Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mr. Stinky Breath

In the past I had the habit of leaving the cat-port open all night. My mousers have a duty to perform and it is best performed late at night when their prey are moving about. Trouble is they too frequently bring their victims into the safety of home. Whenever I can, I take their toys away and toss them into a bucket and the next morning bury them in the vegetable garden. 

You probably recall the story of how the Pilgrims that settled in New Plymouth, Massachusetts nearly starved to death due to the infertility of the very sandy soil they were attempting to cultivate. They were starving, that is, until the natives taught them how to fertilize the soil by using fish, which they had in abundance. Fish are high in protein and protein has an abundance of nitrogen, and potassium and their bones are high in phosphorous, and calcium, and upon rotting the fish become a very nearly balanced fertilizer. As there is a shortage of fish in the desert, I’ve learned to use the rodents my cats bring me. With a foundation bar, I drill a hole near the roots of a chard plant, lift a rodent out of the bucket by the tail, insert it nose first into the hole and using the foundation bar, gently tamp in in place. I’ve found I can deposit three small mice or one good size rat in each hole. It’s best to leave the tail of the last one hanging out slightly so you don’t accidentally over-fertilize that particular spot.

One of my cats, Legs, likes the hunt and early in mid morning knocks off to come into my bedroom to “report”. He’s a big tough, blond, male tabby who loves his man. He likes to sit near my head late at night and purr into my ear and breath into my nose. Late one night he was doing so, with his cold nose so close it would occasionally touch mine. I had noticed in the past a peculiar scent about him at those times but never put it all together…I was after all half asleep…when I found myself overly disturbed by that awful musky scent that he was breathing into my nostrils. When, finally, it dawned on me…what I was smelling…was the scent of…rat blood. I must say, was so very good of him to report to me, in his pure animal-cat way, the success of his hunt.

1 comment:

  1. Many years ago, my then-husband and I were sort of 'homesteading' in the mountains of West Virginia. Our cat Weaver would bring us the results of her nocturnal hunting. Once she brought us a greater-than-usual gift: the mouse was alive. I believe her intention was for us to either play with it or learn to hunt for ourselves.

    When she let the mouse go in our bedroom, it immediately ran into the dark safety of the double sleeping bag we used. There ensued an explosion of naked humans running about, a sleeping bag inverted, and a severely frightened mouse who was captured and set outdoors. All of it witnessed by a thoroughly disgusted cat.

    We were never favored with a live gift again.

    (graycie198 at okc)