My Cat The Master Hunter
I have an inbred cat. You can read about some of his more endearing traits in my earlier hub. This is a cat that has trouble finding his food dish, that sits for hours staring at a shrub, that watches TV, that is afraid of rain, and of snow, and of other cats. This cat is so gentle he will let me manhandle him without the slightest objection. This cat will let my pet rats practically climb on top of his head without so much as a hiss. This cat can't even find his way out of a room with the door left ajar because he pushes it shut instead of pulling it open. This cat is a master hunter. He is the best hunter I have ever seen. There is not a rodent, insect, or other tiny animal safe while in my yard.
Bugs that fly and bugs that crawl. He loves to snack on bugs. Flies. Moths. Creepy crawlies. I never noticed it much until I put him on a diet. Doctor's orders! Time to shed a few pounds. The day after his new meal regimen started, I caught him outside catching and eating bugs. I just know that little fatty was cheating on his diet! At least he was working for his snack.
Mice. Cats love mice. Or should I say cats love chasing mice. And occasionally they are lucky enough to catch them. It's one thing to catch a mouse in a house. Where it is disoriented. Confused. Where it can be trapped in a corner or pinned against a wall. But to catch a mouse outside in the woods. Where there are things to climb and leaves to burrow under and logs to hide in. Now that is talent! My cat has done this on many an occasion. The proof has been left on my doorstep. For me to step on. In my bare feet. Thank you kitty.
Chipmunks are his favorite. I am shocked that there are any left in my yard at all. One afternoon I opened the door to let my cat outside. He immediately, without hesitation, ran directly into the flower bed, and pulled out a chipmunk. How he even knew that chipmunk was there is beyond me. But he did. And in under 2 seconds he had him in his grasp. That chipmunk never stood a chance. I rushed over to free the poor little guy. And my cat, the gentlest thing I have ever seen, defended his catch with all his might. Let me tell you, when I went to rescue that poor little chipmunk, my gentle giant of a cat growled and tried to bite me. Twice! And he meant it! Don’t worry. Mr. Chipmunk was saved, and I kept all my fingers. The other 10 plus little critters were not so lucky that summer. Bad kitty!
Voles and Shrews aren't safe either. Yes that is right. When is the last time your cat left a shrew on your doorstep? These little critters are tiny! And they burrow under the leaf littler. He can’t even see what he is hunting. But he can certainly catch it! He even left me a short-tailed shrew. Not just once. Twice! And this once again reminds me of his, let’s say, uniqueness. What is the big deal you say? The short-tailed shrew is one of only two venomous mammals on the planet. Those little suckers have venomous saliva that causes intense pain and swelling. I know. I have been bitten by one! They chew their venom into their victims with incredibly long, sharp teeth. And if that doesn't scare you enough, they have an awful odor. It gets in your nose almost like a skunk’s stink. It lingers on your skin, or if you are a cat, your fur. Besides the smell, they taste awful too. These are defense mechanisms designed to deter predators. So what would possess my cat to catch one of these critters? Only he knows. I can see him grabbing it initially. But once the smell and taste kick in, most predators drop it and run; sometimes even drooling from the nasty taste. Nope. Not my cat. He held on to that icky stinky shrew long enough to dispatch him. And then he carried it from the woods to my doorstep. A soggy stinky gift. I know he could smell it. Perhaps he couldn't taste it? Or maybe the joy of hunting and pride of bringing me his kill outweighed a little stink and foul flavor. How nice for me. Because unlike my cat, I can certainly do without a smelly shrew to dispose of. Thanks again kitty.
Squirrels. No. He has not brought me one yet. But as far as I can tell this is his dream. He will sit for hours watching them. Crouching as low as he can. As if that can hide his enormous black and white body. He is waiting for that perfect moment to pounce. Not a second too soon. And he keeps waiting. And waiting. And waiting. He does realize at some moment he will have to make his move. Doesn't he? If he is ever lucky enough to get his chance, I think he is going to be in for a rude awakening. Those suckers look like they have some fight in them! Maybe he knows that. Maybe he doesn't. Either way I know he is going to keep waiting. I just hope he remembers to come inside for his dinner!