Camera Shy Mocha

Two nights ago, I found a dead mouse outside the kitchen door. I reckon Mocha was responsible as Ripley had spent the night in.

There was little apparent damage to the mouse and it didn’t look like it had been savaged. Merely left as a present for me to find the next time I went into the garden. I’ve no problem with cats killing vermin. That was their prime role for centuries after all.

But this morning I found a near-plucked bird on the hall landing. Again I think Mocha was the responsible one. He’s very fast – you can see that when he’s chasing toys or a laser light.

He obviously went to town on the bird. I’d heard a lot of banging from the cat flap earlier and thought he’d just had some difficulty getting in. Turns out I was right. Trying to bring a dead bird in sideways through the flap opening presented some challenges for him.

When I found the bird, the landing was covered in feathers. The bird had been laid out on a glove I’d inadvertently left lying in the landing. My cat was making a statement.

Mocha saw me picking the bird up in a plastic bag and started to go ballistic. While I put it in a box in the garage for later burial, Mocha was hunting furiously for the bird. It took him some time to calm down.

I buried the bird a couple of hours later when Mocha wasn’t around to dig it up again. As far as I could tell, it was a finch of some kind. The thick beak was a giveaway. The sad thing is that finches tend to bond to one mate and the dull colours of the feathers suggested it was a female. So somewhere a lone male was waiting for his mate. At least there wouldn’t have been a young brood that had lost its mother.

While I don’t like the fact that cats catch birds, they are natural hunters. If you can’t live with that, then you shouldn’t have a cat. I don’t agree with having domestic cats declawed as that leads to disfigurement and pain for the cat. It is not an acceptable solution. If you must own a cat and don’t want it to kill prey, then the only viable solution is to keep your cat indoors.

My cats, however, have free reign in the garden, and in neighbours gardens. That was a conscious decision I made for them, even before I got them.


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