This is a one-off blog about a subject that I feel needs more exposure. Killer kitties.
Two months ago, I took in an abandoned black kitten that I subsequently named Magic. Precious, precocious, and murderous.
Between the family of cardinals that snack in my back yard and the lizards that keep the bugs at bay, Magic was on a rampage. My dog and other kitties never minded the birds and lizards (now, rodents are another story).
It’s gross enough to find the bodies on the patio and driveway but coming home daily to no less than 8 decapitated heads and dismembered body parts strewn across the house was getting old. When I came home to find one half-eaten torso still alive, I knew I had to figure something out. Even dead people never fazed me as much as that gasping, severed, still living head.
At the time, I was on the phone with my best friend “S”, who declared “You have to get rid of that cat!” He’s not a cat person so it was an innocent ignorant statement. If you have a problem with a cat’s nature then you probably shouldn’t get a cat. Because unlike a dog, you can’t train cats to control their prey drive. And when a cat brings you a present, even if you can’t bring yourself to praise the cat for bringing you a gift, you absolutely should not yell or punish the cat for it!
Last summer my old lady cat was on a roll bringing me not one, but four rats in the span of a month. There must’ve been a family in the fruit tree out back and she was picking them off one by one and delivering them to me in bed at approximately 3 a.m. The first one hit my face squealing and by the time I flipped on the light there was my kitty sitting proudly on the pillow I just vacated, presenting a dying rat. The next one was fully dead by the time I discovered it next to me in bed. The third was alive when it was dropped on my face and escaped under my bed and he took a week to catch in a trap. He was missing an eye but I wished him luck and released him across the street in a vacant lot. By this point I was so paranoid I was barely sleeping so I was out of bed and running down the hall when I heard squealing as my cat dragged poor number 4 through the doggie door.
So I’ve had worse than lizards but still, the daily massacre, severed heads, dismembered bodies (a few still twitching)…blech!
I Googled “How to prevent your cat from killing things”. Page after page after page of unhelpful advice until I stumbled across two articles suggesting something that looks like a hair scrunchie. One was marketed as a puffy, vibrant print Elizabethan collar known as a “BirdsBeSafe” collar. But the second article out of Australia called a spade a spade or, rather as scrunchie a scrunchie: That 90s fashion faux-pas that’s still lingers in the hair aisle at Walmart may be the answer.
Some claim it simply makes the cat more visible to birds and lizards although it appears to be less effective concerning rodents, particularly the ones that are hard of seeing like voles. They’re just screwed. Another claim says it interferes with the cat’s dexterity and makes it more difficult for them to catch prey. And watching my kitten attempt to hunt with this thing on makes me believe that the latter maybe the more accurate assessment. I realize it is early to declare Victory but in four days, she killed nothing. That’s a record. However, I’ve noticed she loses interest in her favorite toy (shiny crinkle mylar balls) when I toss them to her now and I think the scrunchie is the reason. I want her to stop killing, not stop playing. So I’ll give her a break from the collar during play time. Even if this scrunchie is not fail proof, it IS cutting down on the carnage. And my kitty looks like an adorable evil flower.