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Friday, August 07, 2009

Friday Cat Blogging: Fierce Jungle Predator edition
Posted by Jill | 5:16 AM

The Mighty Huntress

For those of you who are not regular visitors, pictured above is Maggie, the dumbest cat who ever lived. I've never been sure if she's a case of arrested development (though at age almost-10, she has finally outgrown her annoying habit of trying to suckle on my upper arm), or if the congenital polyps in her ears cause her to carry her ears out to the side more than most cats, or if the fact that her head is disproportionately small for her body just makes her LOOK dumb. But we've always assumed that Maggie was as dumb as a Congressional town hall disrupter.

Maggie's always done things that are reflective of predator behavior. Jenny isn't much for toys, having always made clear that her 2-3 years as a stray before she came to us have entitled her to a lazy retirement. But Maggie has always enjoyed batting things around the floor, carrying around a crocheted ball, yowling, and then depositing it somewhere, often in her water dish.

I don't know if others have experienced this, but we tend to get pantry moths that seem to come in with packages from Trader Joe's. We had a bad infestation once, but now we keep it under control with sticky traps from Gardens Alive and Maggie takes care of the rest. As a result, she's honed her craft quite well. Moths, bees, flies, spiders -- she does it all -- except that she'd never caught a mouse, despite the fact that we have an intermittent and ongoing mouse problem which led to the infamous Final Blox Episode of 2008, in which a piece of serious rodent poison had dropped out of the ceiling where one of the celotex tiles was missing and Maggie decided to take a bite. $600 later for an emergency vet visit, a Vitamin K shot, and specially-compounded Vitamin K liquid for a month, we decided that we simply cannot have mouse bait in or around the house. Last summer I caulked every gap I could see, including all the places where the siding meets the house, and that seemed to take care of it for a while. I think this summer we've had mice inside the basement ceiling again (and I shudder to think what will be found when we finally take those damn tiles down to redo the basement), and last weekend Maggie was showing intense interest in one of the kitchen cabinets near the sink, which is usually a sure sign of mice around.

I cleared everything out of the cabinet and saw no mouse droppings, which is an encouraging sign. But she was still unusually interested in the cabinet. At first I thought she was simply trying to amuse herself by making me clear out cabinets simply by her looking at them. Cats are wont to do such things. But even after I cleared them out and found no droppings, she still wasn't satisfied.

The thing you have to know about Maggie is that with all the mouse activity that we know we've had in this house -- activity that's been demonstrated last year when we had the exterminator set up traps and bait and the rest of it -- she has never, ever, ever actually caught one.

Until Monday morning, when she came marching out of the kitchen with what I thought was one of those fur mice you buy at the A&P in her mouth, looking insufferably pleased with herself. I thought it was a toy until I saw that it had feet.

Fortunately, she dropped it immediately, but cleaning up dead-or-dying-mouse is not exactly a fun activity for a Monday morning. So I was torn between being utterly disgusted and being insanely proud of my Great Huntress, who has finally decided that there's a recession on, and so she'd better get a job.


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Anonymous tata said...
Try horror while you're dispatching the mousie to Rodent Heaven followed by fierce pride. Your pussycat has done what you pay the pussycat to do. Yahtzee!

Blogger skywind said...
At least you didn't find what my cats left me once--a mouse head, upright on my kitchen floor. I never did find the body.

Blogger Jayhawk said...
Or reach into the laundry backet and find half of a rabbit. Half.

"That was a nice lunch. I'll just stash this for later."

Blogger Ryan said...

That's about par for the course for cats. We'd have a cat door for our last cat and one morning about 4:30am.. I heard this intense squealing and it was coming from outside.. and it was getting louder... and louder.. and louder.

I stood in the kitchen after being awakened from my rest and watched as our cat (I live with married roommate and it was their cat) walked into their bedroom and then the sound stopped.

The next morning I spoke with my roommates about it.. and it had appeared that the cat had grabbed a baby rabbit... placed it on the floor in his owner's room and then bit it's head off and left the rest.

Amazing how much blood is in one of those :-/

Blogger Rhode Island Rules said...
Be careful what you wish for. At least with moths and insects you don't have entrails to clean up. I have had a mouse head deposited on the front seat of my car (a kitty mob warning perhaps?) and an intact squirrel on my living room floor (died of fright?) I once had a cat that brought home and slashed the neck of a mallard duck. But nothing tops what my latest 2 started doing a couple of years ago. I, too, have a kitty/doggy door and the cats started to bring everything in alive and then watch with glee as I run around trying to catch birds, rabbits, chipmunks, snakes, bullfrogs and even katydids. I am sure they do it for their own amusement.

Blogger Jill said...
Maggie is an indoor cat, which limits her safaris. However, we seem to have also developed an infestation of big flies, from whence they came we have no idea. She seems disinterested in those now that she has discovered Big Game.

Blogger jurassicpork said...
No, I've got the dumbest cat who ever lived. I dunno why Popeye keeps batting around and tipping over his water (which I had to put in a pot since the plastic bowls were no match for his mighty but missed paws). But, typical of cats, he doesn't enjoy getting wet yet that doesn't seem to deter him from spilling his water all over the kitchen floor. Even Barb's getting ticked at him.

Blogger jurassicpork said...
(meant to say "mighty but misused.")

Blogger Distributorcap said...
my mother used to say that all the gifts brought home by Romeo (the cat we had growing up, who lived to the ripe old age of 23!) were presents for us. Romeo used to bring chipmunks, moles, and his favorite - swallows.

now i have carlos, who has found more amusement with pens and the roll of toilet paper.

Anonymous Comrade PhysioProf said...
I don't think she looks stupid!

Blogger Pardeep Wensil said...
is it jungle predator anyways it is very nice and beautiful post....