How we disposed of mice in Chinatown

NYC, Centre Street, circa 2000.
  1. 4am bathroom trip. Shit. What the hell? Mice. Like a dozen of them just shot out of sight. Wait, maybe they are baby rats?!!! This is NYC after all.
  2. We tell the landlord, Mrs. Yip. She shakes her head and says "mice, mice, okay! I take care." I'm fairly certain she's not going to take care of this.
  3. That evening, there is a knock at the door.
  4. "Are you expecting anyone?" I ask my roommate. I've always wanted to say that.
  5. No peephole. I open the door anyway.
  6. A Chinese man, dressed in a seventies brown leather jacket is standing there. He's holding something. This was about the time I was watching a lot of John Woo movies with my friend Gabe. We would get spicy instant ramen and forties from the corner store and have John Woo marathons. This guy was like a Woo villain.
  7. "Here" he says, "for the mice." Handing over a CAT CARRIER. He also dropped a plastic bag filled with food and litter. And a litter box.
  8. "Thanks" I say. Okay, we've got a CAT.
  9. We debate about whether we should name this cat but I'm nervous about getting attached. We don't know how long he'll stay.
  10. Cat proceeds to slay mice for weeks. He's a cold blooded killer.
  11. He's starting to fit in. We think, maybe he'll stay. They must have forgot about him. He's even starting to snuggle...purr.
  12. We pay rent early, if we're good, we can keep the cat.
  13. Mice are gone.
  14. Knock, knock.
  15. It's the guy in the leather coat. "Time for cat to go, he has work across the street."
  16. We pick up his food, favorite toys, litter box. Off he goes.
  17. We sit on the black futon. Pretty down. I call Gabe for ramen, beer and Woo movies.