Posted by: deadmousediaries | February 12, 2014

Her Valentine’s Wish – Something That Says ‘I Love You’ Like a Dead Mouse on the Doorstep – perspective from Mitchell Kyd

Valentine’s Day is upon us once again, a season of delight — or disappointment — for women everywhere. For men though, it’s a time of angst when they live in fear of cold nights alone on the couch if the correct romantic thought eludes them.

Women already know how to get the gift they’re after; if you’re earring-impaired and need some new bling as an example, don’t hint.  Don’t tell. Take him downtown by the hand and press his trembling fingers against the plate glass of the jewelry case as you describe the coveted item in detail.  When you get back home, put a sticky note with the jeweler’s number and a copy of the inventory tag on his checkbook.  But what fun is that?

Women like surprises. And some evidence of effort.  And a sign that romance and creativity are not really dead but only in a coma.  With Cupid’s arrow already knocked and ready to fly, I offer this perfect teaching moment that appeared as I gazed out my back door.

At first I thought it was a hairball. Through the screen door that gray, furry mass on my doormat lay waiting  just like those night deposits anyone who shares living quarters with a cat learns to anticipate.

Not familiar with that of which I speak?  Well, here’s how it goes.. . First you hear a little cat cough somewhere outside your bedroom. If you’re new to cat cohabitation, you may think this retreat to the hallway by your feline is a charming courtesy because only seconds before, that tiny cat face was just inches from your own.  But experience teaches you that what follows next is nothing close to charming and involves a full range of cat gagging. This inevitably ends well for the cat but badly for the human who has just been awakened from a deep REM sleep. The aversion to stepping barefoot into the dark and squishing onto that cold, wet roll of recycled cat fur can only be overpowered by one other thought: the undeniable urge that once awakened by cat gagging, you must now instantly get up to pee. But I digress.

What lay before me on the doormat was not a hairball; it was a dead mouse on my doorstep. Yappy Sue was poised there, too, head tilted, motor running, and wearing a big calico grin that said clearly: I brought this just for YOU!

Wow. What a token of love. My cat had laid her version of fresh lobster at my feet at the sacrifice of her own meal and probably at the expense of true personal injury. I contemplated the tiny creature for a moment and realized it had been presented with great care – and totally intact – her version of gift-wrapped.  That’s quite a feat when you stop to think what all might be involved in catching a mouse when you have to use your mouth to do it. Yet here it was, preserved only through constant vigil until I would awake and she could offer it up simply for my sheer delight. She must have been up all night thinking of ways to make me happy. And she had done it all without any expectation of sex in return.

So, to recap all this as insight about why cats are in the dog house less frequently than some men:

-Women want gifts that require no work on our part. Bring us dinner reservations, not a crock pot. Give a gift of housekeeping services, not a vacuum cleaner.

– Women like nice surprises, especially those that show evidence of planning on your part and a little personal sacrifice.

– We love gifts that are delivered free of reciprocal expectations (which BTW, also makes us more inclined to provide you with a little spontaneous reciprocity…).

-And finally, we adore gifts that make great stories, the kind where you are the hero and we become the envy of all our friends.

Find a gift that reflects three of these four components and you’re guaranteed at least one get-out-of-jail-free card to play later at your discretion. Create an expression of love that incorporates all four feline-like approaches and you’re golden; you’ve found your own version of the dead mouse on the doorstep.

This achievement has advantages; you will be treated as well as the cat. That means you will be well-fed, always summoned in a tender voice, awarded all the prime napping spots and invited to sink into our bosoms where we will stroke you lovingly until you fall asleep.

If your significant other asks what you’d like for Valentine’s Day, you have an answer: Bring me something that says ‘I love you’ like a dead mouse on the doorstep.  And remember, if he fails to deliver, you can always get a cat.  Mitchell Kyd



  1. Aah, my cat is my valentine this year (again!) and I am glad you agree with my choice of partner! Have a look at my blog please, I am on a blog promotion spree!

    • Thanks for popping in on my blog and making time to comment. I visited you as well and although I don’t have a direct interest in med school at this point, your posts are engaging. There appears to be some great practical advice for other med students there, too, –as well as a list of traits that EVERY health care provider should bring to the position. (Liked that one in particular!) I will comment directly later tonight. Good luck on your adventure! MK

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