Feline RDP #26: Feline Navigation

Tabby

Life can be difficult when the sun hangs above in the sky. Luckily it moves now and again, but that can be exhausting as I have to change my resting places accordingly. As soon as I feel comfortable and sink into the oblivion of my sleeping life I feel the annoyance of a ray of sun on my ears, even worse on my whiskers. This means I must again move and find somewhere where the sun does not reach.

Of course I could move to the inside of my home, but that is boring. There is no action. Outside there are birds fluttering with the promise of a hunt and a reward at the end if I am successful. Unfortunately it seems that as the years go bye, the birds flutter quicker and I leap slower, but it is still fun. All a question of navigation of course.

I should really do something for my fitness. Mrs. Human is always telling me I am sleeping my life away, but as I have 9 lives (less the four I have already lost somewhere on the way) it does not bother me so much. Of course in my sleep I am everywhere. I travel back to the days when I was a god which was exciting, especially the mice  they brought to me from the corn chambers as a sacrifice of thanks for my good work.

Being a ship’s cat was great, I had it all to myself and you would be surprised how big those rats could get on board. Now and again I even caught a sea gull, although too many feathers and the beak was almost indigestible.  The best dream was as witch assistant or were we could familiars. Oh, that was fun being feared by the humans. Luckily I remained a Tabby cat at the time, the black cats got the worst of the deal.

And now I will retire to the shade on the porch. That has advantages, a bowl of water and food, what more could a feline wish for. Yes, bird and a mouse, but I can dream about that.

Feline RDP #26: Feline Navigation

Daily Feline Prompt: Interview with a Mongolian spring mouse

Interview your favorite character. Mongolian Spring Mouse “Come a little closer mouse, so that we can here all your wise words.”

“Tabby, I don’t think he is listening.”

“Of course I am listening, but I am not stupid. Two felines want to interview me. Do you think I am a fool, felines do not interview mice, they eat them.”

“Of course we won’t eat you.”

“Fluffy what are you saying, that is not the idea of this interview. Now I will take over. Perhaps you could begin by telling us your name.”

“Ok, but stay at a distance. I am Ghengis Ganbaatar Oyunchimeg, but you can call me Chingis, which is my nickname.”

“Hey Tabby, what’s his name, sounds a bit on the foreign side.”

“I heard that oh insignificant feline whisker bearer. My ancestors originate in the steps of Mongolia, I am a Mongolian Spring Mouse.”

“Is that something special?”

“Fluffy don’t ask him questions like that, he will get ideas.”

“Oh Tabby cat, of course it is special. We have the wisdom of the Mongolian tribes in our whiskers. We need no humans to serve us, the other mice worship us. We are something special.”

“Yes, well Chingis it is just that we felines do not usually worship mice, but err eat them.”

“Tabby, we don’t want to frighten him away. Of course we will not eat you – yet.”

“Oh feline spawn of the inferiority, hear me. I am a Mongolian Spring Mouse.”

“So you said.”

“And I would now put your feline abilities to the test. If you can catch me, you can have your way.”

“Tabby he speaks very posh. Do you think he is something special?”

“I don’t know Fluffy, but the only way to find out is to try a taste. I like Oriental food.”

“First of all you products of the inferior felines have to catch me.”

“Ok Chingis, or whatever, we will be fair and give you a 20 second start.”

“No problem, when you say go, I will go and you can follow.”

“Go”

“Err Tabby, where is he?”

“Forget it Fluffy, I only saw a brown streak and he was gone. Let us interview Mrs. Human about the qualities of vitamin enriched pellets for the feline diet, at least she is slow. Those Mongolian mice are a little too fast for my paws.”

“Mine too Tabby.”

Daily Feline Prompt: Interview with a Mongolian Spring Mouse

Daily Feline Post: Feline Pride

When was the last time someone told you they were proud of you?

Bobinette and the mouse

“Tabby, Fluffy, what is that photo of Bobinette doing on your pawpad Daily Feline Prompt.”

“It is all about being proud Mrs. Human and Fluffy and I cannot remember the last time when you were proud of us. We were proud of Bobinette on this action photo. Every time we bring you a token to make you proud of us, you wrinkle your nose, take a plastic bag, put your hand in it and pick up our offering and dispose of it. That is an insult to our pride.”

“No Tabby, that is not an insult to your pride, that is a human way of saying it is nothing to be proud of to kill an innocent little mouse. I can be glad the photo is not of you.”

“That wasn’t possible Mrs. Human. I have to balance the camera between Fluffy’s ears on her head before I take a photo.”

“But Tabby it was a good photo. I think the local Feline Hunting club is organising a photo exhibition for the best action photos. Do we have any?”

“I will have a look Fluffy, but I think we have one where Nera was playing with one of our meals on four paws. She looked really sweet.”

“No felines, you will not be entering any photo competitions showing dead mice.”

“She’s right Tabby.. Dead mice are to be eaten, not to be photographed.”

“That was not what I meant felines. There will be no Mouse Kill here. The last mouse you caught escaped and I spent all morning shifting the heavy cupboard until I found him.”

“That was very praiseworthy Mrs. Human, but you made a mistake.”

“Which was?”

You found the mouse, wrapped him in a cloth and let him free in the great outdoors.”

“Of course, and he ran as fast as his little sweet paws could carry him.”

“Mrs. Human, don’t get sloppy about a mouse. They form part of the balance of nature. You should be proud of our efforts to keep everything in its right place.”

I think there is something wrong with the logic of this discussion, so I decided to change the subject and fed my cats two nice dishes of vitamin pellets.

“Mrs. Human”

“Yes”

“What animal produces those pellets you keep feeding us?”

Daily Feline Post: Feline Pride

Fluffy and the Mouse

Fluffy and the mouse

Mr. Human were just finishing lunch when we looked out of the window. Fluffy was outside in the garden doing feline things, we thought.

“Fluffy have you got a mouse in your mouth?” I asked, no answer.

“Fluffy, what have you got, answer me”.

He dropped the mouse and looked in my direction.

“Mrs. Human I had a mouse in my mouth. I couldn’t answer because my mouth was full, but now I am at your disposal.”

Sometimes I have a feeling that somehow Fluffy knows what is going on, although he is blind.

“What do you intend to do with that mouse?” I asked, silly question.

“Eat it of course, Mrs. Human, but you can dispose of the tail and the end bit afterwards, that part is not so inviting for feline taste buds.”

“Meow Fluffy” and Tabby arrived. “Did you find that mouse that I caught.”

“Yes, thanks Tabby” Fluffy answered.

“No good wasting a good mouse I always say. I already ate two on my hunting trip last night and just could not manage a third. Probably too full up from the tuna fish supper I had before I went out. No good wasting a mouse meal, I thought, so I brought it home.”

“Just a minute felines” I interrupted, “we are not a restaurant for dead mice, so just leave them in the field the next time, or let them run and don’t kill them.”

“Mrs. Human, you can’t be serious” and two pair of cat’s eyes stared at me in disbelief. “Mice are the main part of our diet and you never ever waste a mouse. That stands in the book of Bast from the Egyptian corn chamber days when we were worshipped as gods.”

“You know Mrs. Human” continued Tabby. “Mice are at their best in Autumn, nicely matured. You can almost compare it to that human stuff called wine. The older the better.”

“Tabby is right” said Fluffy. “The older the better and in Autumn it is the last chance. Through the Winter you never see a mouse, but no problem. We look forward to Spring when we get the fresh mice. By the way Tabby, it was a good idea to leave it under the pampas grass. Protected it from the rain and there is nothing worse than damp fur on a mouse. Just spoils the complete flavour.”

“No problem, Fluffy. It was a pleasure.”

“Could we now perhaps change the subject” I said, “this is not so appetising.”

“No problem Mrs. Human and don’t forget to tell Mr. Human to clear the remains away. Nothing worse than having a tail and back bit of a mouse laying around. Might start to smell. Mr. Human always wraps it in paper and puts it in a plastic bag for the garbage men.”

So Mr. Human cleared the corpus delecti away, mumbling about inconsiderate cats and why can’t they eat vitamin enhanced food pellets like any other cat. I don’t think Tabby and Fluffy were impressed. They were already on their way to a sleeping session in their nice soft comfortable cushions in a draught protected warm spot in our, sorry their home.

Fluffy and the mouse

The Smell

Nera and Tabby

It was a hot day, the hottest in the Summer and Mrs. Human decided to rest on the porch with the sun shade down. She was busy on her computer and gradually did not feel so comfortable. An unpleasant scent seemed to be in the air. Her first thought was that it was probably because throughout the Summer meals had been served on the terrace and now the weather was so hot and stifling, the crumbs and residue between the paving tiles were making themselves noticeable. She also noticed that a congregation of flies had began to assemble, buzzing around as if it was the annual attraction of the year.That could not be, something must be wrong somewhere. Mrs. Human always cleaned after a meal and now and again the tiles were even washed down with the hose. So what could it be?

It was then that Mr. Human came out on the terrace.

“Mr. Human, come and sit where I am sitting and sniff around. Somethin smells, no, it just plain stinks.”

Mr. Human sat on the chair previously occupied by Mrs. Human and began to search, noticing that something in the air was not right.

“No wonder” he said, “there is a dead mouse in the corner, didn’t you see it?”

“Of course I didn’t” answered Mrs. Human. In the meanwhile the flies had decided to appoint the mouse as a prospective maternity ward.

“Tabby, Nera, Fluffy” and three cats appeared.

“What’s the fuss Mrs. Human?” asked Nera, the leader of the pack.

“Who deposited that dead mouse in the corner. It has started to decompose and stinks.”

“Of course, it is decomposing, that is a natural process of nature. Whether it stinks or not, is a matter of interpretation. It might stink for a human nose, for a cat nose, it smells appetising. Anyhow, I did not kill it, must have been Fluffy.”

“Nera, Fluffy has been blind for nine years, she might be able to smell a mouse, but certainly cannot catch one.” was Mrs. Human’s answer.

“OK, don’t get worked up Mrs. Human, then it was probably Tabby. She is the best mouse catcher here.”

“I don’t remember catching any mice” said Tabby.

“So now you have your answer Mrs. Human” said Nera “it wasn’t one of us, must have been the cat next door.”

“Nera the cat next door moved away with her family a week ago. She doesn’t live here any more. So which one was it? I warn you, your monthly ration of tuna fish depends on it.”

The three cats looked at each other and if Mrs. Human could read telepathy she would have noticed who did what.

“OK Mrs. Human, it was probably me” said Tabby “but it must have been yesterday so I just cannot remember. We felines have short term memories, carry no grudges and what has happened has happened. We just wipe it out from our memory. Anyhow one way or the other, this discussion about who did what is not going to bring the mouse back to life, make it disappear to mouse heaven or whever they go, so let’s just forget the whole thing.”

“Tabby is right” said Nera. “What is the point wasting valuable time discussing the departure of a mouse. There must be hundreds still here somewhere.”

“The point is Nera, that the mouse has been laying in the corner quietly stinking away for a day, which is not hygenic or pleasant.”

“Then clear it away Mrs. Human. We are not a waste disposal unit, we are cats. We catch the mice, assist with the reduction of vermin in the neighbourhood and all the thanks we get is a tuna fish ban. You should be thankful for our hunting instinct. Come cats, let’s go back to sleep. Again we have been disturbed by a human panic. I will never understand those humans.”

So Mrs. Human was left to a cleaning and scrubbing session on the tiles whilst Mr. Human picked up the mouse with tissue paper in an inverted plastic bag. Yes Mr. and Mrs. Human had experience in disposing of unwanted decomposing mice. The plastic bag was knotted and then placed in a larger garbage bag and Mr. Human then took the garbage bag to the container at the end of the street. The three cats were sleeping although watching the burial process with one eye. They were sure their tuna fish ration would not suffer. Humans have short memories as well.

The Giant Mouse

“I caught a mouse, it was 10 paws high
Well perhaps not quite, I will tell you why
My sister Tabby cat, she caught them all
So I decided to beat her call”
“What do I hear, you Nera cat
A mouse 10 paws high I don’t believe that”
“It is true cross my paws and hope to die
You are just jealous, it fell from the sky”
“Now Nera you know that mice live in a hole
I just don’t believe that you saw it roll
down from the heaven and fall in your paw
You are just showing off, it is just not the law”
“I saw it Tabby really I did,
it had enormous ears and a bushy eyelid”
“Fluffy you cat, what do you know about mice
You are lying for Nera, now that is not nice.”
“Oh Tabby, it’s the truth it knocked me out
When it fell from the clouds it fell on its snout”
“Nera and Fluffy, so show me this mouse
I cannot see it here, it must be as big as a house.”
“Well you see Tabby” said Nera, “it was still alive”
“Yes” said Fluffy, “it wanted to survive”
“You are making it up as my name is Tabby cat
If you ate the mouse you would be very fat”
“We did not kill it” said Nera and Fluffy
“Mrs Human took a photo, it looked very scruffy”
“Look Tabby” said Nera “here’s the picture tiptop”
“but Fluffy don’t tell Tabby it was done in photo shop
So Tabby went her way was a little bit jealous
That the other two cats were somewhat zealous
They caught such a giant mouse that fell from the sky
“I just don’t believe it, they ate catnip, were high”
But as Tabby pawed on and walked past her house
She turned her head upwards, looking for a mouse
There is no real moral, don’t believe all the facts
Especially when they come from two very sly cats.

Instructions on catching Mice by Tabby the Cat

Tabby on guard

Not every cat knows how to catch a mouse, so those cats amongst us that have never had the privilidge to devour a real mouse, this could be useful. It may also be worthwhile knowing 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 cat’s idea of a fulfilled life. Let’s face it cats, 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 tast 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 cats. 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 the best place to find mice is 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 cats don’t 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 cats apply our one foot after the other sleaking 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 cat patience is 100% required. The mouse will not commit hari kuri 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 cats and eventually they will surface. To help, it is sometimes of advantage to put your paw into the mousehole 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 cats 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 my inexperienced sister Nera finds her mouse, only to loose it in our 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 cat 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 cat 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 found that out. 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 don’t eat. The tail and its appendix are not eaten by us cats. Of course, my colleague, Fluffy, that lives with us is a sort of funny cat – 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, cats, 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 cats I know.