The Cats have excelled themselves. Not content with hibernating away from the cold weather, (normal positions on a cold night, J against one leg, E against the other, each with head pillowed on a shin, me pinned and wakeful) they’ve been out hunting overnight. The garden is crisscrossed with catly footprints.
Generally speaking, Jules is the hunter; when he first moved in he used to bring things in to teach Elton and Dusty the rudiments of the art. First dead, then maimed, then live and kicking, prey of various kinds were offered up as training aids as he considered their skills increased. D and E were nicely brought up before they came to slum it with us, and didn’t know one end of a mouse from the other unless it had catnip in it. Dusty proved a keen whipper-in and cornerer, but wouldn’t deal with the actual killing; Julian lost interest quickly once the creature was actually dead and never ate them, surprising considering he’d lived rough for a while; Elton watched bewildered, but would generally consume part of the prey item once Julian had dispatched it. (Though I did see him once pounce on a mouse that julian had forgotten about that was trying to sneak home to its nest. Elton, on the sofa facing the wall, mouse in middle of living room: Elton executing 180° turn in mid-air and landing with precision, with mouse under his paw. I don’t know who was more surprised; me, the mouse or Elton.)
Now all of this I can put up with, though live rats stuck behind radiators leave something to be desired. I am resigned to Julian bringing us a christmas robin, to half eaten corpses on tha hall floor… but today…
…today there is a dead mouse in the toilet.
A: “Do you think it drowned? Jumped in to escape?”
Visions of the cats perched on the toilet seat, trying to scoop the mouse out, mouse paddling frantically. I haven’t inspected closely but it’s missing an ear, which suggests Elton’s involvement, so probably includes inept dropping of prey. I rather hope it didn’t drown.
Me: “We’d have heard splashing wouldn’t we?”
A:”There was a lot of crashing and banging in the middle of the night – I thought it was you.”
Fortunately we are a two-loo household. A drew the short straw and donned rubber gloves to deal with the corpse.
Julian is fast asleep in his basket on top of the tumble-drier in the kitchen, and Elton is sulking about not getting a third breakfast.
That’s what happens when you live with carnivores.
© Cherry Potts 2012