My Cats Presents of Love

Posted on October 21, 2010

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I’m told that people are either cat people or dog people, meaning they have a preference for one over the other.  Generally dog people don’t like cats and vice versa but for me this rule does not hold true.   I have 2 cats and 1 dog and I love them all.  I do have a slight favourite but that’s more to do with their personalities and that changes depending on whether my dog has decided to excavate my garden and then comfort himself all over my sofa or one of the cats has decided to go puddle splashing before leaving his artistic presence all over my cream carpet.

Having pets has always been a part of my life and although there are times when I scream “not over my clean floor” or “stop humping the sofa” I love having them around.  They show unconditional love and are great companions.  It’s like if I’m a bit sad or down, my dog always seems to know and he’ll push his big wet nose under my arms and just rest his head on his knees, it always makes me smile.  When I’m sitting on the sofa in the evening the cats will often come in and just snuggle up for a cuddle.  Yugi, my cat will always jump up on the arm of the chair and head butt you to say “Hi” before settling down and I would really miss this if they weren’t around.

However Yugi, my little charmer has another wonderful way of showing me his love, and every so often I’m graced with what I’m told is a ‘Present of Love’.   A present in the form of a dead animal, sometimes they aren’t so dead but I think that’s because he now has no teeth and it’s getting harder for him but generally it’s a half mutilated corpse of a bird or mouse, I’ve even had a squirrel, a grass snake and the half end remains of a rat. 

It does make me really sad after the initial shock and disgust of finding the half eaten remains outside my bedroom door but I have had so many that now when I try to bury them in the garden (the presents not the cat) that I end up digging up a small skeleton and have to find another patch to bury them in, maybe I should be digging deeper or maybe there’s something more that I can do to stop this from happening.

I’ve heard it said so often that cats will bring home ‘gifts’ and I say that word loosely, I guess if its unwanted and given its still a gift but anyhow, I’ve heard that these are a sign of affection and love, a way of sharing but I’m really not sold on this theory.  I’m thinking it’s more to do with the fact that this is his home and where he eats, so that’s why he’s bringing them in.  My other cat, Casper doesn’t do it but then he is slightly grumpy and he looks like a heavily pregnant horse so maybe Yugi doesn’t get enough food and it’s his way of showing me (seriously though, if you see my cats, they are big tom cats, they aren’t starving).  So firstly I researched the reasoning behind why he keeps bringing them in and leaving them outside my door or in my son’s room. 

I found a useful website http://www.perfectpaws.com/help3.html which for anyone with a cat or considering getting a cat, they really should read as it has some very interesting articles.   This site explained to me that:

“The mother cat teaches her kittens to kill to eat. Her first lesson consists of bringing home dead prey and consuming it in front of the kittens. Soon they learn to join in. At the end of this stage, she brings the dead prey home and leaves it for the kittens to eat on their own. Cats will not only do this for their own litter, but for another cat’s kittens as well. Many cats (especially spayed females) will provide this lesson to their human owners. Thus, bringing home dead prey and dropping it at our feet.”

Maybe, but my cat is not a female and does not drop it at my feet, is that because I’m not around at the time?

Further searching led me to a wonderful cat blog, I thoroughly recommend this site, it is fantastic http://www.wayofcats.com/blog/the-gift-giver/275 and one particular post is the theme around why cats bring home these gifts:

“Mother cats bring prey to their kittens. Cats in colonies have been observed sharing prey with their kin, or even their friends. Lions in prides share their kills. So it’s a recognition of how much the cat values us, and how good our cat is at taking care of their friends.”

So after searching and reading countless amounts of books and articles on this subject I have come to the following conclusions:

  • It’s far too cold outside and he’d rather bring it into the warm, who can blame him, I’ve got the heating on full blast and permanently covered up in clothing suitable for Eskimos
  • Yugi is trying to teach me that I am completely useless at catching animals and this is how I should do it.  Believe me that is never going to work no matter how hard he tries.
  • Yugi loves us so much that he likes to show us just how much he loves us, I mean who doesn’t love cleaning up bits of animals at 5am in the morning.
  • He’s fussy and decided that he would rather eat vermin off the street than the not so delicious selection of biscuits and tinned food that I offer him.

What I realised is that as annoying as it may be and frustrating that I have a cream carpet, it’s pretty much a natural instinct for him and something that I may not be able to stop but I’m going to try and discourage him from leaving them in the house.   After a discussion at the pet shop, I bought him a collar with a bell, if they can hear him then there’s a pretty good chance that he’s going to have problems bringing them in the house.  This only works whilst he’s got his collar on, Yugi is the Harry Houdini of cats, after 5 minutes with a collar on, I can guarantee he’ll come back without it.  Apart from stapling it to his neck, I’m not sure how I can get one that will stay on long enough, maybe I should invent one that sits like a harness?  I have actually realised it would be more economical for me to start my own cat collar business.

My next option hit me smack in the face, after the dog had pulled the cat flap off the door for the 100th time, that’s another story but my dog likes to sit with his head poking out of the cat flap, unfortunately more times than not when he pulls his head out he takes the cat flap with him.

It has a 4 way locking mechanism, so I’ve tried having both cats in at night and locking the cat flap.  This so far has worked, I mean it’s only been a few days but so far no presents inside the house, let’s see how it goes from here on.  I know it’s not going to stop the problem if I forget to lock it one night but maybe by that time he’ll have forgotten and in the interim my carpet and my nerves are saved.

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