Monday, June 8, 2009

Hunters in the House

We have a dog and two cats. The older, larger cat, Scratch, is your typical black shorthair. Typical except that Scratch is a bully cat sometimes possessed by demons. We've about given up trying to keep Scratch from getting outside. This seven pound mass of fur has bested us humans in that contest of wits.

One reason we try to keep Scratch inside is because he's an excellent hunter. A natural feline trait but one that tends to upset bird & bunny lovers everywhere.
And cats as you know are not satisfied with just catching something, they have to bring it back to the lair and give it to the humans. So we occasionally find mice & shrew corpses on the front porch or back deck, lying just over the threshold where we can't miss the little gifts.

Saturday morning I'm relaxing in the living room when in struts Scratch, as only cats can strut, carrying a live chipmunk in his mouth. Lookie Lookie what I have! If this were the NFL he'd be doing the "I'm so special look at me I made a touch down happy dance". I immediately jump up to grab the cat but the cat is much quicker than I am and I can't even get within lunge-distance. And now that the cat has my attention, he wants to play. He releases the chipmunk and all hell breaks loose. Now both cats AND the dog are rocketing around the apartment after the thing. With three predators and a human after it, its only means of escape is to seek cover in small places. Boom! Thump! Meeeooow! Clang! Yowl! Bark! Crash! #$%&*!

Each time the chipmunk got cornered, Scratch would pounce, take it to an open area, and release it again. ARRGG! I need a net! After 20 minutes of Keystone Kops antics, the little thing finally ended up under the water heater in the basement. So I give up. I figure the chipmunk will eventually make a break for it, the cat will catch him, tire of playing, and I will find the trophy waiting for me somewhere out in the open. Well, I was sort of right.

Sometime overnight the chipmunk did make a break for it as Sunday morning the cat has my office area staked out. The little critter is now apparently behind my computer desk and large metal filing cabinet. Do I want to move the desk and file cabinet, knowing the little thing's just going to shoot off somewhere else as soon as I do? No. And now I'm getting mad at the cat. YOU started this, YOU finish it.

Well, the cat sat patiently in front of the filing cabinet all morning. The dog however - not so patient. Barking and whining and pawing at the floor and getting tangled in the computer cords and being a general nuisance 'til I finally banished him to the backyard. Then we had to leave. We were gone most of the day and returned to the same scene - cat STILL patiently lying in wait in front of the filing cabinet. The dog though had thankfully either given up or forgotten about it.

Another night goes by and it is now Monday. The chipmunk is now behind the dresser in the corner of the kitchen. (Yes, you read that right, I have a dresser in my kitchen.) Once again, cat is quietly, patiently lying in wait while the dog is going crazy. Dogs do not apparently understand that making a ruckus does not help lure prey out into the open.

I can deal with a chipmunk in the house. The cat will eventually tire of his catch & release game and will end it, leaving the trophy corpse out for me to find and dispose of. But in the meanwhile, the dog is making me crazy! I will have to take an active approach now ...


Kathi said... the mom to 4 cats and three dogs, I can actually watch this video in my mind. I am dying here cracking up! I hope the chipmunk gets smart and lets you grab him and toss him outside.

AlmondJoy said...

UPDATE: I strategically placed two boxes by the dresser then pulled it out. Chippy ran right into one of them. With my lightning-quick instincts (HAHA!) I was able to slap the lid down on him and release him to the wilds of the backyard.

Michele said...

Your story sounded like a rodeo in a madhouse. I'm glad it had a happy ending.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon this site trying to find a way to get a chipmunk out from behind a bathroom cabinet. My cat brought it in the house today and it was stunned but not hurt. It ran into a corner of the living room and eventually into the bathroom. I thought I had it cornered but it somehow ran into a corner and up an open hole that goes behind the cabinet and there is no way to get behind there. Any suggestions to lure it out? Get it out? Thanks. Geeeeez.