Sunday, September 25, 2011

Allie's present


Many moons ago, I lived in half-acre suburbia surrounded by agricultural land reserve,  in a large house on a shallow crawl space. Every fall, the mice from the surrounding fields would seek warm winter quarters in the crawl space, occasionally migrating into the living area of the house. As long as we had a cat, mice were not a problem. When our old mouse-catching cat, Goose,  died, it was only a matter of weeks before the mice tried to take over and  we were back at the SPCA to adopt another cat - enter Allie, stage right.

Allie quickly caught on to herding errant mice, batting them about, and meowing loudly for us to come lend a hand. Even Charley got in the act, with a signature bellyflop on top of the panicky creature, squishing poor mousey and holding it in place until I could retrieve it to quickly end its misery.  On the occasions that Allie played her cat-and-mouse game while I was not home, and either she or the dogs killed the mouse, I would come home to a cat meowing loudly beside a dead rodent, proud to show me her catch.

Cats showing off their catches to their owners is nothing new - I have had cats leave dead mice on my bed, bring me injured but still alive baby bunnies, and insist that I come watch them stalk out baby birds in the bushes. But Allie takes the art of stalking, killing and presenting one step further.

Allie is an indoor only cat. She has never minded this, and it keeps her safer and healthier (and keeps those little wild critters safer, too). But she obviously misses the thrill of the chase, as we don't have mice in this house built on a slab on a village lot. 

So, a cat has to do what a cat has to do. I was sitting in the living room quietly reading a book and listening to music when I heard great leaps and thumps and meows coming from the mud room. I glanced down the hallway to see Allie flying around from the top of the wardrobe to the top of the freezer, down to the window sill and back up to the cubbyhole unit. I went back to my book, only to hear, five minutes later, her very insistent MEOW COME HERE I HAZ SUMTHIN TO SHOW YOU!

And there she was, sitting tall and proud beside her catch, her gift to me (of course she scooted off when I ran for the camera, so part of this image has to be left to your imagination):

Allie's gift

She caught me a cranefly. What a clever girl! 


Black Jack's Carol said...

Who says beauty and brains don't go together? This post proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Allie has both!

King said...

Thanks for the imagery. It brought to mind my own experience with a rottie who has nothing but moths to pounce on and catch. What a funny sight!
Keep up the good bug catching Allie.

Anonymous said...

Allie you can come to my house andy time. I'm always hunting those ( Texas moquitoes) down in the evening. I hate those things and their eratic flying.


Anonymous said...

Hey Allie, youz and me shood team up. We cood haz a feezt wif dem daddylonglegs. My Mama don't presheate my prezenz. She'z alwayz tryin' to getz to them first wif a towellll. Can I come liv wif you?

Love Finnia

Brigid said...

This made me laugh - all the more so since it echoed my Kissa last week. She's an indoor cat, but I leave her access to the garage to poke around. I was woken twice by little mumbling sounds coming along the corridor, a bump as she arrived on the bed, and then fluttering noises. First time was a crane-fly; second time was a large moth. And both were alive and very much kicking - she has a soft mouth! And she doesn't understand why I then have to get up, catch the thing, and let it out the window...

Pauley, the Mr. or the Mrs. said...

Go Allie!! Cats are so very entertaining:)