The Apprentice Hunter

Much as I love watching Not Cat exploring the garden and climbing the trees, I am increasingly aware that this is all preparation for successful hunting. He has at least two hides now where he can crouch concealed among leaves to watch for birds. He alerts me to the presence of the wrens and blue tits by his obvious interest. The blackbirds alert me to his whereabouts. He’s fast and light and determined. A friend with two killer cats reckons he is studying. I do hope she’s wrong. I never saw Cat catch a bird. He was interested, and would sit hopefully for hours beneath the bluetits’ nests, which is how we knew where they were, but I only saw him catch mice and moths.

If Not Cat is a successful hunter, it’s going to be a problem next spring. The last thing I want is for him to decimate the local bird population. For the moment though, I can enjoy his acrobatics and just hope his bell proves an effective warning.

18 thoughts on “The Apprentice Hunter

  1. Love the photos. When we lived in Boston, our cat, Atticus, would spend time on the deck which was on the second floor. So I didn’t worry about Att hunting. But one day a little bird taunted him on the deck and I was amazed that Atticus was able to get him. I was devastated. I know it is in their nature and is part of nature, but I don’t want my house cat to become a killer. I don’t know if he will have too many opportunities here since our deck is much smaller. We’ll see this summer.

    • And, no doubt influenced by To Kill a Mockingbird, I had imagined Atticus as a cat with gravitas and respect for fellow animals. Ah well! How far is he roaming in London? Is your deck what I wold call a balcony?

      • I guess Atticus can’t fight nature and his instincts. I wrongly assumed that if he was named after a noble character in fiction that he would be able to resist these urges. He has access to our deck, or I think what you would call a balcony. We can fit a couple of chairs and some plants out there. Both Atticus and Miles like sitting out there with us. I’m looking forward to spring so I can have some flowers.

        • You can start planning now and getting your daffodil and hyacinth bulbs ready. Or even nicer, how about a bowl of snowdrops, then you’ll know that winter’s days are numbered!
          Not Cat isn’t named (I mean his real name after anyone in particular) but now I come to think of it, one of his names – he has four, it seemed only fair; Cat’s full and real name was Freddy the Gorgeous Boy – might have a killer/hunting connection. Damn!

  2. lahgitana cracks me up! You are going to need a cow bell for that little ginga hunter! NotCat has a very expressive face and you can just see those kitty brain cells firing. Isobel thank you so much for your visits to my blog and leaving kind words about CH. He is definitely on the mend today! And I am typing as fast as my fingers will let me to get caught up 🙂

  3. The two killer cats referred to are wearing huge bells, two each, but it doesn’t stop them. Not Cat’s bell is quite loud, but of course only works when he’s moving. It’s when he’s silent and still in one of his places of concealment that’s going to be the problem. The bell may ring as he pounces, but by then it’s probably too late.

  4. Maybe you’re going to need the Cat bib!

    Mackenzie wears his bell but it appears to have little impact, sadly 😦

    I do think that they have hunting ‘genes’ switched on in some way because, although Bertha is interested in the birds, she’s not successful in catching them. I think she’s not as interested as Mackenzie.

    • Ah yes, the bib. Thanks for the reminder. I think if they are in the right position to spring, then the bell sounds its warning too late. My friend was told to put two bells on her cats who kill everything short of foxes, as in theory they can silence one by timing their stride, but not two. Her two killers also work in tandem. Do booth your cats hunt your feet? Cat never bothered with mine – well maybe once – but Not Cat causes me t sleep curled up in a ball!

      • My toes are not hunted in bed but Mackenzie is a monster in the morning and tries to bite my toes as I stumble to the bathroom and I often have to stand on one leg to take the chased foot out of his reach. It only happens in the morning.

        Bertha is far too ladylike to indulge in such behaviour 😀

  5. The difficulty with us, cat and animal life loving people, is cats are wild carnivore animals. Some of us have them as pets but they have been and still are in most occasion around the world, working animals for their owners (farmers, etc.). They have hunting in the genes!
    We have to come to terms with this reality over and over again and, to me, it is not easy at all.

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