Friends

05 June 2016

LOST ... AND FOUND!


To date Charlie, the cat, has lost three collars and two engraved discs but he gained a couple of points for catching mice. If I had my way he would get no more points on the grounds that I don’t much care for mice in the house – dead or alive!

It’s a new venture, apparently. At least I think it is. Certainly in the three months Charlie has lived here I never saw a mouse in the house. Not too many outside either, although I did raise a couple of mouse babies a couple of years ago but not seen any since. I have blogged before about the tiny mice who came to collect ‘deliberate’ droppings of birdseed whenever I went out to feed the birds. Maybe the upheaval caused by new neighbours has deprived the mice of protection in the garden and made it easier for Charlie to catch them.

I have to praise Charlie for his actions, though. He doesn’t just kill mice; he carries them carefully through the cat flap into the side passage. From there he carries them up two steps and round the kitchen door which is currently left ajar (I am waiting for another cat flap to be fitted). Then he saunters along the hall to the lounge where he places them amongst his toys. I hasten to add that he does this one at a time. I’m not sure he could carry more than that in one go. Ah, I imagine him saying, another trophy – and I wonder if he knows it’s me that removes them. I’m quite furtive when I use the litter scoop to toss the dead creature into bag before chucking it into the refuse bin ... I would hate to upset him.

I wonder if it’s okay to put it there? It’s not something I can ask the neighbours on the grounds they might not like mice in any shape or form being binned and transported to the refuse depot. I suppose even if I could dig a hole Charlie would just un-bury the poor thing. How does one dispose of a dead mouse? And how does one stop a cat from triumphantly bringing home his prey?

His latest capture was a baby bird which did upset me. I can see I need to harden my heart as far as nature is concerned, after all Charlie is only doing what all cats do. If only he would stop offering them to me! I read somewhere that cats like to show off their so-called prizes. Well, I have praised him, repeatedly telling him he’s a clever boy, so does that mean I’m due for a few more dead gifts? Still, dead is better than alive when we’re talking about rodent house guests. Ugh!

23 comments:

Ron said...

Valerie, first, I LOVE the photographs; especially the collage. OMG...Charlie is ADORABLE! And I also love the first photograph because I can see "your" reflection in the glass window, taking the picture. That is so cool!

" Then he saunters along the hall to the lounge where he places them amongst his toys."

Yes, isn't it something how cats do that? My cats would bring bugs, mice, lizards, etc. into my bedroom and place them in a certain area so that I could see them, almost like trophies!

"Still, dead is better than alive when we’re talking about rodent house guests. Ugh! "

Yup, you're absolutely right!

Have a super Sunday, my friend!

X to you and Charlie



joeh said...

I have never had a cat, I don't particularly like them as a pet for several reasons, though I do respect them quite a bit. I did have a home a few years ago where we had the occasional rodent visitor. I would have loved the heck out of a cat like Charlie in that house.

Jay said...

Ah .. .the cat owner's dilemma! Dead mice = good, dead birds = not so good. How to teach a cat the difference? Well, basically, you can't, can you? Pity about that!

We used to get gifts from our cats. I didn't so much mind the dead mice and birds, as the live 'others'. Our first cat was a ferocious hunter who rather enjoyed bringing things back to play with. I had a bat brought into my bedroom during the night once, and my parents had a live weasel brought in and let loose under the bed! Butterflies were a favourite, and lizards, too.

Dan the Mountain Man said...

Charlie seems to be enjoying his job around the house. I have been thinking about getting a cat for my house but I am not sure if my dog would like to share me.

Denise inVA said...

Oh boy, this brings back memories of our old Ginger Tom back in the day. We used to get many such offerings which always horrified us girls. I would insist on giving them a decent burial. Charlie is a beautiful cat Valerie, and as you say is only doing what cats do.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Charlie is so beautiful...cats are absolutely fascinating, aren't they? I love observing their behavior.

Valerie said...

Ron, I was hoping nobody would notice the reflection! I agree with you, Charlie is adorable, and he looks the part. To look at him you wouldn't believe he was capable of catching and killing. I just hope I'm not given bugs or lizards. You'll hear about it if I do... whaaaa!

Valerie said...

Denise, I keep trying to think back to my other cat that I had when Jon was a small schoolboy. She lived to 18 but I can't recall ever receiving gifts from her. Perhaps she was a fussy lady!

Valerie said...

Optimistic Existentialist, I watch Charlie all the time... fascinated. I am particularly struck by the way cats use their back paws to knock hell out of their victims.

Valerie said...

Dan, I think you would be very brave to get a cat especially as you have a doting dog.

Valerie said...

Jay, a live weasel would have me in hysterics. Praying now that Charlie never comes across one!

Valerie said...

Joeh, I prefer dogs. Unfortunately at my time of life a dog wouldn't be a good proposition. They need walking and I can't do much of that. So a cat was decided on when I got to the stage of talking to myself - see, I can talk to a cat and he won't answer back... lol.

kden said...

Charlie is beautiful and I'm sure a charmer as well. My past cats, a mother and daughter lived to be 18 and 21 1/2. Our dog is 15 1/2. I do like cats better for the reason you state. I've been walking my dog for 15 years!!

Geraldine said...

Oh Charlie is SO adorable Val. Thank you for sharing these wonderful pics and the story of Charlie too. You are lucky to be sharing your world with such a fun guy!!! Mr. Cheddar says big headbonks to Charlie too. >^^<

Valerie said...

Geraldine, I thought you would like to see pictures of Charlie, but sometimes his looks defy his temperament.

Valerie said...

Kden, cats seem to live much longer than dogs... I wonder why that is?

A Cuban In London said...

Yep, nature is cruel. I have just been witnessing for the last three weeks a magpie (it has to be the same one, I swear!) attacking a cat. Yes, a magpie scaring the hell out of a cat. The cat's limping so I don't know if it's connected to the magpie's behaviour but it certainly is strange. Nature has very weird ways of dealing with its children. :-)

Greetings from London.

troutbirder said...

We yes but I'm not a big fan of free roaming cats drastically reducing our songbird populations. A bell on a collar might help....:)

Valerie said...

TB, I agree that some cats are a pain where the lovely birds are concerned. I am a bird watcher and feed the birds daily. Fortunately, Charlie doesn't seem interested. The birds come to feed while he sits back and watches, rather lazily I might add. He did have collars with bells but they only lasted a couple of days. The 'can't harm the cat' type collars pull apart as soon as he touches a twig - after three I gave up!

Mr. Shife said...

I love reading about Charlie. I'm glad he has become a welcome addition to your household, Val.

Katie Eggeman said...

I have heard that cats hunt and present the trophy to their humans because they don think we are very good hunters and want to make sure we don't starve to death.

Valerie said...

Katie, thanks for the laugh. Mind you, I am mindful of that old saying 'never a truer word was spoken' ... lol.

Jenny Woolf said...

I really don't know why birds bring their trophies in.I kind of wonder if cats developed this behaviour to convince their owners they were worth keeping, but somehow I am not convinced......
I was reading something in the paper about how people don't really like that aspect of their pet cats any more. Of course in ye olde days their mousing skills would have been more useful, although I still don't can't imagine that people would have been very keen to find dead birds and mice around the house!