You can't tell me it isn't instinct.
Animals have it 'in them' to hunt. Whether they're surviving in the wild, or playing around the barn, I believe it's instinct in the animal to stalk, hunt, play with and ultimately kill it's prey.
Enter Puss. Our cat.
She is three and has always been a house cat. I can count on one hand how many times she's escaped, been gone a few hours, and always returned. She's ALWAYS been an indoor cat.
Until a couple of weeks ago.
Every time the door was opened over the last three years, the cat was there, ready to squeeze through the tiniest crack. Finally one day, I said GO! A few hours later, she came back.
This went on for a couple of days. She'd go out for a few hours, hang out under the deck, under the hedge along our yard and the neighbours, and play in the woods behind the garage. Then she'd come home and sit on the deck at the back door. Belle will usually let me know if she's at the door and I haven't seen her lol.
Last Friday night, the boys are gone with their father, I'm on the phone with my best friend Cass. After about 15 min, the conversation went something like this ...
"Hang on, Belle's at the back door. I let Puss out earlier so she might be looking to come in"
Opens back door.
"Hey girl, comin' in?'
Cat walks away.
Kim walks outside after cat. Closes door behind her so Belle won't get out and chase the cat. Still on phone. Looks over at the cat, turns around and let's out an ...
"OMIGOD!!' There's a dead mouse on the deck! AAAHHHHH"
Screams, jumps over the mouse and flies through the back door.
"EWWW! There's a dead mouse on my deck! Why is there a dead mouse on my deck?!?!'
Cass laughs hysterically on the other end.
"She brought you a present LOL"
"Yeah, I know that ... a couple of days 'on the outside' and those natural instincts are already kicking in!!!. I don't want a present though! I don't want a dead mouse on my deck! Is she going to come back and get it? Do I have to go get rid of it? Cause now I can't let the dog out until the mouse is gone cause I don't want the dog eating the mouse? She'll come back and get it won't she????? Won't she?"
Cass laughs uncontrollably on the other end, perhaps at the rising note of hysteria in my voice.
"OK. YOU'RE going to have to get rid of the mouse, and you can't hang up until you do so cause this is just too funny!!! LOL Are you SURE it's dead?"
"Well, it's on it's back, but no, I guess it's not dead. It's breathing really fast, and it's eyes are closed. It's close to dead."
Ah Crap! I was really hoping Cass was going to say the cat was coming back for it.
"Ok, I'd better get this overwith. What the heck do you pick up a dead mouse with?"
We said it at the same time ... 'Dustpan'
I had walked into the living room after discovering the mouse and running back into the house. I now went into the kitchen, grabbed the dustpan, returned to the back door and let out a "AAAHHHH!!! The mouse flipped himself! He's OK! And ... wait ... he's running in circles? OK, he's alive, but a little stunned ..."
"LOL, OK, just scoot him off the deck before the cat comes back"
"Do I have to? Don't you think he'll just find his way off the deck all by himself? Hang on, I've got to get this on video. He's STILL running in circles LOL"
I ran back to the kitchen to grab the camera then back to the door again ... "Oh ... no ... wait ... he's on his back again. Back into that rapid breathing thing."
Damn. Looks like it's going to have to be a rescue mission after all.
I turn around and put the camera down on the dining room table. I don't want to take a pic of a sick little mouse. A stunned and running in circles mouse sure lol, but not a suffering one.
"OK", I tell Cass, "I'm ready!" I have the dustpan in one hand, and the little broom to 'shoo' him onto the dustpan if needed in the other ... I'm ready for my mission!
I turn back to the door ... and he's back on his feet!
I'm getting a pic of this before he flips again!
Even at this point, I didn't realize WHAT he was.
No, I didn't discover it wasn't a little mouse after all, but a little MOLE, until I was hovering over him with the dustpan in one hand, broom in the other, and phone balancing between my ear and shoulder and Cass ready to coach me through this adventure on the other end.
I was just hoping my neighbours weren't out watching this, and video taping ME! LOL
Little sucker was stubborn! Continued to run in circles, and no amount of shooing with the broom would get him into that dustpan! As soon as he felt the edge of it, he'd just circle off in another direction.
A couple of times, he circled just a little too close to my toes, and poor Cass got an earful of "AAARRRRRRAAAHHHHH" So did the neighbours.
Finally, with Cass gasping for breath in my ear, I gave him a hard shove onto that dustpan, ran a few steps and didn't that little sucker run right off of it and land back onto the deck again! That brought about a new round of screams from me of course, and new howls of laughter from my coach on the other end of the phone!
I bent down, almost lost the phone, managed to scoop the little sucker onto the pan again, ran two steps and the bugger JUMPED off again! Determined little sucker!
This time, we were close enough to the edge of the deck that I gave him one final scoop with the dustpan and away he went, the little dude was airborn for a minute, and then landed in the grass.
He didn't move right away. But I checked the spot later where he'd landed and either he managed to circle his way home, or Puss came back to play with him some more.
I'm not sure I want to know.
I do know, that you can keep a cat indoors, as a 'house cat', but that instinct to hunt that they keep buried while roaming the halls of home, very quickly becomes unlocked and unleashed when roaming the wilds of the backyard.
I don't necessarily LIKE dead things on my doorstep, but I am glad to see Puss is adjusting to 'outdoor life' and showing me her appreciation at being able to do so.
Oh ... but there's more.
That was last weekend. This weekend, there were MORE dead things.
Belle got herself tangled up around the hedge first thing this morning. I unsnapped her rope and she started to run up to the deck, backtracked, grabbed something under the hedge, and headed back to the deck.
'What do you have in your mouth girl?' I didn't have my glasses on, or contacts in, so all I could see was something that looked black, smallish, and ... just ewwww.
"Drop it Belle!!' She dropped. As I walked by, I glanced at it. Ewwww dead rat!!! It was far too big to be a mouse. Dead rat! Eewwwww!!!!
I got dressed right away, put in the contacts, and headed outside to grab a shovel.
I tried not to look at the rat as I scooped it up. With one scoop, it flipped up into the shovel. It wasn't a rat. It was a baby bunny :-( A small baby bunny :-( I didn't take a pic of that one.
Not sure how it ended up under the hedge. I know we have wild rabbits in our back yard. I've seen them. But they don't usually come around when Belle is out. And it looked too big for the cat to have been able to hurt it.
Regardless. It ended up under our hedge and almost on my deck courtesy of Belle. No thanks! I took it back to the woods at the edge of the property, and tossed it back there.
Glad I caught her before I ended up with another dead thing on my doorstep!
There have been a few LIVE animals find their way into my backyard also, and some onto my doorstep lol.
And this little guy was hanging out in my garage
Yeah. Live and dead things. Gotta love country-just-outside-the-city-livin' ;-)
Nite all! Watch that first step on the doorstep ;-)