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.
Labels: cat blogging