Queen's Got In Her Purse"..enjoy!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNLBYz7V_34

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    1. I'm on it. Thanks Susan! A genuine Early Murrmurrs Adopter.

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  15. Brilliant. Twixt the pics and the puns, i am still guffawing. Thanks, honey. Loveto you and Dave.

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  16. Tiny beagles? I think a genetic cross between a bee and a gull would be awesome, vertical take off and landing, hovering, a stinger weapon system, hmmm ....

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    1. I'd be happy with a talentless gull with yellow and black stripes, but then again I'm easily entertained.

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  17. It's pretty obvious what the problem is here. A girl cat named Larry. You do that to a cat and you've lost any shot of it cooperating with you simply from spite.

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    1. She didn't have a molecule of spite. And after seventeen years with that cat, I now find myself snickering when I meet a man named Larry. What a funny name for a man, I think.

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  18. Problem was Larry didn't go after the big rat inside 10 Downing.

    And looking at Larry he doesn't look like much of a mouser. Looks more like a pampered royal.

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    1. I understand my friends are not happy with Mr. Cameron, either. I really need to get current on my world politics, but I'm still upset that I don't get to say "Tony Bleah" all the time.

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  19. "I could have predicted he wouldn't have been an all-star. It's the name."

    Murr, you crack me up. All the time.

    We had a cat when I was a kid, Co-Co-Puff, and that cat wasn't a mouser, either. It really IS in the name! Our cat just stared at mice. My grandfather used to have to come over and kill the mice for us. I'll never forget him grumbling, "That cat is useless!"

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  20. Hey Murr! Wow. I've just been writing about having a pint over at my blog, but I suspect you got to the pub a long time before me. Wow. Roth x

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    1. Well, it's never very far from my mind, I'll tell you.

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  21. I think there's a cat gene for being a mouser. I picked up a feline outside the grocery store (give away kitten), and that cat was on everything that moved...even shadows. We had to tie bells around her neck so we'd have birds. She once caught a hummingbird. Unfortunately, I had her spayed before I knew what a hunter she was. I could've sold her kittens to the Queen.

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    1. I don't think you can tie enough bells on that sort of cat to save birds. Some cats need anvils.

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  22. When the cat stuck its head behind the fridge and just stayed there as mice held a carnival on the kitchen floor, I'm pretty sure that was the equivalent of a 2-year-old hiding behind a blanket and feeling certain no one can see her. It's a tried-and-true avoidance strategy. Or, herm, maybe it's actually proving cats and toddlers are just dumb.

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    1. I thought she just displayed remarkable, if not effective, focus, but then again I was totally smitten with that cat.

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  23. "She was a pretty good mother, though. No, she didn't have kittens, but she could take down moths like nobody's business..."

    Best. Lines. Ever.

    Actually made me snort.

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  24. Being 25 miles from Sturgis, reference acknowledged as very apt! Lucifer, the resident feline here, prefers to catch his mice outdoors and bring the corpses inside. Problem with that is the annual fall mouse invasion of the house is of no interest to him. There is something fundamentally wrong with buying mousetraps and cat food in the same grocery store expedition.

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    1. Yet ANOTHER good reason to keep the little murderer indoors! Maybe your next cat, Caroline? (A bird-lover can hope.)

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  25. There's something not right about people not giving cats proper cat names. Like Larry. Or like my sister-in-law, who named her cat Natalie, after the singer in the 10,000 Maniacs.

    My son named his cat Meatwad, now that's a cat without an identity crisis.

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    1. Meatwad and Larry are both beautiful cat names, but Natalie is just wrong.

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  26. BTW, Happy Birthday!!! (yesterday?)

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    1. Thank you, yes, yesterday! I went off the grid again and had a blast.

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  27. So true. My first cat was named Herman, and while she had many litters of kitties (before the advent of spaying), she still made time to keep the mice afield--all from her station indoors, where she also made her occasional mark on the carpet. Hey, it's not easy to poop outside in cold, rainy/slushy Seattle weather. Isn't it enough that a mouse never ran across our shoes? Slut or no, she did her job well.

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    1. BTW, Murr, I posted today on something you may know a little bit about . . .

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    2. Why yes, I know all about the locale, and in another ten years or so I'll have the driving bit down pat, too. I already suck at it.

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  28. When I was a kid on the farm in the 50s, one winter we had a lot of mice and one evening our mother cat brought 100 dead mice and laid them neatly on our front step.
    Kuchma isn't a good name for a mouser either. We virtually have to corner the mouse and point him at it before he will actually catch it. He prefers birds...I just threw that in for you special.

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