SARASOTA, FL—Expressing his shock at having been taken completely off guard, local cat Muffins acknowledged Monday that no amount of training could have prepared him for his first experience encountering a mouse in real life. “Man, I’ve spent hours and hours simulating a confrontation with a mouse, but when the real moment comes, all that practice goes right out the window,” said the two-year-old American shorthair, confirming that his daily regimen of pouncing, scratching, and running in circles around his apartment had done virtually nothing to help equip him for the sensation of coming face-to-face with a genuine rodent. “I’ll admit I used to be pretty cocky. I’ve destroyed so many balls with feathers on them that I can practically do it in my sleep. One time I even fought a moth to a draw, so I always figured if I ever saw a mouse I’d make quick work of it, but it’s not like that in the real world. Instinct takes over, and it doesn’t matter how sharp your claws are, that’s the moment when you find out if you’ve got what it takes, and let me tell you what—real mice don’t have catnip inside them, buddy, you can bet on that.” Muffins added that since he was now a killer, he didn’t know if he’d be able to return to living in a pretend fantasy world.