Chris left Tuesday, and (as a goodbye gift?), Berzerker presented us with a decapitated finch on the back doormat. What is the proper response to such a gift? I left it there until this morning when I shook the whole mat, feathers, corpse and all into nearby bushes, hoping I had measured gratitude appropriately. The mat was clean again. One hour later, in the same place, there is a chipmunk, seemingly sleeping. What to do? Can Berzerker and I ever really communicate? I like the IDEA of gifts, but … And what is the sub-text? Is he complaining about the cat biscuits (not REAL food – THIS is real food!!). Or is he saying, “I don’t actually NEED yr cat biscuits – don’t insult me – look what I can find on my own!”. Or, “Hey – just something I caught on the fly.” Or “See. I’m keeping the place vermin-free, as per contract.” So how long do I leave the chipmunk on the mat? If I leave it there, might it suggest I haven’t seen/appreciated it? If I remove it, where to put it? In the bin, in far away bushes? Should Berzerker be able to work out what happened to it? If I move it too quickly, will B feel the need to replace it ASAP. What would each of these options mean to him? Help.
Update. Tamias Striatus was being visited by flies. This trumps all consideration of cat/man etiquette. I threw it far into the woods. In the course of doing this a whole new and deeply disconcerting dimension opened up. Mr. Chipmunk was already exhibiting rigor mortis. This suggests that he had not been killed immediately before being placed on the mat, but sometime before, and the BODY HAD BEEN MOVED. Could Mr. B have been waiting for me to move the finch before replacing it with the chipmunk. Could he have a store of such carcasses lined up under the porch? “Your move Woody!” What game is he playing? Help!!