Our cat Marlowe can’t be be all that sick. After her trip to the veterinarian, I let her out in the back yard. She came in and I fed her a generous meal; then she went out again. She was back about twenty minutes later with a fair-sized brown rat, more or less unharmed. She played with it for a while but didn’t seem interested in actually eating it. Of course, she wasn’t hungry! It would lie still, then try to creep under her, then away into the grass. (I haven’t been able to mow because of rain.) She would leap onto it and carry it back into the open.
moar funny cat pictures
When she began to lose interest, of of our young boy-cats, Cloud, took over. He was fascinated but is not the experienced hunter that she is. He let it get into the undergrowth of the garden. There, the rat began to shriek its shrill war-cry and leap at him, about six inches into the air, so he backed off. The rat made a break for the fence-line. He managed to keep it from getting away but couldn’t re-capture it. So I brought out his brother Fog. Between the two of them the captured the rat again. When I saw it last, Fog was galloping away with it and Cloud was chasing. I was reminded that polo was originally played with the head of a sheep as the ball.
Later, Fog was eating something in the yard, but when he saw me he came in for some real cat food. I went out and picked up the partially eaten carcass of a rat. But it was a smaller rat than they’d been playing with! I found the larger rat later. Both went into the compost.
It may seem cruel to let the cats toy with rats but anything that keeps down the rats is OK with me. And I can’t stop them in their unsupervised hours. Rats are always with us in the city. The only reason we don’t see them in the open more often is that they are very territorial and are always at war against other tribes of rats. Where they feel safe, they are out in force during the daytime. The waterfowl enclosure at High Park used to have fat rats strolling through the bushes back when people were allowed to feed the ducks. I’m sure there are as many rats as people in the city, perhaps more. The previous neighbours have decked over their whole back yard and the rats live quite safely under the decking (true of any boardwalk at ground level). The businesses across the parking lot keep their garbage in a shed and I know Marlowe hunts the entrances to the shed.
My real fear is that the cats will eat a poisoned one and be poisoned themselves.