Monday, October 1, 2007

The Mighty Hunters

Walked out the back door Sunday and saw that the girls had something cornered. It was a huge lady praying mantis. I reached down and picked her up by the thorax. She was moving slowly, but she tried to grab me with her serrated forelegs. I popped her into the bug box to make sure she had a chance to recover (and in hope of some photo ops -- I'm not totally altruistic where bugs are concerned.) This morning, as I was eating my oatmeal and Kitsu was nibbling on her canned cat food, I heard the cat door creak open, then kitty scrambling and some unknown creature squawking.

Kitsu and I rushed down the stairs to see what Sachi had caught. Don't tell the Engineer, but Sachi had her prey in his office. Kitsu leaped into the fray and the prey ran out from behind the sofa.

It was a squirrel! Big game!

"Oh crap, those things bite like heck," I muttered as I went to get a towel.

I'm going to have to keep a close eye on both the cats for the next couple of weeks, because squirrel bites have a nasty tendency to abscess.

The best bet to catch a rodent is to wait until the cats get it cornered then drop a towel over it. I am an old pro at this. I even caught a 'possum using this methodology once, but that's another story for another time.

Sachi ran around one end of the sofa and Kitsu went over the top. The squirrel bolted out the other side and ran into the rec room with all three of us hot on its tail.

I thought I had it in the corner, but tripped over Kitsu and it scuttled into the heap of furniture in the middle of the room. I said some very unladylike things. Both of the cats dove into the heap. All the critters scrambled under the piled furniture as I danced around the periphery with my towel.

Then a stroke of luck, the squirrel ran into a rolled up exercise mat and a cat staked out each end. I moved enough stuff to get at the mat and climbed into the field of combat.

Squashing Sachi's end of the rolled mat, I got a good grip on it then tipped it up with Kitsu's end tight to the floor. I slowly and firmly squashed the bottom end flat, then stood up with my squirrel burrito gripped tightly at both ends. The cats, thinking their prey had escaped, dived under the furniture in search of squirrel blood as I carried the trapped tree rat in its mat up the stairs.

The squirrel was so scared that it didn't start cussing until it was well up a tree and safe from my evil clutches. It was about a half an hour before the cats gave up the basement search.

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