Not in the least bit. When Katie chose to adopt her friend’s cat in 1998 or so, I figured “oh, that’s nice”. No one warned me of the itchy, burning eyes. No one mentioned the endless river of snot dribbling out my nose. I never heard about the fact that cats are attracted to those who don’t want them around like some sort of living torture device.
I’m a dog person. I grew up with dogs, I can understand dogs, I can relate to dogs. In college, I studied wolves and I believed that I was a canid in a past life. However, at the time, I never acquired a dog because I never felt I was responsible enough to take care of a living creature. And that was okay because two of my roommates got dogs, and the countless hippies who migrated through my apartments had dogs as well. All was okay.
And then the cat arrived.
She sleeps on my head at night. She lies on my arms while I try to type at my computer. She takes my seat at the dinner table. She commandeers any piece of furniture that should be kept hairless and scratch-free. I wake up in the night to see her staring at me. And when she sees my eyes open, she head-butts me. Listen, cat, I’m trying to sleep, okay?
But she is cute and she’s part of the family, so what can you do, right?
Me neither until last night when our kind, gentle cat, Olive, dragged home a live bunny (for the sake of our discussion, I’m defining a bunny as a baby or immature rabbit) and proceeded to kill it before our eyes (and ears). For those keeping score at home, you’re probably saying “Rob, this isn’t news… Olive has killed bunnies before. Remember your rabbit-face buddy icon?”, and I must agree with you there. This isn’t the first time she’s killed a bunny. It’s the first time we’ve caught her in the act of doing so. And it was the first time we ever heard it. The bunny-in-life-threatening-pain sound is quite unique. Katie thought it was a bat, but it was too loud to be a bat. A piercing screech, pretty high-pitched, clearly designed as both a call for help and a warning cry in much the same way as a volunteer fire alarm calls firefighters to action and warns others that there’s danger afoot (speeding cars, firetrucks, fires, etc.).
I must say though, there was really something heart-wrenching and disturbing about hearing that little bunny scream like that. When we first heard the scream, we didn’t take note of it. We just figured it was some animal screeching outside. But when it happened again (and sounded quite close to the house), we were intrigued so we looked outside. And lo, there’s Olive with the bunny stretched out in front of her. She turned it around and it screamed again (that was the heart-wrenching, disturbing one, as we could see some interaction between predator and prey) and then she began licking its belly. Perhaps she had already ripped it open? Not sure. Then she wrapped her mouth around its face for a moment, as though she wanted to pick it up again.
I managed to snap one photo (
coming soon when I get around to downloading the photos from my camera), but Olive apparently didn’t like the Auto-Focus light shining on her during her meal and I couldn’t bare to watch any more. Needless to say, she didn’t come home last night. Probably hovering over her kill and enjoying that satisfied feeling of being full. All that was left when I left for work this morning was a foot, the head, and some intestines.