In a cat's heart, nothing says "I love you" like a dead rodent or bird on the welcome mat.
As much as the gifts of my felines makes me cringe, I have to admit--I think maybe our female cat loves me less than the boys do. This morning, Clio left the following offering on the patio: a bird head, a beak and a handful of pin feathers. She didn't leave me so much as a bite to eat. ((sniff))
Luckily, Jake, our youngest cat doesn't hunt...or at least doesn't catch anything. He is the most civilized of pussies--drooling, purring and licking fingers to demonstrate his affection.
Now, I've complained about Rocket Squirrel, but as a point in his favor, I will say this:
Most of his presents are still alive. Thus, returnable.
During the summer, Rocket often comes home after dark. Mr. Snark unwittingly throws open the patio sliding glass door without ever looking at what the damn cat has in his mouth. The pair of them are a real dynamic duo when it comes to bringing home the vermin.
Eventually, Mrs. Snark fell into the habit of shouting, "Don't let that cat inside without looking to see what he has in his mouth first!"
Over the course of one summer, Rocket carried inside ONE living mouse and TWO live rats.
Rocket plays catch and release. The second he sets foot inside, the cat opens his mouth and BOOM--the rodent runs free. Then the pussy loses interest and walks off. Bored now. But wait, this cardboard box is fascinating...
The poor mouse lasted a couple weeks, surviving by nibbling the stems of house plants to stay alive, before Mr. Snark found the half-starved thing and took it back outside.
The rats were a whole 'nother story. One eventually fell prey to the cats and was found dead within the bathroom. Imagine if you will, Mrs. Snark balanced on one foot, the other poised directly over the rat corpse, screaming at the top of her lungs. Not Pretty.
The second rat incursion resulted in an epic Rodent Hunt. Mr. and Mrs. Snark cornered the terrified creature in the downstairs bathroom and spent a solid forty-five minutes chasing it around the room, trying to corner it. Finally, Mr. Snark grabbed the rat by the tail (he wore heavy gloves), carried it outside and tossed it over the fence.
In addition, three live birds have been carried into the house, grasped tenderly by the back of the necks like kittens. Thankfully, two flew away after every window in the house had been left wide open. The third wound up being taken to an animal rescue and set the Snarks back fifty bucks.
Still, those presents were whole and intact.
There's really not much very appetizing about a bloody beak...