Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chats du jour: Mighty huntress? Or not?

Is Laverne becoming a vegetarian tree-hugging cheese-eating surrender monkey? She already eats peaches. And bananas.

OK. I can live with her stealing my fruit. Well, not really, but when you figure out a way to keep a cat from doing something she wants to do that you don't want her to do, let me know. And no, locking her in the basement all the time is not an option because then all I get is the bad part of having a cat (litter box) with none of the fun (cat hair all over the place, harsh, rasping, constant meow demanding attention and food, cat positioning herself between me and the computer or me and the book, whichever the case may be but no matter what, optimizing my inconvenience).

Did she kill it? Or did she just find it there, dead of natural causes? We'll never know.

Here's the problem: Twice in the past week, she has caught a mouse.

Wonderful! you say. Who wants nasty disease-carrying vermin around her house? Not I!

Ah. But there is a difference between catching a mouse and killing a mouse. Not that I am looking for blood and guts, but I am equally unexcited about having a mouse catch and release program in my home. Nor am I excited at the idea that Laverne might keep the mice alive because she wants to torture them to death. Yes, it is what cats do, but it's a little gross.

The first time, I heard her crying outside. When I checked, she had a mouse in her mouth. She opened her mouth to say something and the mouse got away.

Last night, I heard her crying again and I thought it was the, "I want to come inside!" cry. Or maybe the, "I've wrapped my leash around the hollyhock and now I'm stuck, STUCK!" cry. I can't tell the difference.

But once I was out, I was not going back out again, so I detached her leash and brought her in with me. She kept crying and was pulling toward the neighbor's house as if there was something there she wanted to chase. She can see in the dark, I cannot.

I am mean, though, and made her come inside.

Where she promptly dropped a mouse onto the floor.

Which would not have been such a problem if the mouse had been dead.

But it was not dead.

It was alive and it saw its chance and skedaddled toward the basement stairs.

Can you imagine the hissy fit SH would throw if a mouse got into his beer? Or his chocolate?

I released Laverne's leash so she could chase him again. She got him. Dropped him. Which was when Shirley stepped in, batting at the mouse with her front paw and then taking a tentative bite in his direction.


Two cats who just can't close the deal.

Not that I was eager to make the kill, but I am a few steps higher on the food chain and I reserve the right in our invisible hand capitalist society, where resources flow to the most profitable enterprises or they would if the government didn't subsidize so many industries I am talking to you farm bill, General Motors, and Wall Street, not that I had anything I could have spent that money on instead,* to let someone else more qualified do my meat killing for me. I will write spreadsheets and marketing plans and improve processes. Call me.

Two cats chasing a half-dead mouse and they either can't or won't kill it. Are they sociopaths? Or liberals? Either way, I am worried.

* Except shoes, purses, and our mortgage.


Joan said...

My cats do that too. But they deposit their not-dead-yet prizes in their toybox... then get all offended when we finish off the job!

Anonymous said...

At one time snow cat brought in sacrifices presenting them to me at my feet or in the guest bathroom with all the dismembered bugs. She's 15 now and still hunts but doesn't its a catch and release program. Birds are a real problem, especially if she brings them in the house.