When J and I got together, we each had two cats. Mine were indoor only pussies (in both senses of the word), and she had a giant fat cat suffering from kidney disease who died shortly after I moved in, and Kokanee, a skinny gray tabby who roams the neighborhood and regularly comes home with bloody scratch marks (usually in his ears. WTF, cat?).
For about the first year I lived there, nothing untoward happened, and I rested calmly in my belief that cats bringing home “presents” was a sort of urban (or not so urban, I suppose) legend you hear about from people you don’t actually trust. Until the day I came home to find some small feathers on the front mat. Interesting, I thought- there are feathers in my entryway. I walked down the hall towards the bathroom, noticing as I went that there seemed to be a Hansel-and-Gretel type trail of feathers preceding me. So entrenched was I in my belief that we’ve bred the hunter out of cats in favor of beggars who think food comes from a crinkly bag, that I still didn’t get it, which is why I went to the bathroom like I usually do the moment I get home. It wasn’t until I went to the bedroom (who’s door we thankfully keep closed) that I noticed that the feathers seemed to have taken on a somewhat larger, more hulking shape, and OMFG, is that A MOTHERFUCKING BIRD? Yes. Killer Kokanee brought us a bird, which I suspect would have ended up on J’s pillow had the bedroom door been open.
This necessitated a panicked call to J who had the nerve to not seem perturbed by it all, leaving me the enviable task of sweeping up bird feathers and a tiny, cold carcass and depositing it in the trash. Is that where you’re supposed to put dead birds? Aren’t they technically compostable? I mean, I put fucking BACON scraps in the yard waste container, how is this BIRD any different?
Kokanee lulled me into a false sense of security by not bringing jack shit home for a couple months, which made me think he wasn’t so tough after all. HA! I thought. One little bird doesn’t mean you’re a big shot, and plus, it was probably dead already anyways. Kokanee, tired of my teasing, apparently, brought us home a mouse next.
The only problem with this mouse was that it was ALIVE. Kokanee deposited him gently on the rug under the dining table, and Mr. Mouse scurried directly into the shoe closet. I like to think of myself as not so squeamish, but I was standing on the couch, screaming at J to DO SOMETHING, and trying not to piss my pants. J eventually chased the mouse behind the stove- and we figured he’d find a way outside and that would be the end of that.
HA HA HA. When I got home from work the next day, there was Mr. Mouse, sitting on the windowsill, NEXT TO MY CAT. When I said my cat was a pussy, I wasn’t fucking kidding. There they were, Cat and Mouse, sunning themselves on the windowsill. J came home and wanted to keep the mouse, and was only dissuaded when I actually started packing a suitcase. The mouse was deposited in a nearby park, the thinking being that three blocks is really fucking far when your legs are half an inch long, even though you do have four of them.
Since then, Kokanee has really picked up his game. Rat after dead rat end up on our doorstep, in the middle of the kitchen floor, hidden behind a plant. So this morning, when I opened the door to step out for the day, I was barely surprised to find a soaking wet Kokanee and his trophy on the doorstep. The protocol from there is always the same- praise the cat, pick up the rat and pretend to EAT IT, and discretely shove it into the trash (which, again, why not the compost?? IT’S ORGANIC).
At this point, I’m just a housecoat and curlers away from crazy cat lady.