Portly of Omaha's Wild Kingdom

I meant to blog this earlier, but it got away from me.

In order to get the full-body experience of this post, I suggest that you click here

A couple of months ago, we were sitting in the kitchen nook with a dear friend, chatting.

A bit of back-story: There is this cat, you see.

He's not "our" cat.

Our cat is a different cat.

She looks like this:

Although I could understand how you might be confused, when you see something like this:

. . . . . . . And yes, that is a gigantic heap of catnip he's lying in -- why do you ask?

ANYway -- Mr. Black Kitty is not, as I said, "our" cat, but apparently, he has decided that we are "his" people. He ostensibly belongs to our neighbors, but he doesn't seem to spend any time there. They are rarely home, and there are two rather yappy dachshunds living there that he does not seem to enjoy, so he spends the bulk of his days at our house.

Now, it's been a while since we had a younger cat around. Our remaining kitteh is 15, with bad hips, and her version of "playing" is lazily swatting at a peacock feather -- IF she feels like it.

So I had forgotten about younger cats, I think.

Back to the kitchen nook table.

So, I'm looking over my friend's shoulder out the kitchen window when I see the hardy fuschia bush suddenly thrash about as if a hurricane-force wind has kicked up (it was a still day). The bush careens around for a about twenty seconds, and then we hear a thump on the ground below, as if something has fallen.

"What the hell was that?!" popped out of my mouth, and we went out to see what had happened.

Where we saw this, at the bottom of the bush:

My Beloved said, "I'll be he was trying to get a hummingbird in the fuschia."

We all went inside.

And looked out the kitchen window, where we saw, at the very, very tippy top of the bush -- this:

Which, of course, surprised us, so I went outside with and took a picture of this:

To give you a little scale:

Mr. Black Kitty is a voracious hunter, and he had been bagging more than his share of native songbirds recently (despite bell and collar), so my Beloved had a talk with him and told him that she was fine with him hunting rodents, but to please leave the birds alone (which he has, for the most part).

His predator fetish is so pervasive that I considered calling him either Tab Hunter or the Black Death, but my Beloved gently reminded me that I might not actually want to energize that by reinforcing his big cat fantasies every time I called his name. Smart, she.

At any rate, there was this little rodent person (we had already found parts of his/her compatriots scattered about the lawn in recent days), perched high atop the fuschia, panting frantically. I tried to lure Black Kitty into the house so that said rodent person might make its Great Escape, but BK was having none of it. He hung around under or near the bush for over an hour, and finally, rodent person, no doubt exhausted by its ordeal, actually fell asleep at the tippy top of the bush.

Giving me the opportunity to do my Marlin Perkins thing:

I seriously considered a rescue attempt, but honestly, I thought it would just freak the poor rodent person out further, so I went inside and let nature take its course.

Which it did. Later, rodent person moved further down the bush, while Black Kitty waited patiently, and a few hours later I found rodent person's remains (or one of rodent person's compatriot's remains) nearby in the yard.

I will say that Black Kitty does actually eat his kills, which is more than I can say for a few of my cats, and I'm assuming by the number of rodent carcasses (usually partial) that I've found in the yard that they probably needed some population control. I'm still not exactly sure what kind of a rodent it is. At first, I suspected that it was a baby Norwegian rat, but now I'm not so certain.

Thought I'd share the adventure.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 9:46 PM  


Bob said... November 30, 2008 at 6:31 AM  

Oh, yes, clicking on the soundtrack was perfecto.

Nature will take its course.

Good pics of the Rodent Person.

pidomon said... November 30, 2008 at 7:26 AM  

a cats got to do what a cats gots to do.

Anonymous said... November 30, 2008 at 9:15 AM  

I believe your rodent person is the species Rattus Rattus, variously called Roof rat or Ship rat. They are not Norway rats (distinguished by their much larger ears and much longer tail). They apparently hail from India, have colonized the entire gloge. They are excellent climbers, and are often refered to as "arboreal" because they like to nest above-ground, whereas the Norway rat tends to burrow.

At least, this is what I discovered from your picture.



kcd said... November 30, 2008 at 3:12 PM  

PD dolling,

i damn near peed my pants when i clicked on the Wild Kingdom music.

thanks for the entertainment. i hate predation but i would rather have cats than rodents. and when i'm mad at my cats, i do call them "the rodentiae."



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