Sunday, August 06, 2006

My little murderer.

My cat Elvis is an enthusiastic and efficient hunter. Since he moved in last year as a stray, it's virtually impossible to keep him inside. He's had quite a few years as a street cat (with the scars and previously broken yet healed up rear leg to prove it) and would be miserable. And very, very noisy. He is a real intelligent cat too and I imagine he would quickly figure out how to open the back door and let himself out.

I feel badly that he hunts and kills city wildlife. I realise this is natural and very enjoyable for him. Cats that have access to the outside are, IMHO, more fulfilled and happy - he climbs trees, hunts, plays, eats bugs and hangs out in the yard with the Rottweilers. He is fit and very muscular and is probably between 3-6 years old, my vet thinks. (Yes, I had him neutered.) He's also had the required shots and gets the monthly Revolution application for heartworm, fleas and other nasties. I wouldn't do this if he didn't go out hunting and interacting with strays.
I joke that he's really a Rottweiler in a little cat suit.



(This one of my favourite photos af all three, taken last spring. The dogs and I had just come back from a long snowy run along the river trail, they were pooped out. He and Daphne on the right have a sweet relationship and often sleep entwined together.)

I'm on a quiet street far from traffic and there's empty, treed lots adjacent to my house. He's staked out his territory and it seems limited to my property and the two empty lots. Since he took up residence, I rarely see the local strays nearby, he chases them off.

So anyhow, he brings in field mice and I know he's lost a couple of live ones in the house. I need to set up the Rat Zapper 2000 again. Four nights ago I was woken in the wee hours by a commotion; he'd brought in a very live house finch, which I took away from him and put outside. Next night, I stepped on a dead house mouse when I got out of bed. Following night there was a dead BAT next to the bed. How the heck does a cat kill a bat - maybe it was already ailing. I know rabies is a concern, I'm very careful when I dispose of poor little bodies. Sometimes he eats bits, sometimes not.
The funny thing is the Rottweilers sleep in the bedroom, and it's small. Elvis brings in these critters and I guess the dogs give him distance to have his evil ways with them.
So, should I get him a collar with a bell? Do these really work?

Think good thoughts for day two of our first AKC agility trial! Some of the rules are different from UKC. No stellar runs yesterday, but the boy had fun. I don't run until this afternoon and all my paperwork is taken care of, so I don't have to leave the house until 10 am or so.

6 Comments:

Blogger yellowdog granny said...

oh man he reminds me of my cat rocky who has been gone now for about 3 months..he was always bringing me dead gifts..but he really loved to put them on the front seat of the truck...he once left a headless squirrel on the porch..that was gross...but gross or not...i still miss the little bastid....the dogs are beautiful..this is the first time i think i have been here...i like it

1:06 PM  
Blogger Junebugg said...

Rufus does the same thing except he always brings them home alive. I got a phone call from the son one night while I was at work asking "Mom, how do I get a chipmonk out from under the refrigator?"

4:52 PM  
Blogger Carina said...

jackiesue I am glad to see you here!....in your TRUCK? Ick. I recall reading about you losing Rocky, funny how the little monsters get a piece of our hearts huh.

Junebugg, I hope the chipmunk didn't die under there, that would smell just awful.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous IoJima said...

You know how, if your dogs won't eat because they don't like it, you pick up their food and put it away? If you do the same with Elvis (dispense with the cat food), he'll eat the mice. Much tidier! You'll only have to clean up the gall bladders.
A bell will work. It took me months to realise that our littlest cat didn't hunt -- or didn't bring anything home -- because he had a bell on his collar. Took it off and he's there with the best of the rest. Having said that, hunting is natural for them and it's the law of nature. I don't rescue worms from the birds, either. :-)

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Ivypup said...

Winnie loves to go outside and loves to hunt. But she either doesn't love us or has realized we don't want her gifts of dead animals because she never brings them home. I only know she hunts because I've caught her a few times. She once pulled a bird in the house under the air conditioner in the window. We did save that one.

Matilda on the other hand realizes life is good inside. Endless food, a comfy bed to stretch out on, humans to love her and air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter. She has no desire to be outside.

I would have freaked if I woke up and steped on any dead animal. Ewwwwwww!!!!

Does Elvis wear a collar or anything? Winnie won't keep one on. She is smart and stays away from cars and humans mostly, but I'm always afraid someone is going to grab her thinking she is friendly stray.

5:37 PM  
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8:57 AM  

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