I don’t think there’s anything a cat likes better than to hunt – especially my country cats.

With the warmer weather, one of my younger cats, Rusty, prefers the out of doors most of the time – even at night.  Since I live in a wooded area, there’s no shortage of squirrels, birds, lizards, snakes, and other creatures for my cats to catch…. and bring home.

Case in point, the other day I came from a long day at work, tired and looking forward to a quiet evening.  To my surprise, Rusty, who had gone out that morning, was laying comfortably stretched out on the kitchen floor with my kitten Haley at his side.

Well at first glance and without my glasses I thought it was Haley.

I went into the bedroom, changed into comfortable clothes and walked back into the kitchen putting on my glasses as I did.  “What are you doing in the house this fine day, Rusty?” I asked as I poured myself a cold beverage. “I thought you’d want to be out catc….What’s that?!” 

It was a freshly killed, still warm to the touch, not a scratch on it, squirrel.  Rusty had drug the poor thing through the cat door to show me his prize!

Now I’ve learned over the years, that when a cat does that, it’s wrong to scold them. In their minds, they’ve brought home dinner to mom and the rest of the family.  A dead mouse or vole gently deposited at the front door, with all its parts intact, is an act of consideration and love towards you – the ‘mama cat’ – as I’ve explained previously.

So, in proper response, I quietly got a plastic grocery bag from under the kitchen sink, and using it as plastic gloves, I picked up the dead rodent turning the bag inside out so it fell into it. Then I quietly threw it in the outside trash bin.  Rusty remained poised and regal in the kitchen, proud he of his conquest. 

If you think scolding will stop this behavior, think again. They will every so often decide to bring you a gift, as long as you have indoor/outdoor cats. 

One day last summer, I came home and none of the cats were in the house save one, who had a wide-eyed “I didn’t do it!” look on her face.  Wondering what that was all about, I went about my usual “just got home” chores of changing, washing the make up off, going through the mail, etc.  – but I kept hearing what sounded like fluttering. I looked around but didnt’ see anything and decided it was bird outside or my imagination.

Then I heard it again.

Looked around. …nothing.

Again…

This time  noticed the smallest of bird feathers on the livingroom rug.

Following the ever-increasing trail of feathers lead me to the corner near the front door where the cat door is.  ..and there it was… a big ol’ honkin’ black bird, alive and able to fly…which it did as soon as it saw me… all around my livingroom.  

Somebody…and I’ll never know which one…dragged that big black bird through the little cat door to bring in the house as a toy.  Apparently, it didn’t go so well because it managed to chase all the cats outside.

Finally, I opened the front door and the bird flew away none the worse for wear while I spent the next couple of hours vacuuming feathers and cleaning bird poop off my furniture.

 Years ago, my cat Missy, now deceased, decided to do something similar.

I had just taken Miss Cat in after finding her hiding in the woods. She had been severely abused (details I won’t go into here) and left for dead.  After nursing her back to health, I continued to let her outside from time to time in the mornings, while I got ready for work.  She would always come in when I was ready to leave. 

One morning, I was upstairs and heard some sort of commotion coming from the diningroom area.  When I went down to check it out, I saw Missy curled up on the sofa and all was calm.  So I closed the sliding glass doors and then left for work.

For several days, Missy didn’t show any interest in going outside in the mornings. “That’s good,” I thought.

One evening, I came home and she met me at the door. I was impressed. She was fairly new and we hadn’t really bonded yet so I was happy she was finally feeling comfortable enough to greet me. 

As I bent down to pet her, she shot past me in hot pursuit of something. Down the hallway she ran into the kitchen and through the other door into the diningroom and back to the front hallway.

It was then I saw the chipmunk running for its little life.  I managed to catch it and let it go outside.

Missy didn’t think of it as food… it was a toy.  Someone had declawed her and had her spayed long before I found her and she had no idea she could actually eat a chipmunk.

Cats…gotta love em.

Advertisements