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My Cat The Master Hunter

Updated on March 8, 2012


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!

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    • DanaTeresa profile image
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      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      HaleyMCruz - glad to put a smile on your face. cats really are great. I have never had one quite like this before. He really is like a child in a cats body!... your cats are more interesting than you think. if you really watch them you will see how they are like little people.

    • HaleyMCruz profile image

      HaleyMCruz 5 years ago from California

      Your hub made me smile :) I love cats, so your title made me interested and laugh at the same time. My cats don't seem nearly as interesting as yours is!

    • DanaTeresa profile image
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      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      DeborahNeyens - no apologies needed. I love a good discussion. Enjoy your birds :)

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      Your Cedar Wax Wings haven't made it to Iowa, or at least not to my backyard. I'm such a dork I keep a running list of all the birds I've seen in the yard (and get really excited when a new species arrives). But they can have the mulberries. I can't be bothered to pick and clean the things, or deal with all the poison ivy in the timber to get to them!

      We do have a fountain with running water that the birds love. We refill the other bird baths every day to keep the mosquitos in check. But I definitely will be more cautious about avian hygeine going forward. Thanks again for clarifying, and sorry to hijack your comments for a discussion about birds. : )

    • DanaTeresa profile image
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      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      Deb - thank u so much for wanting to educate yourself regarding your backyard nature. WE is right about the running water. Especially considering standing water also make for mosquito breeding!

      WD - thanks for the added info. Bummer about the mulberries! Ain't nature grand! :) thanks for sharing your hub. I can't wait to check it out.

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

      I had a flock of Cedar Wax wings come through on their way back North and clean my little mulberry tree bare. Dang tourists!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks for the additional info, WD Curry.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks for the explanation. I never thought about the disease aspect, although we do keep them pretty clean, and they are in a fairly sheltered area. I should say we also have about 1/3 acre of timber with a lot of wild fruit trees (hackberries and mulberries) and plant a lot of flowers and other plants to attract birds as well. (We have an enormous flock of finches currently feasting on our sunflowers.) Between our natural and landscaped plants and pesticide-free lawn and garden, we are a one acre bird oasis in the midst of the Tru Green desert that is the rest of our subdivision.

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

      I have a hub about my big mistake with a bird feeder. I will break the rules a little. I don't care about promoting the hub, only helping the birds.

      https://hubpages.com/animals/Zoo-Tree

      Just be reasonable. One little feeder won't hurt. Don't fill it with very much food. Let it run out and don't refill it for 2 or 3 days. Then they won't depend on it, they will just come by to check a secondary source. The bath should have moving water to keep it fresh.

    • DanaTeresa profile image
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      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      Deborah - I am considering a hub on the topic. The primary concern with bird feeders and baths is that they can easily spread disease. They cause an unnatural congregation of birds (more volume in closer proximity). This makes it very easy for a sick animal to get others sick. They can also open up an increased risk for predators, though I think that is relatively minor.... if you enjoy wildlife there are landscaping features and plants that attract various species of birds and butterflies. If I want to keep your feeder and bath its OK. Just be sure they are sheltered from predators and kept very clean.

      that is a great story about Birdie!

      I hope I answered your questions. Thanks for joining the discussion!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      I'm reading the comments and must admit I'm confused. What's wrong with bird feeders and bird baths? I don't fertilize my lawn; we opt for 100% organic lawn and garden care. I get that. But I do have bird feeders and bird baths that we fill every day, year round. Since we are experiencing a drought here in the midwest, there are a lot of birds and other animals (we found a toad in a bird bath yesterday) that are surviving on the water we provide. The same goes in the harsh Iowa winters, when the birds (and squirrels and even deer) survive on the food we provide in our feeders and water from our heated bird bath. As a wildlife lover, I truly want to understand the concern with bird feeders and bird baths.

      I do agree about the cats. I have three indoor cats (who all still have their claws; I wouldn't even consider declawing them) who don't go outside ever. The most recent addition is a former feral cat I tamed and brought inside last year, who I first saw as a starving kitten eating bird food that had fallen out of the feeders. "Birdie" is now one of the sweetest, most loving cats I've ever had the pleasure to know. A terrible hunter, as it turns out. We had a mouse in the house last winter that none of the cats could be bothered with. We finally had to set a trap.

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

      Yeah, you will!

    • DanaTeresa profile image
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      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      WD Curry 111 - Thank you for checking back in. Of course I don't hate you. You can always fee, free to voice your opniions to me. Even if there is a time I don't agree, you will always be met by a repectful comment. I love to be challenged and reminded to think. I live for it.

      Shame on you for having a bird feeder!!!! KIDDING. So you understand what it is like to "break the rules" a little. My grandfather has one as well. I don't dare take it away. He is 82 and gets so much enjoyment from it. It is hung from a tree branch under the tree canopy - safe from squrrells and predators. I always make sure it is filled with sunflowerd seeds (all the birds here in upstate NY are ok to eat them) and I keep it clean.

      I am on the fence about declawing. It is much more humane with the new techniques, bu tI worry that a cat the gets out by accident cannot defend itself or run up a tree if needed. I need to educate myself a little mor eon the subject.

      Thank for sharing your story about Hobo! What a character! My 22 lbs hunter is afraid of dogs. He as recently chased up a tree by the neigbors puggle that wanted to play. Go figure!

      Thanks again for the discussion - something I don't get nearly enough of now that I am out of school!

      See you around!

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

      Thank God! You don't hate me. I must confess. I have a bird feeder, I only load it with saffron seeds (limited appeal). It is up in a clump of gnarly wax myrtles where they are safe from hawks and other predators. We only get jays, cardinals and woodpeckers who visit it. Little birds and squirrels don't like them. They certainly don't depend on it. It is just a treat. I live in the scrub of Central Florida, where they have an endless food supply (at least for now). The biggest threat is habitat destruction.

      We are actively working to change people's approach to how they build. It is an uphill battle. If you take the contractors course at a Florida university, they teach "land-scraping".

      I must trust your judgement since you are so reasonable and gracious. My favorite Cat was old Hobo. I got him at the pound when my wife wanted company for a new kitten. He was the only cat in there. He was all beat up and really put on a show to get out. My wife was against it. He never hurt the kitten. He glanced at it and walked away in disgust. He was a bruiser at 20 pounds or more and had no fear of dogs. He ran them off. When we gave the young cats fresh catnip, they went crazy. He sniffed at it, paused, and walked away. I figure he had a bad experience with it and maybe that's how he ended up in the kitty hoosegow.

      We were young, and unaware of the problems cats can impose. Eventually, I became more educated. I did not replace my cats as they passed on (yes there is a doggie heaven). To be really conscientious, you should de-claw and all of that. I have all the animals I need right now . . . we have teenage boys.

    • DanaTeresa profile image
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      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      WD Curry 111 - THANK YOU! I admire your comment immensely.

      I studied wildlife bioliogy for may years (focus on mammals). I am well aware of the impact of cats on wildlife. If I had my choice, my cat would not be let out. My elderly (and mentally unstable) grandfather allows him to go out. I thankfully live in an area where there ar no species threatened by cats (all very common) and I think it will stay that way. I do keep up on those things. I am very sure the keep my cat vaccinated and he is neutered of course! I had a disclamer about the cons of allowing cats outside on one of my other cat hubs. I should add it to this one, maybe along with you links..... I am also against bird feeders, bird baths, feeding ducks and fish, lawn fertilizing, lawn watering... I could go on for days.... Thank you again for the reminder. I will edit the hub when I get a chance.

    • DanaTeresa profile image
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      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      midget38 - animals are amazing. as mush as you would liek to think they are truly domesticated, there are natural instincts that never go away. It's interesting that you should bring up your dog. Most people dont' realize it but many dogs are excellent hunters.... thanks for stopping by. se you around.

    • DanaTeresa profile image
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      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      Docmo - Very cute comment. I admit I do have quite the set of claws. But they only come out in self defense of myself and those I love. And when they do, watch out! :)

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

      Oh my. What should I do? I don't want to be hated. I am a conservationist in Florida. We are trying to educate the public about environmental issues. One is the common house cat. It is an intensely destructive preditor introduced by Europeans to North America. We have quite a few small mammals (moles and voles especially) on the endangered or threatened species lists. Birds like whipporwils, thrashers,thrushes, and burrowing owls that spend a lot of time on the ground have been decimated, along with lots of the snmall mammals. These wild species are not equipped to deal with the voracious, invasive species. It is a real problem. It isn't cute. How can I win you as a supporer?

      http://www.abcbirds.org/abcprograms/policy/cats/in...

      http://www.abcbirds.org/abcprograms/policy/cats/ma...

      http://www.eraptors.org/cats.htm

      Please read at least one of these. Feral cat advocates will dispute this stuff, but love is blind.

      Why don't people love wildlife as much as they love their pets? I do.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      That is one cool kitty, Dana. And he's beautiful too. Frightening it can be to see them display animal instincts, though! When I came home to see a rat's tail hanging out of my dog's mouth once, I freaked out completely because a) there were rats which somehow managed to make their way into my home b) was amazed at the hunting instincts of my supposedly domesticated dog. Animals are fascinating indeed! Thanks for sharing!

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      They say pets share certain traits with their owners.... Based on your cute, cat-o-biography that would mean you too, are a master hunter with a streak of sheer killer instinct. Lol. Enjoyed reading this. Voted up!

    • DanaTeresa profile image
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      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      iamaudraleigh - I never intended for my cat to go out either. It was my grandfather's doung. And now that he is used to it, how could I ever keep him in?! I don't know how there is a chipmunk left in the neighborhood. he has brought me nine so far this year - and he has spent most of his time hiding from the heat.... You cat's sound like adorable characters.

      see you around the hubs!

    • DanaTeresa profile image
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      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      Deborah Brooks - Aw. Hello to George. Cats really are great, aren't they?! My fatty cow cat is at NINE CHIPMUNKS so far this year. And a vole. I think a bird too, but I all saw were feathers!

      thanku for the vate and share! Take care.

    • DanaTeresa profile image
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      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      tillsontitan - Hooray. My first comment!... I ahte to break the new to you, but the silly fat cant of mine has never caught a mole. I am hoping he figures it out cuz I have a few that need catiching! If he get it, I will consider loaning him out to you. But you have to let him watch TV too! :)

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      iamaudraleigh 5 years ago

      Oh dear! LOL...your cat is so funny and what a hunter! Reminds me of my two cats; Leona and Francis! However, they were indoor. They used to hunt down spiders and flies by climbing towards the ceiling...wild! Every time I said "Bugs", Leona's ears would shoot up while hr eyes would buldge! I knew they got one when I heard "Splat" from their paw hitting it against the wall. Great hub!

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      I love your cat.. the MASTER HUNTER.. I am laughing so hard... so cute.. I have black cats.. but I love all cats.. George right now is sleeping at my feet...

      I voted way up and sharing

      Debbie

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Let me be the first to comment on your incredible cat. Actually, I'd like to borrow your cat to get rid of the moles in my yard ;) I thought this hub was charming and voted it up!