“A Feline’s Guide to Mouse Hunting” by Tabby Conan Feline
Not every feline knows how to catch a mouse, so those felines amongst us that have never had the privilege to devour a real mouse, this could be useful. It may also be worthwhile knowledge for our human servants helping them to understand our needs and tastes. Now and again we have to point them in the right direction. Not everything that comes from a tin is a feline’s idea of a fulfilled life. Let’s face it felines, you don’t go hunting for a tin of meat and you can’t even open it yourself. True the magical noise of the tin opener does have an effect on our feline taste buds, but we still have to wait until the opening of the tin takes place and that does draw on our nerves somewhat.
So let’s get down to the basic facts. First of all you have to go out. Mice do not slip under the door or come through the window voluntarily. For some reason they avoid us felines. The best time to find mice is in the Spring, or Autumn. In Spring they wake up and gather food and in Autumn it is harvest time and they collect their Winter provisions. For this reason you should concentrate on finding mice near the source of their food, in a field. I usually leave my home either late at night or early in the morning, depending on the weather (we felines do not like rain). Do not only rely on your sight. Our noses and ears are also to be used in the quest for a fresh mouse.
OK, just smell around until the scent of a mouse is in the nose. Nose on the ground and suddenly you will notice that the mouse is very very near. It goes without saying that we felines apply our one foot after the other sleeking walk, to avoid making any noise. Now use your sight – do not forget we are basically short sighted, so a bit of a distance is required. Somewhere in the grass your paw may detect an opening and vibrations. This being the case, you have found a mouse hole. Now feline patience is 100% required. The mouse will not commit hara karl and arise voluntarily from his place in the earth, so the long wait begins. This can be many hours. I have discovered that during the night there is no problem, but during the day my humans do tend to get somewhat excited when I disappear for long lengths of time. Time goes quickly when you are enjoying yourself.
Mice are not as intelligent as we felines and eventually they will surface. To help, it is sometimes of advantage to put your paw into the mouse hole as far as it fits. If you are lucky you will feel the mouse and he will try to escape. One way or the other the mouse will surface and now we are called to apply our feline intelligence and agility. The best method is to try and catch the mouse with your mouth. It ensures a quick demise of the mouse (it stops moving immediately and you can make off with your trophy). Some inexperienced felines find that a mouse is a plaything and like to follow it around, pawing at it when it gets tired, the disadvantage being that the mouse may gather its energy and find refuge in a place not available for cats. How often have I watched as an inexperienced feline finds its mouse, only to loose it in a garden cupboard or in our home much to the dismay of our humans. Afterwards a chase begins through the home by the humans until they may find the mouse and hunt it away. Humans are strange animals. When I first arrived here I remember catching my first mouse and showing it to them so that they realised what a professional feline I was. They threw it away making remarks such as we do not want any of your dead mice here.
To get back to the subject, I myself prefer a quick kill. After all you have spent hours waiting for the mouse, and when it eventually gets caught, it is a shame for the concentration and work involved to just let it go again. Now having your mouse, what does every self-respecting feline do with it? Basically the idea is to eat it. Cats, do you really want to spend your life living from tinned food or dehydrated food. Organic food is always the best, even the humans have discovered the advantages. So eat your mouse and enjoy it, you don’t know when the next one will arrive. And don’t forget – there are parts of a mouse that we do not eat. The tail and its appendix are not eaten by us felines. Of course, my colleague, Fluffy, that lives with us is a sort of funny feline – has curls (calls himself a Selkirk Rex). Anyhow it seems that his mum and dad never told him that a mouse tail must remain, so he eats all, although these days he only gets the mice I leave for him (he can’t go hunting any more as he probably wouldn’t find his way back – doesn’t see anything any more).
Ok, felines, that was my idea of mouse hunting. If any of you have a better method or improvements, I would be glad to hear it and would spread the word to the other felines I know.