Of Hunting and Noms
So Yuan scared the snot out of me the other day. He was sitting in the strawberry pot on the balcony (the strawberries have not sprouted at all, so really, it’s a pot of dirt and trellis at this point), staring intently at something over the ledge. I went out to distract him, because I didn’t want him making a crazy flying leap off the balcony in a moment of blind hunter instinct. Well, he didn’t leap – he snatched.
He then proceeded to carry it in his mouth to the door, like, “OK, I have dinner, let me bring it in now.”
Luckily I close the screen door behind me because I don’t want bugs to get in. But meanwhile, I’m being a silly human screaming as much as the bird is, “OH MY GOD! YUAN, LET IT GO!” …like he’s going to let it go just because I’m screaming and flailing around like a crazy woman. He luckily a moment later turned away from the door to fuss with the bird who was struggling to get free, and I ran inside, fetched a cup of water, and threw said water on Yuan to get him to let go of the bird. He did, and it flew off the side of the balcony (with Yuan in pursuit, but it got away and Yuan watched it go). So I’m pretty sure the bird is OK. But it scared the bejeezus out of me. If I had indoor/outdoor cats, if I let them roam the neighborhood, etc., I might expect that type of thing to happen every now and again. But I have indoor kitties who are allowed on my second floor apartment’s balcony… I don’t expect there to be a whole lot of hunting other than toys and the occasional bug!
Since he was just being a cat and trying to bring me a present (when kitties bring home prey to you, they are bringing you a present – sharing it with you), once I had calmed my silly human self down I gave him treats. That way he got his “hunter noms” and a “thanks for taking care of your family”. Not that I want to encourage him to snatch more birds out of the air (we had a talk about that, but again, he was just doing What Cats Do), but he was being natural. Can’t punish him for that. And I felt bad about dousing him, but I REALLY didn’t want the bird to be hurt. I do think it was OK – it flew off – just scared out of its mind. Yuan wasn’t biting on it hard, just holding it.
So that was my Yuan taking me out of my comfort zone (he’s my teacher man!) once again moment. I’ve been living with cats since I was 11, but they’ve all been indoor cats. So the whole “find a dead something on your porch” thing is alien to me. The closest I came to that was Butterscotch (my first cat – who I got when I was 11) would hunt the occasional mouse that got in the house. He would then leave the dead mouse in front of my bedroom door. Such a sweet boy bringing me a present and hunting mice! But luckily for my mice-made-me-literally-sit-on-the-table-and-scream girlie self, my parents usually found it before I did and got rid of the carcass. Butter was probably very frustrated by this, like, “Why are you throwing away HER PRESENT?!” Us humans are very confusing.
The only other experience that somewhat resonates with this is the time Deidre ate my betta fish after living with him for a year and a half. I came home from work to find his tail on the ground, and all the rest of him gone. I did initially get mad, but afterward I felt bad for it because again – she was just being a cat.
But this is why, though I would like to have fish again, I’m not going to get any until I can get a big tank that can’t be knocked over nor the lid popped off. I can just see it now – one lone betta fish in a giant tank. He’ll be king of the world!
So lately I’ve been feeding Maggie and Yuan closer and closer together whenever all three of them are getting cat food (Deidre so far is not interested in expanding her territory to the kitchen as of late, which is where the other two eat). But the other day, as I go in there to feed them, Maggie and Yuan meet at the corner of the kitchen, and *almost* sniffed noses. They both kind of hesitantly made moves like they were going to do it, but they were both a little unsure about it, so they didn’t *quite* get there. They were just an inch or so apart, face to face, no growls, no hisses. So I moved their bowls pretty much next to each other to see if they’d go for it.