Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pet weirdness – bringing in mice

The other night we let in Little Gray because it was way too cold to keep him outside even in his little heated doghouse.

To our shock and dismay, he trotted inside with a mouse in his mouth before we could notice and block his way. I don’t know what he was thinking. That he had to pay a cover charge to get in?

Or maybe he just wanted to give us a gift? Or, more likely, he had just caught the mouse when he saw the back door open and didn’t want to give up either opportunity.

Anyway, he dropped the mouse, which scurried off into my husband’s study, which is heaped with papers and clutter to hide in. For the rest of the evening, the cat sat in the back hallway and attempted to keep an eye on the entire house.

Finally, the mouse showed up around midnight, scampering along the living room. The cat was on him like white on rice (to work in a cliché), but ran into the kitchen with his prize as soon as I came out of the bedroom to see what was going on.

For some reason, Little Gray dropped the mouse in the kitchen, and my husband and I were able to shoo it out the front door while keeping the cat indoors. The mouse looked unharmed but obviously shaken up. I guess it now had a story to tell its dozens of grandchildren.

Do you ever have your cat try to bring prey into the house? If so, what does he bring?

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  1. Oh yes, when my cats were allowed outside they were always bringing mice in. Same thing, bring it in alive, then drop it. Kill the darn thing already. They usually did, eventually.

    The weirdest was I woke up to a strange sound once and there was a black bird flying around my bedroom and the cat sitting there looking very proud of himself. I managed to toss a towel over it and release it mostly unharmed. Oh and the baby rabbits. Sigh. Not such good luck with those. They die of shock. You'd think they were starving and had to hunt for food.

    They stay in now, but we did find blood all over the place and dead mouse parts. Not sure where the mouse came from but...

    1. That would definitely be a surrealistic moment -- to wake up to find a blackbird flying around the room!

  2. Well, since my kitties don't go outside... :) They did catch a mouse in my condo once! I was able to trap it in a tupperware container and take it outside before blood was shed.

    Oh! I have a great story from when I was a kid, growing up on a farm in rural SE MN. One of our indoor/outdoor cats LOVED my dad... who hates cats and is very squeamish. One night my dad crawls under the covers of his bed and his foot hits something cold and furry. Our cat had killed a mouse and carefully hidden it under the covers on my dad's side of the bed. :D Such love and devotion! :D

    1. What a great story! Such a sweet cat to hide its gift in the bed to make sure that no one else but its favorite person would receive it. :D

  3. It's 4:something in the morning, I've been up all night putting off sleep and reading your various how-to-not-fail-at-writing-this-thing articles, and I just have to say: Gods, I'm sorry, this is probably the beginning of a long and awkward me-commenting-at-you-thing. I apologize in advance for any George Carlin and/or sarcasm and nerd references this may entail.

    So, my ex-cat Tiger used to kill moles. Upon killing such an awful creature, she would stand at the front door and meow at the very top of her tiny lungs until someone came and took that awful smelly thing away and burned it. Well, one day, my mother goes out to check the mail. We lived in the country (read: sticks/BFE), and this was quite a hike. She always took the same path across the yard and fungus colonies and small communities of rednecks hiding in our grass. On this particular day, she looks down (shortly after mile three of her totally-not-this-epic-hike) to see the biggest frakkin' mole she's ever seen. Thinking nothing of it, Mom throws the offending rodent on the weekly trash bonfire and moves on with her summer.

    It is only later that we realize this is the last time that a dead mole shows up in our yard. It is also the last time ANY mole shows up in our yard until Tiger is something like two years gone. We had been plagued by mole runs for literally the first fifteen years of my life, so much so that my elderly grandmother could not walk in our own yard for fear that she'd miss seeing one, fall, and break a hip or three.

    All we've ever been able to figure is that Tiger grew tired of dragging this mammoth mole to the usual crying post of the welcome mat, so she dropped the Queen Mole in Mom's path and wandered off to kill something else (skunks, possums, the occasional pitbull). The simple fact that there were no more moles in our yard for two or so years after Tiger DIED probably ought to get my cat a medal, but really, I've gotten more mileage out of the fact that the impossibly good hunter knew where to put a 10-ounce mile on a 3-acre plot of land.

  4. Thanks for the comment -- that's amazing, especially that the cat knew where to put that last mole. Also, that no moles came around for two more years after the cat's demise. Maybe they had mole memories of danger associated with Tiger's hunting abilities that they somehow communicated to each other!

  5. My cats never go outside, so no prizes for me. But my grandma's cats used to leave her presents on her back porch all the time - voles, mice, etc. While it was lovely of them to think of her, she did not actually care for their gifts. Cats have to be taught the link between catching prey and eating it. They will instinctively hunt, but unless they are shown that it is food, they generally won't eat what they catch - hence the lovely gifts :)


  6. Sadonna, thank goodness my cat already knows about the link between food and prey (he was a stray for a few months, we think, before he was completely grown up, so he was supporting himself on his hunting skills). I don't know what I'd do to teach him the link otherwise. Would I have to pick up the "gift" and take a bite? *shudders*

  7. :-D What a story . . . but one with a happy ending for all! Although we don't have a cat now, I've had many in the past. Their predatory nature never bothered me -- it's nature's way, after all -- but I never quite got used to the sound of rodent bones crunching within feline jaws. {{shudder}}

  8. Turtles are just up from hibernation and doing fine. :)


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