Last week, Midnight brought us a present.
After feeding him dinner, there was something next to his water bowl. What was it? A mouse? But wait–ewww–it was only half a mouse!
Wasn’t that thoughtful? Though we aren’t fond of half-eaten mice, we recognized that Midnight thought this was a grand gesture. In honor of the deceased, I wrote:
Mouse, fleet of paw,
Loved to eat weeds.
He never broke the law,
and followed seed leads.
He built a warm den,
and watched for foes
But Cat stalked, and then
Chomped tail and toes!
Now resting on a mat
Next to the back door,
Mouse is a gift from Cat
To us, the Kibble Store!
According to info on Pet First, cats don’t “do this because they are mean, vicious creatures.They do this based on instinct.”
Cats have sharp teeth, retractable claws, cushioned paws, night vision and the ability to sneak up on prey quietly. All of these qualities are adaptations which allow them to efficiently capture prey. Even after all of this time, these adaptations and instincts are still fully intact. These are instincts, they are not actions which can be taken out of them. This is who they are.
Cats are often raised by their mother who teaches them essentially how to survive on their own. Catching prey is one of the acts learned from their mother. The mother will often begin teaching them by bringing back dead prey for the kittens to eat. Then, she will bring back a harmed mammal, still alive, to teach her offspring how to kill for themselves.
Once the kittens are old enough, they will go outside with their mother to learn how to hunt on their own.
They see us, the humans, as rather inexperienced hunters. This is why they are bringing back their dead animals to us. They are trying to teach us how to hunt like they do. Sometimes, they may also be bringing you a gift so you are able to eat the good raw meat like they do.
Next time your cat brings you a dead animal as a gift, although easy to do, do not become angry. Your cat is doing what he thinks is best for you. This is essentially his way of telling you he loves and cares for you.
Awww-sweet Midnight…unless you’re a mouse!