Pumpkin Soup

a weblog with an allotment attached

10 July 2008

Tiger in the grass

On Tuesday night we treated ourselves to takeaway curry. I had managed to scrape the car not once, but twice (one for each side, lovely!) and as a result I was in no mood for healthy food. While enjoying our Murgh e shorisha we watched this. We saw this series before a few months ago, but tigers are always worth a second look, especially when there are four cute cubs to coo over and nothing else on the telly.

David Attenborough was doing that calm, breathy voiceover thing, “The big, powerful tiger with the very sharp claws and teeth is going to kill and eat one of those very tasty-looking deer.” Or something like that. We watched as she stalked her prey through the grass, getting closer, concentrating, focussed. She made her move – looking ferocious and powerful – but was unsuccesful, leaving her frustrated and hungry. As Uncle Dave said, “Most hunts end in disappointment.”

I suspect the deer don’t find it so disappointing.

Anyhow, as we were comiserating with the beautiful tiger, I spotted out of the window that our own little tiger was coming into the house. And she had something in her mouth. Evidently, for once, she had been more successful than her big cousin.

One of the wonderful things about our little cat (and there are many wonderful things about her, I just generally don’t go on about them here) is that she is absolutely terrible at hunting. She has the world’s shortest attention span. She can be mesmerised by moths and flies for all of, oh, five seconds and then she drifts off. You can practically see her eyes glaze over. It’s not all her fault. We got her when she was 8 weeks old, having been born at the RSPCA because her mum was attacked by a dog when pregnant. Anyway, she was too young to have learned from mum how to hunt and although we played with her we did not teach her the appropriate skills. But this suits us because it means we do not have to deal with her bringing home half dead shrews and mice to play with.

Tuesday evening was, then, a big event for our little cat. Seeing her come in, we immediately got up from our dinner and the telly because we knew we would have to take action if we didn’t want to play ‘hunt the mouse’ under the kitchen cupboards ourselves. When she saw us, she proudly presented us with two blobs – most definitely not mice. Very odd. Closer inspection revealed two very newly-hatched chicks (blackbird, I think, having done a little research), stunned, badly injured, but still alive. Horrible. We evicted the cat from the kitchen and then despatched the chicks as quickly and humanely as we could (no, I do not want to go into details). We spent the rest of the evening being glared and meowed at while feeling a bit queasy.

I think I can safely say that all that ‘red in tooth and claw’ stuff is so much more civilised when it comes with a David Attenborough voiceover.

Filed under: Wildlife — Clare @ 7:06 pm


4 responses

  1. easygardener

    That’s the downside of cats, I’ve got three. They are getting on a bit now so we get slightly fewer dead things.
    I’ve had a live rabbit and a dead squirrel brought through the cat flap so a mouse is quite a relief. Birds are particularly sad.

    (10.07.08 @ 8:28 pm)

  2. Nancy Bond

    Our big boy is an inside only cat, and I’m grateful for that because he loves nothing better than to watch the birds from our balcony! I’m sure he’d have more than one mouthful of feathers if he were left to his own sneaky devices. Poor birdies. Ah well, she was just doing what comes naturally. :(

    (10.07.08 @ 8:54 pm)

  3. deb

    Our late cat, athena, caught a dove and brought it in the kitchen. It promplty shed a ton of feathers and had to be taken to a wildlife rehab facility. Durn cat.

    (11.07.08 @ 4:07 am)

  4. Clare

    Hi all! Thanks for your comments. I know it’s just a natural cat thing, but I’m just not very good with killing things full stop. I’d never make a farmer!

    (11.07.08 @ 10:57 am)

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