|"oh... not real"
|"What's with the camera?"
|"Really, mom, this isn't funny?"
Twice this week I have found Ghost (Yes, Ghost! the last one of our cats I would expect) with a live lizard in her mouth! Don't know how the little critters get inside the house, but they need to know that coming inside THIS house with our 4 cats is like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. I've rescued some, but most have already been 'played with to death'. They don't eat them. Heavens! That's a bit too gross for our well brought up kitties (they don't eat bugs either), but playing with them until they are no longer fun is not below their standards. I know it to be their feline instincts and can't condemn them for it... but still.
The first time I saw Ghost acting strange... I looked at her more closely and she had 2 legs and a tail hanging out of her mouth. I startled, then said, "Ghost! what have you got there?" She released it and a good sized lizard (not the tiny gecko ones) ran along the floor a few inches before she grabbed it again.
You know, it's odd, but I've watched the outside ferals doing this... and there seems to be some type of honor code among them that the others (while fascinated) don't try to take the owner's prize. They watch... possibly waiting for the stalker to tire and give it up... but they don't jump in and try to take it. I find this interesting.
I did watch once when three outside ferals were surrounding a lizard in the backyard. These cats were not kittens, but not grown either (maybe 8-10 months). DH and I had seen these 3 hunt together before. We called them the 3 Velociraptors - working together, but not catching much. But I wish we had gotten this particular episode recorded.
The 3 had circled the lizard who kept backing up and trying to keep them in front of him. Then one cat would stretch out his paw and hit the lizard's tail and the lizard would spin around with his mouth open... and the cat would jump back. But the funny part came (and this could have possibly got us on World's funniest videos) when one did this and the lizard spun around and jumped at the cat latching onto the cat's mouth... who panicked and started swinging his head from side to side trying to dislodge him. The other cats all ran away. (I guess this is the advantage of taking the offensive...)
DH and I (as well as our kids and grandkids) have been entertained for years with the wildlife in our backyard. We have learned how different species co-habitat - raccoons, feral cats, and possums all eating together or lying under a fan on a blistering summer day. We once saw a rabbit and a tree rat that were friends and would lay side by side in the sun every afternoon (we were having our kitchen remodeled that summer and the workers were astounded to watch these two). We have seen things that make us smile (like a big ol' Tomcat letting a young kitten sneak under him and eat his food), and seen things that made us cry (like not too long ago when a coyote jumped over the fence and snatched up a young cat right in front of us.) But it is nature's way and we try to understand this as best we can.
But back to Ghost and her new found achievement. We took Ghost inside when she was about 5-6 weeks old. Her feral mama and siblings would take off like the wind when we opened the back door... but Ghost would just sit there. We knew that something was wrong and that if we didn't take her in, she's never make it as an outside cat. The Vet didn't think she'd make it inside either... gave her maybe a year... suspected mental probs, diabetes, and genetic kidney disease. I still think her sight is affected and her agility is not great, but she has done well and is now going on 10. I'm probably making too much of her lizard catching, but I think this is a great accomplishment for her. So forgive me if I boast...