Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The secret lives of cats

University researchers have dug a little deeper into the secret lives of house cats who venture outdoors. 

Yes, cats hunt. They kill. They do risky things. I'm surprised the researchers are surprised at the types and frequency of behaviors they discovered.

We have a cat that's a prolific hunter. He was a stray living a semi-feral life when he roamed our way and stayed. A couple years ago, neighbors complimented his behavior. It seems he frequently patrolled near their house, and had a reputation as a rat catcher. You can tell by the way he walks and the look in his eye, he deems his role an important one.

The other morning, he slipped a whole bird past me when I let him in. He dropped it in the kitchen, and moved back to assess how the indoor-only cats would react to the strange arrival. The kitties seemed more confused than amused. After about 30 seconds of watching the assessment team, our hunter gave me a look that signaled, "Okay, that's enough. You can pick it up up now."

After a breakfast bowl of Iams, the hunter was asking to go out again. There's a lot of turf to roam, and there's only so many waking hours in a cat's day.

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