the Count through 01/01/11:
Sneaks: 37 Vermin: 2
Sneaks is a pound rescue cat. He was a replacement for Boots, when Boots did a permanent walkabout and never returned. Little did we know that Sneaks housed a fierce territorial and protective streak. He will not tolerate his hunting grounds to be populated by any vermin. He will protect his family's honor at all costs (or until a Big Dog shows up).
Sneaks' personal territory is the Vast Savannah of the Serengeti Plain that is our front yard.
He also owns Pride Rock.
He claims the 40 Mile Desert. No rodent creature is allowed to venture forth. Woe betides them that does.
Although we were initially captivated by his presence around 1998, we didn't actually recognize his Great Hunting Ability until much later. Sadly, we didn't start documenting his kill prowess until 2006 and even afterwards, it was sporadic.
In 2009, we had a Brilliant Idea (or a brain fart, I'm not sure which): we ought to photo-document all of Sneaks' prizes! In this manner, all may be in awe of The Mighty Sneaks!
Sneaks has a very predictable M.O. When he catches something that he wants to share with us ::yuck:: and receive his justifiable praise, he comes to the back kitchen door and vocalizes a strangled cry. Heck, you would too, if you had a (mostly) dead critter in your mouth. In the past, I would justify my human existance by jumping up to open the door and he would DART past me to my chair in the dining room (which is the adjacent room to the kitchen), at which point, he'd drop whatever was in his mouth onto the carpet. ::yuck:: If we were lucky, the critter would be dead. The corpus delecti would then be redeposited into a body bag and thence to the garbage can outside. If we were NOT lucky, the critter would be somewhat or even totally alive!! YIKES. It must be amusing to the cat to watch us poor humans try to recapture a completely terrified animal ... and failing miserably .. when he did it so easily.
So, over the years, I have become more suspicious of any conversations from Sneaker at the back door. I now LOOK before I open the screen door. If I see anything besides whiskers coming out of his mouth, the door remains closed. What we do instead is to go outside via another door and praise Sneaks for being such a Brave Hunter, for Protecting Our Honor (all this being a diversionary tactic whilst the other humans play like Little Rabbit Foo-Foo and scoops the dead body off the deck).
Sneaks doesn't particularly want to play with his new-found buddy anyway .. he just wants the praise. However, while he might not want to play, sometimes he definately has his friend for dinner. Literally. ::yuck::
What follows is a grisly tale of rodent cleansing, an activity not yet recognized by the Geneva Convention. Be warned: not only is this Not Safe For Work but may Not Be Safe At All. We are not responsible for any personal upheavings on the viewer's part. You have been warned.
But first .. why do the Vermin have 2 points? Well, there were two occurances where Sneaks must have been in a wonderfully magnanimous mood: he brought in a live critter and then ignored it. Leaving US to recapture it and re-deposit it outside. No points to Sneaks for mere capture: the critter needs to be Dead. An ex-critter. A critter that Ceases to Be. Them's the Rules.
The very first documented case of a prize brought in by Sneaks for our admiration.
We thought it very suspicious when we discovered a FEATHER sticking out of Sneaks' mouth. No bird body was ever discovered.
However, the most DISTURBING occurance was in the Spring of 2008. Mr. Pirate decided that he had had ENOUGH of being the Cats' Doorman and our cats would simply need to learn how to use a cat door. He bought a magnetically secured, swinging small animal door. This door is the kind that is to be inserted into an appropriately sized hole in a wall. Well, we don't want to cut a hole in any outside wall, so he cut a slender column of plywood the height of our sliding glass door and slightly wider than the cat door. A hole was cut in this plywood and the swinging door inserted. The plywood was held in place by pressure between the slider and the frame; we began the painful process of teaching 4 old cats new tricks.
There was no how, no way that they were going to do the old head-butt thing to push the door open in front of them and walk through. Nope, no way. Even when we (the humans) got down on their level (they must have been silently laughing their collective heads off) and firmly pushed their heads on the door to show them that it actually moved. Nope .. no how, no way. Do not confuse them with the facts.
So, our next tactic was to keep the swinging door open with a judicious application of duct tape. AHHH! A hole! They do know what to do with that! And they merrily and happily used this very convenient hole in the sliding door to come and go as they wished. The door was secured at night, so Rocky Raccoon and Oscar Oppossum wouldn't come to call.
Of course, there were unintended consequences, of which we (the humans) simply did not forsee. Well .. duh. If we had forseen them, they wouldn't be unintended would they?
It was some time later, we began to notice an unpleasant odor somewhere in the house. [No, this time it wasn't my cooking.] But, it would go away. Then return. And go away. And return. It was very puzzling. We looked everywhere .. in every room, behind furniture, underneath furniture, in the laundry room, in the laundry .. nada. Zip. Big goose egg.
It seemed to be most prevalent in the family room, which is at the back end of the house. The smell would hit you when you first entered the room, but rapidly dissapated. Very strange. Rene mentioned that she thought the odor was coming from the futon cuz when she slept there one night, it seemed the smell was underneath her.
Oh perfect. Just frickin' perfect. We have a dead body IN THE FUTON. So, Mr. Pirate & I very carefully lifted the futon .. me being very squeamish and trying to hold up my end whilst being as far away as possible. Look .. if there was a dead body, it certainly wasn't going to be pole-vaulting at me, so I was just being a girl about this, ya know? What can I say .. it's genetic. :-)
Well, we were relieved that there was NO dead body anywhere around the futon, in the futon, underneath the futon or any place. Annoying and still puzzling.
Then, I thought .. OH MY GOD .. there's a dead body in the air conditioning ducting!!! Mr. Pirate was all set to do the Courageous Hero thing when I reconsidered and realized that if there *was* a dead body in the ducting, the stench would be all over the house ... and that wasn't the case. The smell was still in the family room.
But, dang ... we HAD LOOKED there. Mr. Pirate got the Brilliant Idea (tm) that if he closed his eyes (so as not to be distracted by visuals) his nose would tell him where the source was. So, from the door, on his hands and knees, he went sniffing around like a blind cadaver dog. *I* removed myself to the safety of the hallway. (My Mama didn't raise no dummy!) After a few minutes, I hear Mr. Pirate calling, "...Shelleyyyyyyyy".
I knew he had found it. My Hero.
Honestly, we think this squirrel died on our front porch from a heart attack. Everyone knows that squirrels are over-caffenated Type A creatures. We find it extremely hard to believe that Sneaks could have caught one. BUT, absent proof to the contrary, we feel we must give the point to the Sneaks.
Here we have a fascinating sequence of events:
1. outside the door
2. "He won't play!"
3. oh, it's a gopher
4. Skinning and Disemboweling 101
5. To get ahead in life, first one must Get A Head. Need one?
YAG. (Yet Another Gopher)
The ballpoint pen is for comparison. No pen was harmed in the taking of this picture. Th rodent definitely did not have a nice day.
One in the mouth ...... is worth one on the deck.
I do NOT want to know where the other half is.
|04/09/2009 One in the mouth ...... is worth one on the doorstep.
two for the price of one.
through the screen only!
nom nom nom.
the picture is fuzzy but you get the idea.
another one at the back door.
|05/22/2009: A two-fer day:
One at the back door ...... and surprise! one (er.. two pieces) at the front door, too!
how appropriate for Memorial Day: a memorable kill. You can clearly see where the nom-ing has taken place. Anyone have some Grey Poupon?
As you might remember, we had removed the easy-access door so that we humans were required, once again, to resume our natural place in the Order of Things: being the doorman. While annoying, this really did cut down on the number of bodies making a ::surprise!:: appearance inside the house.
So, imagine our shock and dismay when we discovered THIS BODY at the foot of the staircase! The mystery was solved when we remembered that we had left the upstairs window open to catch some cool night breezes. The fact that this window is ONLY accessable via the roof didn't deter Our Mighty Hunter at all .. with body in mouth, he nimbly climbed a handy, nearby post, jogged over the roof and jumped through the window ... continuing down the staircase to proudly deposit his prize for our inspection.
We immediately found the screen that fits the window. :-)
The creatures outside must have gotten The Word because it has been nearly one entie month since The Beast's last kill. BUT WAIT! One bird must have turned a deaf ear (umm ... do birds have ears?) and suffered the consequences. All that is left is a few lonely feathers and one wing.
One thing we have now learned to do immediately upon opening our front door is to LOOK before we step out. We frequently discover a body.
And so, one such fine morning, discovered the Site of the Carnage ... only some prominent blood splotches left to tell the tale.
We have a choice, once we step out from our front door .. we can proceed straight head down the front porch or we can veer slightly right to go through a rail opening to the right, to where our cars are parked in front of the house. Since we were running errands, we opted to veer to the right ... and nearly stepped upon the Remains of the Carnage.
First kill of the new year! After lulling the vermin into a false sense of security, the Beast of Armagossa pounces and creates his first victim! Beware all who crawl, skitter, scurry and skulk on the property! Sid Vicious sees all. Following the lead of his good buddy, Chuck Norris, if you are alive in the morning, it's only because he let you live.
|Let's fast forward a whole year. It has just now turned 2011 (oh, Happy New Year!). I can see from the pictures on my computer that I have 16, yes, count 'em, SIXTEEN more kills that haven't been properly documented. And they're not going to be.
I can see this epic shrine to the talent and skill of Our Sneaks can only become larger and larger. Eventually, it would exceed the capacity of our server to hold the sheer excessive number of pictures that are the testimonial of the gift that Sneaks possesses.
I get the picture. (well, duh. That's cuz I *take* the pictures) You get the idea. The Mighty Hunter lives. Hear him roar (except when a Big Dog comes around). The rodent population lives in fear and dies in fear.
All the pictures that I have (but haven't been displayed) are of the same ilk ... real nasty cat carnage. So, I will leave this page as it is ... ending with pictures beginning in 2010 (which was a Very Good Year, by the way). I praise our Sneaks and give him treats, but no more pictures. Rest assured, the Beast of Armagossa does NOT rest on his laurels or anything else. He lies in wait and then pounces. Our collective Family Honor is secure.
Long live the Sneaks!
Feedback, comments, etc can be sent to Sneaker, c/o Shelley Rodgers.