Thursday, October 28, 2010

She did it AGAIN!

Click is a cat.  Cats can be vewy, vewy quiet when it suits their purpose.

But what purpose could she serve by bringing Little Bear food?  He's a big boy!  He's perfectly capable of catching his own rodents.  And eating them outside.

I've mentioned before that on two separate occasions Click has brought rabbits into the Interim Lair.  Both were promptly consumed, fur and fingernails, by Little Bear.  Now, as a reasonably intelligent pack-member, Click is perfectly capable of figuring out that if she brings rabbits into the Lair and leaves them on the floor, they will be eaten by others.  Similar things have happened in the past.  So if she's killing rabbits and bringing them into the Lair, only to have Little Bear eat them, at some point I have to conclude that that was her intention.

She's very motherly toward Little Bear.  She always has been.  Just this morning, while dressing, I watched them on my bed as she held down his head - which alone is bigger than she is - and gave it a very determined bath.  She plays with him.  She disciplines him when he gets too rough.  She lies with him when he's tied out and unhappy.  And - I am forced to assume - every now and then she feeds him.

Yes, it happened again last night.  I was sitting at my reading bench, which perforce means my back is to the animals.  At that time of the evening they're in Terminal Nap Mode and normally all is silent.  But I was disturbed by a rather moist crunching sound.

It's not unfamiliar.

I looked around.  Little Bear stood up somewhat guiltily from where he had been crouched over a rat the size of a frickin' squirrel.  Or I should say, about three-quarters of one.  Pool of blood.  Viscera.  Big mess.  Y'know, I'm pretty sure if that thing had been there when we all retired to the Lair for the evening, I'd have noticed.  But Click, as I said, can be very quiet.  At least this time it wasn't a cat-door-destroying rabbit.

It's been a year since she did this.  That I know of - what goes on when I'm asleep is anybody's guess.  Oh, sure - she goes through mouse-catching binges.  I don't really mind that.  But rabbits and big rats are too much.  And do they clean up after themselves?  Well, I guess they have to keep Uncle Joel around for something.

And yes, I do worm him monthly. 


Anonymous said...

My grandparents had a very old dog that was arthritic and could barely walk, much less chase and catch anything, yet they kept finding dead squirrles and things by the dog-their conclusion was one of their cats was doing it.
It may be very common for animals to help each other,more so than previously thought.

Ken Hagler said...

It's not uncommon for cats to bring dead animals to their friends.

Also, the bathing thing is the way that cats show affection to other cats--or in this case, other creatures who they're willing to accept as honorary cats.



Tam said...

The bringing of the prey is exactly what you called it: mothering behavior.

Momma cats bring dead or half-dead critters to the kitten nest to get the little ones all trained up on hunting.

They don't see you catching rats, and so they figure you might just need a little practice on a tackling dummy, as it were.