Wednesday, August 31, 2011
When You Just Have To Kill Something
Cats are meant to kill things. Cat owners know this. We give them stuffed toy mice so little Fluffy can pretend to kill them. If our cats go outside, their owners are blessed with real mice on their doorstep, or pieces of them. Sometimes it's just a head. Sometimes a tail - it's a matter of taste.
Harley wants to kill things. Badly. But I don't allow Harley to go outside. She's little, which might make her vulnerable to predators despite her badass leather jacket and switchblade. Also, I have a large enough collection of headless rodents from the cats who do go outside. But toy mice just don't do it for Harley, not even the ones stuffed with catnip. In her heart, she knows she is made for tougher game. So she went to the basement to hunt . . . (ominous music) . . . something different.
And she found it. High on the storage shelves, standing on boxes of baby toys and Christmas ornaments, she found game so fearsome even the toughest cat might hesitate to rip into it - insulation. Pockets and pockets of it, stuffed between the floor joists along the top of the basement walls. For several weeks we've heard the plaintive meow that announces a kill as Harley comes upstairs dragging a mouthful of pink fiberglass.
I spent days cutting out squares of cardboard and fitting them over each space between the joists, covering the insulation. New hunting grounds were found, but after three or four weeks, the fiberglass kills stopped. That's when the potatoes started appearing. I keep my open bag of potatoes at the bottom of the basement stairs, where they stay cool. Harley has begun killing them. First the odd stray potato, then on a regular basis each night, carrying her potatoes upstairs and leaving her "kills" in the kitchen for me to admire each morning.
We're not talking cute little red potatoes. We're talking Idahoes, a good four inches and up, which is a hefty mouthful for a little cat. I've tried to get a picture, but Harley is a stealthy hunter, and doesn't announce her kills until she's ready to drop them on the floor. Then, you know how it is - who wants to pick up a dead potato? I can't even get her to pose with her trophy in her mouth. But she did show me how she beat one of them into submission, briefly re-enacting the death scene:
Below: a rare shot of pink fiberglass in the feral state, alongside a dead potato.