Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rite of passage

Being awake at 5:00 A.M. allows one to see things that one would not ordinarily be privvy to.

Right now, as I am typing, only a few feet to my left, a learning process is going on.

My old, fat and wise ( and lovably cranky ) cat, Rory, has a mouse. Mind you this has been going on for a good forty minutes... probably more, but that is what Chris and I walked int to the dining room to witness this morning.

Ordinarily, Rory would've felled the little creature by now and presented it dead at my feet. But not today. This morning, she is attempting to teach the smaller - and much less adept - of the kitties how to carry on such an act.

Dinah, however, is dumb as a post.

Rory will catch the thing, let it go and hang back as she watches for Dinah to try to grab it and finish the job. And then the furry little bastard will get away, and of course, Rory is right back on it, snaps it up, and carries it back to show Dinah what to do.

Once, it even made it back through the pet door and almost into the basement, but Dinah shot down there and reclaimed the prize, emerging from the kitty dungeon, triumphant.
For a minute there, it looked like she was getting the idea... and then she set it down in front of Rory and the whole process started over from square one.

I'd all but given up on Dinah til a moment ago, when I looked over and saw the mouse in her mouth. Problem is, she doesn't know what to do with it after she catches it.

I should be intervening with a hammer and finishing the job ( eeewww!! ) but this process is necessary.

As much as it pains me to think as such, my faithful old girl won't be with us forever. She's got to train the junior, pass the torch.
What a patient teacher Rory is! Right now she is not my affectionate housecat; she's a miniature lioness, hunting for her prey, stalking the corridors of the main floor of the house, showing her cub the ways of the kills. ( thank god they don't eat the nasty things! )

I couldn't be prouder of my ancient hairball. A year ago, almost to the day, when we brought the teensy, squawking furball into the house, Rorschach was most upset. She hated her dad for weeks ( Rory is by far, Chris' cat. Always has been ).. wouldn't sleep with us, refused to sit on him when he was watching tv... and now she and Dinah are as close to buddies as Rory's sour disposition will permit.

It would appear that Dinah has let the vermin escape again, so Rory is back on the hunt. Ordinarily one would be fretting aboyt such a thing, but as long as I can keep the kids upstairs for a little while, they'll find the thing, and I think that this time, Rory will just finish the job.

I must admit, the little bugger's got spunk. But then, we don't generally get to watch this process. She either gives up when we're about or takes it to the basement 'til she's done working, and returns with the corpse in tow. ( Dinah, on the other hand, has never gotten involved, other than to bat around the dead thing when all's said and done. )

For now I will pad quietly back upstairs, reset the alarm for 8:00 A.M. and let the girls do their job.

Hopefully by the end of the morning, Dinah will be slightly less clueless and considerably more prepared for the next round.

I love my fat old cat. She's the bestest.