July 31, 2008

The senseless slaughter continues...

After Crook the cat's first "present" (see Surprise #2) and his second a week later, I lamented the deaths of the poor voles to a friend. My friend, a cat fanatic, explained that the voles were gifts from my cat. He went on to explain that it's a real honour when cats present their owners with a not-quite-dead victim so that the owner can deliver the final blow. I replied that it was an "honour" that I didn't want.

Yesterday, as I was baking cookies with Jade, Crook brought a still-living bird into the kitchen. The poor thing was missing a leg, bleeding from the chest, and writhing in pain on the kitchen floor. Crook stared at me, as if waiting for me to do something. Quickly, I scooped the twitching bird up in a paper towel, took it outside, and put it out of its misery. After burying the bird in a pile of leaves, I returned to the kitchen, locked the cat in the bathroom for the rest of the afternoon, and then swept the feathers and blood from off the floor while the cat yowled and scratched at the bathroom door, wanting to be let out. Jade witnessed all of it.

I don't want my cat to be an outdoor cat. I understand and sympathize with his urge to be outside, but as much as he drives me crazy and as much as I hate cleaning his litter box, I don't want him to get eaten by one of the local coyotes or to be scooped off by an eagle. Over the years, more than a few cats from our neighbourhood have gone missing. I also don't want him doing those things that outdoor cats do - pooing in people's gardens and senselessly killing birds and small rodents, as examples.

I know, I know, there are some cat lovers who read this blog that are thinking, "but that's what cats do! His instincts tell him to hunt!" That's all well and good, but my instincts are to keep dead rodents and near-dead birds out of my kitchen. My dog has instincts that tell him to roll in bison crap. Is that something we should have encouraged?

For the rest of the week, I will be taking drastic steps to keep the cat indoors and then maybe he'll get the hint. If any doors that lead outside the house are opened, he'll either be on a cat leash or confined to the washroom first. The latter is my preference; maybe he'll learn how to use the toilet so I can stop having to clean the litter box.

If he wants to give me a gift, that would be a gift I could appreciate.


Anonymous said...

Our 2 cats love to be outside too - but they only get that privilege when they're on leashes. Cathy and I love our cats, and don't see them as coyote-lunch. For all the rationalization by some people about how they're giving their cats the best life they can, all they're doing (in the Yukon) is virtually guaranteeing that their cat has a short life with a horrifying end in the jaws of a coyote, wolf or stray dog. We also love the fact that our property is getting to be well stocked with squirrels, Arctic ground squirrels and birds - and we intend to keep doing whatever we can to keep it that way.

Meandering Michael said...

Good man, Murray.

Anonymous said...

I'm seriously jealous that your blog has managed to tap into the lucrative cat lover market. Any advice on how I might be able to get a piece of that action?

Allmycke said...

One way of making it harder for the cat to catch birds etc. and still not render him totally helpless - trim the claws on his front paws with nail cutters. You only need to take off 2-3 mm and it won't hurt. The pulp starts after more than 5 mm.
I can see why you want him as in indoor cat, what with coyotes, wolves and eagles around... Is he neutered? That should make him a lot more docile.
Also - when my cat brought in a gift, I hurled him and the rodent clear along the hallway and across the veranda.
He's never brought gifts inside the house again - but left them (dead) on the veranda our just outside.
I know it's sort of a Catch 22 - we want our pets to have the best life possible, but we would rather not stand eye-to-eye with the results of their natural instincts in our own kitchen.

Meandering Michael said...

Trudie, the cat has been surgically unenhanced.

Login, I'm sure that you can tap into a MUCH more lucrative market if you use synonyms for the word cat, especially in combination with your postings on "Auto Erotica" and "urine ponchos" and "groin and "Chest Fever" and "Post Hole" and "tools being set to grow"... Exactly what kind of site is THe Smells Like Yukon Flog anyway?

Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan said...

Did a post especially for you and your kitty situation! Hope you enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

What kind of site is the Flog? I was hoping YOU could tell ME.

We already hit a search engine jackpot with "michael pealow auto erotica," but you might be right: a few select postings combining "cat" and "auto erotica" might send a real shout-out to cat people... or maybe just cats. Come to think of it, I wonder if that's how the Capital Hotel's kitty met its end all those years ago?

Meandering Michael said...

Thanks for the post Kara!

"How the Mummified Kitty at the Capital Hotel met it's end" Another great northern mystery.