Monday, February 26, 2007

Something I Wonder About...

(another frightening look inside my noggin)

A few days ago, when I got home from work, Lovely Wife related to me the harrowing tale of the mole she saved from our cat.

She had come home and saw Sassy out on our back patio playing with something. Depending on what kind of animal her victim is, you can hear them squealing from the rough treatment.

She would let it run or throw it, and let it try to run, and the pounce again.

Since the thing was so mobile, Lovely Wife thought it might be possible for it to survive. She went out and shooed the cat away and got the little guy, who turned out to be a mole.

There was no blood or any visible damage, though, like she told me, the thing might be brain damaged from the beating it took, so she took it out in our back yard to a spot where she could let the mole go under our fence. She hit the fence a few times to try to scare it into running farther away.

Here's what I wonder. If this mole makes it back to his family, will he be treated with awe, because they know he survived being taken away by a cat? Will he grow old and the little grandbabymoles ask him repeatedly to tell the story of being caught by a big gray cat and how he was saved by a human?

I like cats and dogs both. But the "gifts" that our cat has brought us over the years have always broken my heart. Not so much the lizards, but the baby rabbits and other cute little things she leaves on the front or back doorstep, many times crippled but still alive, kind of get to me.

I know that she's just being a cat and helping to feed the family where she lives, but I could do without cute little half-dead baby bunnies with their entrails hanging out.

Cats like to play, but even their playing is serious practice for the kill.

I learned as a kid that life can be cruel, and that nothing about life is "fair." In fact, I hate the word fair when used in the "hey, that's not fair!" sense. I remember how cruel kids can be, and I wouldn't want to relive childhood if I could. Sure there are some things I would like to go back and change, but more like surgically precise changes; not to live it over again.

But the world keeps turning and although man has created some amazing technical advances in the last few hundred years, it's still a brutal world, for both man and beast.

I guess dead and/or wounded animals left on my doorstep is part of the price of having a cat. I think she's just trying to show us some love, but I wish I could communicate with her enough to make her understand it isn't necessary.

Tom at It's Kind Of Confusing Right Now has a pretty profound post from last week called "Life Lessons From A Three-legged Dog". It's short, powerful, and says a lot of what I'd like to say here.


Brian said...

We grew up on a farm with barn cats. Learned early about life and death.

The People History said...

I never cease to wonder at all the birds, mice, rabbits, bats and all the other creatures our pets bring home for us, and they like to set them out for our appreciation when we get up in the morning half asleep and see this array of animals they think they are helping us

Babystepper said...

I remember once, as a child, when we helped the neighbor's cat (named Commie) catch a mouse. I don't know why we were helping him. He was a big mean veteren of the rodent wars, he didn't need our help. Usually we rescued animals. That poor little mouse would've gotten away, too, but we surrounded it and chased it back to the cat. As soon as the cat really got into him, he started doing what cats do, and we were horrified. I was so disgusted and ashamed. I felt like a German who turned in his Jewish neighbor in Berlin '40. I've had this soft spot for mice ever since.

Christine said...

We have so many Mexican doves in our backyard that eat the dog's food. They are so small and so beautiful, but I'll find one dead on our patio, feathers everywhere, and I just get so mad at our cat. Such is life, sad but true!

Norma said...

This is just a guess, but I suspect the mole will smell like cat and be rejected by his peers.

Travis said...

My folks' place out in the country is a rodent-free zone due to the diligence of their two cats.

But I do understand that sick feeling. Fortunately they mostly clean up after themselves now and don't leave the bodies behind.

Gette said...

We had a pair of cats named George and Gracie. When Gracie became a mommy, she started to hunt and leave the gifts. Soon after, George joined in out of competition or guilt or something. He was a little lazier than Gracie, and one time he brought us a flattened squirrel that I know for a fact had been in the street that morning. They're not dumb...