Sunday, April 15, 2007

Of Mice (oops I meant moles) and Cats

This morning Rocío was working on a project for science class titled, "Soil, Flora and Fauna" which basically was about the relationship between plants and animals with the soil. She got to the part where her book explains that the excrements which animals leave behind, and their bodies when they die, degrade to form part of the nutrients of the soil. This left her a bit perplexed and she asked how this works. Jesús explained a bit about how bodies decay through the action of microbes and insects, Rocío wrinkled her nose in disgust and kept working (she's obviously not going to follow in the footsteps of her aunt, who is a forensic doctor).

Suddenly, we heard some violent thrashing about going on in the backyard and thought the cats were fighting again. Violeta went outside, as always eager to be in the middle of anything remotely interesting, and came running back in shouting, "Coco caught a mouse! Do something!" So, I went outside to check, and there was the cat, with something suspiciously mouse-like hanging limply from his jaws. If you've never tried to catch a cat that is protecting it's prey, let me just say that this is a darn-near impossible task. I finally cornered him only to find that it was a mole he'd caught, and that it was most definitely dead. Now, I don't like having moles in my garden, but I can't help but feel sorry for them when the cats chase them, and if I catch the cats with one, I usually try to save it before they can kill it. But there was no hope left for this one, so I went back inside, thinking that the best thing I could do was to leave the cat (and what was left of the mole) alone.

Jesús suggested we take a picture of the mole for Rocío's project, but this met with vehement protests of disgust from the girls. He then had the brilliant idea of saying we should leave the mole outside, or bury it in the garden and in a few weeks time check to see how bodies actually decay. Rocío looked at him like he was crazy, this was definitely not her idea of a "fun" science project. Lucky for all of us, when we checked outside again there was no sign of the mole to be had.

As we have no picture of the mole (whew!), I decided to include one of the tulips that we have growing in the garden.  Definitely a lot prettier than a dead mole.


  1. I very much enjoyed your story today and I'm still laughing. I can picture the way Rocio was responding when Jesus suggested to bury the mole and later look at it again.

  2. I like Jesus' idea; it may be gross, but it sure would be interesting.

  3. Interesting, yes, but this would be a little like dissecting a frog in the comfort of your own home. We'll just leave these kinds of experiments for school, thank you.