Posted by: Hannah | 09/13/2016

Mad Max: Fury Road

I have a cat. A fluffy fuzzy insouciant beast who likes to fancy himself a street thug when he’s not curled up on soft blankets in the house. A long-haired squeaky-voiced sharp-clawed tiny tiger who isn’t above sneaking into the nap room so he can cuddle with sleeping toddlers.

He’s everything people love – and hate – about cats. Yes, he sleeps curled up on my feet like a weaponized hot water bottle, but he also cries piteously when he’s eaten a hole in the middle of his otherwise full food fish because OMG CAN SEE THE BOWL THAT MEANS I WILL STARVE IT IS THE END TIMES.

He’s also a murderer.

Now, spare me your lectures please about outdoor cats and songbirds. His kill ratio is easily 20:1 rodents to birds. Maybe even higher. I live next door to a restaurant. He’s welcome to eliminate as many rats, mice, and the like as he can catch. I’m fine with that, although I do wish he’d stop bringing me his leftovers after he’s eaten the choicest morsels (apparently brains and entrails are delicious, while noses, whiskers, feet and tails are garbage).

He’s especially vicious in the summer months, and before I take the kids outside to play on the deck I always take a quick peek to make sure there isn’t a biology lesson next to the Cozy Coupe.

The other day, I forgot. I sent George and Charlie out to the backyard and was pouring myself a cup of tea to take out with me. I heard them clattering down the steps to the yard, and then George started to yell.

“Stop, Charlie! Don’t go there! Don’t touch it! I have to tell Mom!… MOOOOOM!! Mom! WE HAVE A LARGE CORPSE PROBLEM OUT HERE!”

I looked wistfully at my perfect cup of tea and grabbed a paper towel. I figured it would be another mouse. Maybe a vole.

I had not figured on a full-grown hare.

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Cute, isn’t he? Let me tell you, when his ears are lying neatly on the ground next to him and half of his face is missing, he’s not so adorable. It was so gross. Most of it was intact, but I stared at it in horror for a few seconds before turning my attention to my pitiful single square of paper towel, realization dawning that I, like Quint, was gonna need a bigger boat.

I sternly admonished George and Charlie to stay well back. I ran into the house and wondered, not for the first time, why I don’t seem to own rubber gloves. I grabbed two grocery bags and hustled back outside.

The boys were surprisingly unfazed by Thumper’s demise. I guess, being pampered children of the post-2010 era, that they’ve never been traumatized by a viewing of Bambi. They were leaning over the stair railing to get a better look, and talking in animated tones about all the blood, and the bones all sticking out, and whether Max had broken its neck first or just bitten it until it DIED, like a zombie.

Small children are all sociopaths, I’m convinced.

I pulled one grocery bag over my hand and opened the other one. I looked around just in case there was an adult nearby who could handle it for me. There was not. I took a deep breath and waded in. I picked up the ears first, and tossed them in the bag. (Those are the EARS, I guess Max doesn’t like to eat those from behind me). I gritted my teeth, grabbed the poor thing’s hind legs, and managed to stuff it in the grocery bag. I carried it to the large green bin, held out in front of me as far as my short arms would reach in exactly the way you would carry a headless fucking rabbit in a plastic bag, and upended it while looking in the other direction.

It was an eventful few minutes, is what I’m saying.

Listening to Charlie and George tell all the parent clients about our Exciting Adventure was something else, too. They were all kind of horrified that there had been a dead rabbit in the yard. They were all impressed at Max’s hunting prowess – he’s not that big, and this was a full-grown hare. They all had the same look of disquiet as the preschoolers shared all the gory details of what they’d seen.

That night, as I was drifting off to sleep, Max jumped up on the bed like always. I had a stern chat with him about not murdering bunnies, when there are so many other gross nasty disease-carrying alternatives to satisfy his bloodlust. He blinked at me, flexed his claws just enough to hurt my feet a little bit, and basically said he’d do what he liked, thanks.

So there you have it. If I ever get another cat, I’ll be keeping her indoors right from the get-go. I’m getting too old and squeamish to deal with disposing of the bodies after my in-house serial killer goes on a spree.

 

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Responses

  1. Back when Oldest was about 2, one of our cats (Opie) killed a mouse and left it in the middle of the patio. Oldest loves animals so I was concerned that he’d be upset at the idea of our lovely cat brutally killing a cute little mouse. So when we came outside and saw the mouse and he said “A dead mouse!” in a tone of sadness, I began to say “yes, sometimes things just get old and die” or similar when he said with blood lust in his voice “I bet Opie pounced on it!!” He was so thrilled. It was a bit disturbing.

    Oldest experienced a whole host of nasty rodent deaths via our cats including dead squirrels, moles, mice, and rats. Good god it was gross. Then all of our indoor/outdoor cats died and we got two nice indoor only cats. I haven’t seen a mutilated rodent in 9 years, Youngest has never seen one, and I don’t miss it at all. The end.

  2. Yikes. Feeling thankful that my two are indoor only. 🙂

  3. Ewwwww! Although, I laughed because “Those are the EARS, I guess Max doesn’t like to eat those” – so perfectly matter of fact. Barkley has never taken down a hare and to be honest, I’m a bit in awe of Max. I mean, those things are fast. Barkley has, on the other hand, somehow caught birds. And squirrels. And he ate a mouse whole because I had to pull a tail out of his butt. But usually I cry too hard to have to deal with corpses – either R does or I’ve been tempted to go get the redneck guys across the street to deal with it. It hasn’t come down to that level of desperation…yet. Also I don’t have a dayhome so I don’t have to worry about little ones and dead animals!

  4. “We have a large corpse problem out here!” <– I laughed out loud.
    That is hilarious and terrifying at once, because well, how large?!?

    AACK!

    Cats, man. Are they all so … umm … murdery?

  5. My Paige-cat only has one front leg, which makes murdering rather tricky, but she’s the first outdoor cat I’ve ever met who doesn’t bring in dead things. It’s so gross! You have not lived until you have stepped on a rabbit stomach in your bare feet in the kitchen at 6am.

  6. Keys, hunter-in-chief of Dawlish Ave and Lake Huron, operated on much the same policy. We found everything from headless birds to headless rabbits (he did eat the ears) waiting for us in the garden, and long ago decided we preferred the dead offerings to his gifts of live chipminks in the house.

    It was with great relief that I watched his successor gnawing the rosehips in the back garden the other day, oblivious to the baby bird on the fence. I’ve had enough impromptu burials of woodland creatures to last a lifetime.

  7. […] and the cats started play-fighting because it’s winter and Mad Max is getting […]


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