Preface: The Cat Daddy was otherwise occupied, so he had no idea any of this was going on...
Tonight I was putting the boyz to bed. As I've said before, our version of "crying it out" is lying next to the crier and comforting him to sleep (friggin' hippies, we are), so I was hunkered down on the bottom bunk next to the Littler One while he settled enough to give in to sleep.
I heard a faint kitty-growl out in the living room, indicating that Nipples had come in from outside. Then the dogs leapt up and ran down the hall, barking along the way. I hate when they do this, but both kids were far enough gone that they didn't stir much, so I didn't practice my standard-yet-ineffective-yet-somehow-still-standard yell: "Zoe! Max! KNOCK IT OFF!!!!" Following was a mild commotion, punctuated by yips, and growls, and a couple of squeaks which I was fairly certain did not come out of any of my animals. So I thought, "Oh great, the cat has caught a mouse and is having some fun with it." Yesterday he'd left a mouse head on the porch for me (as well as a mouse butt/tail, I later found out), and I have in the past had the morbidly fascinated displeasure of watching him bat around a bird in preparation for the kill--in my living room--so I was not all that surprised at the prospect of finding mouse pieces on my floor.
Well, finally the children were sleeping, so I went out to the kitchen to feed the dogs and grab a little snacky before bed. They were watching the cat with rapt attention, because you see the cat was on top of the kitchen counter with his latest kill, a small rabbit. Or baby bunny, depending how sad you want to feel about it. Not newborn, or anything--probably an adolescent or 'tween bunny. I imagine he probably mouthed off to his mom and took off to cool down or something, and normally I would say taking a walk to calm yourself is a great idea, except apparently this guy forgot to watch out for cats, cuz there he was on my counter.
Now, there's a lot I'd do for a Klondike Bar, but watching my cat bat around a dead animal weighing a full pound or more while I ate it (the ice cream, not the animal) is most definitely over the line. So I temporarily shelved the ice cream idea and grabbed some makeshift gloves (folded paper towels) and went to get the rabbit from the cat. I tried to explain, and I felt I was being very fair:
"Nipples, I'm afraid you can't have that on the counter. I can't even handle it in the house I don't think, but you can keep it if you go outside with it."
Well, Nipples was in disagreement with me, and gave me a "Leave me alone, I'm butchering a kill!!" growl. He was quite intent that I not take his prize. Being that I've never had to confront a cat in this fashion, I backed off for a moment to regroup. I went downstairs to survey a day's worth of toys scattered about the floor, where I promptly decided to leave them until sometime between tomorrow and Friday. I turned out the lights and went to head upstairs, and was fairly surprised to see Nipples flying down the stairs and over to his food dish for a quick bite, leaving the rabbit unguarded back upstairs on the counter.
Well, pin a rose on my nose, I dashed back upstairs, got my paper towels and gathered up the rabbit to take him outside. The cat, promptly remembering the stakes, sprinted back up the stairs and onto the counter, looking for his bunny, and shooting evil-eye darts at me when he realized I had bested him. Again I thought I was being, at the minimum, incredibly fair:
"Look Nipples, I've got to have some sort of standards. You just can't have this guy in the house. I'm sorry, but that's the way it is."
Well, he was still pretty irked about that, but he is one of three creatures in the house that recognize me as the boss (on a good day), and seemed resigned to my suddenly acquiring standards. I showed him where I put the bunny, and told him he was free to do with it as he wished, as long as it stayed outside.
It's funny, my college friend Fazzi (the cat's previous owner) said he never brought in any dead animals (or parts thereof) when he lived with her family...so it's as though Wyoming has opened up a whole new aspect of his personality. We would always say that Pim was a lover, not a fighter. Well, Nipples is wonderfully gentle with people, especially children, but when it comes to small animals, he is a straight-up killer. It can't possibly help the situation that we have a bird feeder in the front yard (and we've wondered aloud if that's not actually a twisted thing to do to birds, but the feeder was there before the cat and we are in fact a little twisted, so there you have it), but even if we didn't...the cat loves to hunt.
The happy ending, of course, is that I eventually did get my Klondike bar, so all's well that ends well. And now I must go pick up the remaining bunny fur bits and bleach the counter.
I like to think I can take most things in stride; even dead rabbits on the counter. But I will say this: if Nipples EVER brings me a snake, we will have words, he and I...