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Ostomy Memories of the Dead Rabbit


ONE OF THE JOYS of when we lived in the boondocks: It's 2:20 AM and I am awakened by a crunching sound not far from the bed. My wife raises her head too. It is a contest of will. I get up to check, grab a flashlight, and discover – argh – the dog is chewing on a dead rabbit. I shoo her away, pulling a leg bone from her teeth.
One of the cats has contributed to the larder with a half-grown wild jack rabbit, now with its innards exposed next to the recliner. I hunt for a pair of gloves.
This is a common occurrence when one lives where wild animals and rodents are out and about. Our cats catch rabbits, chipmunks, mice and birds all the time. Sometimes they devour the catch outside. Sometimes they bring them inside as if it is their offering to the family food supply. We catch cans of cat food for them, after all. It's only fair.
One fascinating aspect to the process is how loving the cats are in their domestic incarnation. Our Alpha cat, Fancy Pants, is the most loving cat we've ever had. She enjoys getting petted; she also enjoys returning the affection. Yet, outside she will run down and dispatch a chipmunk like a cheetah on a springbok.
I have no guilt about depriving the dog of her chance for a delicacy. After all, this is an animal that enjoys eating cat poop and puke. Surely the food that we provide is superior. Who knows, though. Now that I think about it, I prefer pizza to filet mignon. There is no accounting for taste.

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Hunting comes naturally to them, while it is bred into some like the Jack Russell. It will go after foxes no matter what the danger. The fox's lair is easy to enter but the exit is at an incline and the Jack Russell can sometimes fail to climb it. Sorry, but most cat and dog foods seriously lack nutrients and are in no way superior to what your cat was feasting on. The good ones cost about $12 for a 13oz. canister and even they would not be superior to what it was eating. When they make a catch in the wild the first thing they eat is the stomach, that is where the nutrients are, some people who make their pet foods at home add tripe to it and serve fish regularly.


Thanks for the tip.  That's probably exactly what my cat was trying to tell me when I fed her this morning.


Hello HenryM.
Thank you for yet another trip into my memory bank and an era when we had two Jack Russell terriers and two Siamese cats living with us.
One early morning I came down to the kitchen to find more than twenty carcass ‘presents' for us on the floor – all from one enthusiastic cat. Who seemed to know that were half-starved at the time!
Needless to say I tried to capture the concept in rhyme so here is my rendition:
Best wishes


This is a tale of my past cats
and their skills at killing rats.
Or I should say that there was one,
could show them all how it was done.

She was a slinky Siamese
that dispatched the rats with ease.
At killing rats she was top-notch
an awe inspiring thing to watch.

I used to rat with dogs for years
breaking into rat frontiers.
The dogs would seem to have great fun
as they put the rats to run.

They'd catch the rat by neck or back
and shake it ‘till it's bones would crack.
They'd make sure that rats were dead
but meanwhile many more had fled.

One fine day without a fuss
this cat just came along with us.
The dogs and I, we didn't care
that the cat was simply there.

So off we went to rat that day
both dogs and cat were out to play.
To put this game in it's context
we did not know what would come next.

The dogs did what they'd always done,
they caught a rat and had some fun.
But every time we found a nest
each dog got one, she killed the rest.

She was so fast and had the skill
as rats passed by she made the kill.
I never fathomed reasons why
every single rat would die.

We marvelled at the skills portrayed,
that cat was master at her trade.
Each day we ratted after that
we'd take along this skilful cat.

Just before we started out
I would whistle or I'd shout.
She would appear as if she knew
what we were about to do.

                                    B. Withers 2013
( In: ‘Unfashionable rhyming verse' 2014)


love it!


Hi Henry,  The family cat we had when I was growing up was one tough little guy.  He was fed regular cat food when we were at home in the city, but I'm sure he supplemented it with whatever he could catch out and about in our neighbourhood.  Once we were on the island, my dad fed him clams, oysters (his favourite) and salmon.  He would also catch squirrels and chipmunks and even the odd bird.  We knew this because he would always bring his trophies home and leave them on the porch right in front of the door.  The most common were the squirrels tails, followed by chipmunk tails.  I only know he caught birds because one day I actually observed him doing it.  One year when we there for Easter break, we were preparing to leave, which involved packing up boxes, coolers, etc.  He knew what this meant, being put in a crate, followed by a boat ride, something he hated more than anything.  He proceeded to hide in the bushes, and absolutely refused to come out in spite of all our calling and coaxing.  My dad said we had to leave or we would miss our Ferry connection and my brother and I had school the next day.  My brother and I were apoplectic, but to no avail.  Poor Sweepee  (his name started out as Sweet Pea but quickly became Sweepee) got left behind.  He fended for himself on the island until we returned for summer holiday near the end of June.  He was in pretty good shape, a couple of scrapes here and there, probably did battle with a mink or something, but otherwise healthy.  He was a little wild and uncertain of us and it took several days of calling him and putting food out for him, before he finally approached us.  Within a week, he was back to being our old cat again.  From then on, whenever we prepared to leave the island, he did not hide in the bushes!  Today's cats with their Fancy Feast, Kitty Litter and indoor lives seem to bear little resemblance.  Sweepee lived to be twenty one years old.  I think it was the oysters.




What a wonderful tale.  Thanks for the memory.

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