Friday, July 18, 2008

Live Presents

I have been continuing my no-kill hunting expeditions- well, hmm, ok, to be honest, my actions did kill a young mouse but I only meant to play with it and when I was done it was still alive but it didn't know or couldn't make its way back home (still alive in the picture taken by my girl). Since then, I have been gentler with mice and another one has been able to scurry away once I was done stalking and catching it.

Ok, so where was I? Yea, my no-kill hunting expeditions which have spawned a healthy catch & release cottage-industry at my house. (Anything to keep my pudgy girl busy.) So I have hit upon another strategy. I like having bunnies for company and they are getting pretty scarce as most are growing up and some have been eaten up by that big coyote and its family.

We live just the three of us in the house and I know that my girl (I really need to name my female human) likes bunnies. My boy is not so crazy about them- he always shouts and runs around when we get bunnies at home. Sounds something like "Hunter-wire-us." Maybe he is worried I will "wire" him? Dunno. I just let him be. It can't be bad for him to get some exercise too even though I see no reason to be loud about it.

Anyway, so I have embarked on this plan last week. I bring home bunnies and release them at home. They are not smart like me (well, they are generally quite young) and they don't know the way out. They generally hide out under the furniture. Well, I released a couple at home without telling my humans. Later that afternoon, my girl was scurrying about all over the place because while she was talking on the phone upstairs (where I released a bunny, he he) a tiny bunny hopped out from under the dresser. It took her a good 30 minutes to catch it. She then came to me to show me what she was holding. So cute and cuddly! I had to rub against it. Then it was released out again. That evening the second bunny I had released downstairs chose to run around when both the humans were sitting and talking. It was funny. The boy just picked up his legs and shouted "hunter-wire-us" (it's getting old!) and the girl had to scamper around again trying to corner an agile bunny baby. She got it eventually and released it.

Bunnies can be just released outdoors and still survive. But many live presents are not so lucky. In fact, I have heard that a lot of people get kittens and puppies to give as presents to young kids and friends. That is not such a good idea. A lot of people may even appreciate the animal for a short time but not be able to take care of it (almost always the case with little human children). It is mostly cats and dogs that are given as presents and we need tender, loving care and attention.

The live presents trend is one essential source of income for the breeding mills which are inhumane. In addition, live presents often end up at animal shelters. Some of these animals will get re-adopted but a majority are just murdered because many shelters claim not to have the resources to care for so many animals (my girl will write on this on her blog). Dogs are more likely to be adopted from shelters than cats which are turned over to the shelters with such absurd excuses as "it doesn't match my carpet!!" Most cats at shelters are killed (unless you are a lucky cat that ended up at a no-kill shelter like the one in Denver. :(

No one has the right to give or receive a cat or dog or for that matter any other animal as an expendable "gift." While cats and dogs have been domesticated and in most cases, depend on humans for their survival, that doesn't make them less important or sentient or expendable at the convenience of the humans. Please, adopt pets responsibly. And there is no reason to buy pets if you wouldn't buy humans. We are not a commodity.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Living Dangerously

I tend to go out every evening and have my fun chasing little animals (and sometimes bringing them home as trophies- they are part of a catch and release program instituted by my female human) and generally patrolling the neighborhood. I come in plenty of times for refreshment and then continue my detail. By about 11 pm or 12 am I am usually done and like to call it a night and get into bed for lots of cuddles and nap. Sometimes I get woken up by a strange noise and I make sure to go check it out and if it is nothing interesting- like a fly beating against a window- then I go back to my cuddle and snooze.

This other night (now that I think of it, it was the 4th of July!) my humans came back home about 11 pm and I had been cooped up all evening. I didn't mind so much to begin with as it was a bit noisy but later after it got quiet I did feel like it was not fair that I was having to stay in for no good reason. So when they returned home, I went out. Now for the first time that I can think of, my female human went straight up to bed and my male human lounged on the couch watching TV. He was supposed to leave the door open so I could come back home when I was done but that guy has a brain like a sieve or wants to get rid of me or something. He closed the screen door so of course I couldn't get back in. Then he snoozed off in front of the TV. To hear him explain it later, he claims that he was listening for me and would have woken up if he but heard me. Well, let me tell you this dude does not sleep light despite his claims. In fact, he can sleep through anything except being thumped on at night. I know because he only wakes up to hiss at me if I jump on him. So I do that now and again in the hope that he will learn some good light-sleeping skills. Why do I bother?

The night in question, I got stranded out and let me tell you, it turned out to be quite an adventurous night. At first it was all quiet. The I saw a big coyote (that's like a big wild dog without owners) go sniffing for bunnies. I stayed on my stoop as quiet and still as possible. I think it saw me (my eyes are very reflective) and came a bit closer to sniff me but I snarled and raised myself big and he decided that I couldn't be too tasty anyway. I saw him make short work of one bunny soon after. I felt pretty good about taking care of myself so I decided to walk around a bit. As I was rounding a bend I got attacked out of nowhere. It was another cat! And it was certainly mad at me though I have no clue why. I defended as best as I could, but was feeling a sharp pain on my side already so I hit hard and then ran back to my stoop. It followed me to attack but I was now prepared and it was not going to take me by surprise. It tried again and this time I stood my ground- I hissed and snarled back and made a few swipes with my talons. Eventually, the other cat realized it was a stalemate and just went away. Of course, my ever vigilant male human was still snoozing a few feet away on the couch.

I had to retch and bring up the little food I had eaten before I had come out for the night. I meowed a few times to wake up someone who would open the door but no luck. I knew I had to hunker down safely for the night and not get taken by surprise. I stanched my wound and cleaned it up. I tell you that night passed slowly. In the morning, the door stood open so I ran up to drink my water. That got the attention of the humans who had been talking about me and were worried. The dude ran up and sat down to talk to me. I was tired and just wanted to sleep.

I am a little bit more cautious since then as my adventure gave me a new-found respect for the perils of the night. I try to make sure no one closes the door on me by mistake and I try to keep my humans vigilant by going up to them and checking if they are awake (if not, I wake them up as a public service). Those two have no clue how caring and considerate I am. Meantime, I am recovering from my wound but you won't hear me complain- no sir.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fireworks and Freedom

It's been a busy few weeks. I have managed to make my own blogger account so now I don't have to sneak into my human's. So the credits at the bottom should change starting now. And it's the 4th of July. Freedom from her. Yay! Ok, freedom to write under my own name. I have actually grown quite fond of her despite her eccentricities and weirdness.

The 4th of July doesn't mean much to me but coming up on today all kinds of firecrackers have been lighting up the evening sky. Now that don't bother me too much but the noise is annoying and can be a bit startling. Even uncomfortably so. What are these humans thinking being this noisy and disruptive? Aren't there noise ordnances that are being violated here? The worst of it is that some animals and birds have a hard time of it. I'm sure, birds and mammals in the sky (yes, I know about bats) get hurt as they fly by. Why would they fly after dark you ask. Well, fireworks usually start around twilight and so some birds might still be out and anyway, the noise keeps them from sleeping and may startle them into taking flight and then fly into a fire cracker or be hurt by ember showers. Even after dark, it could keep birds from settling down for sleep. And while I am not averse to hunting down a bird or two now and again, it is not the same thing to be so indiscriminately inconsiderate of other species. I have heard that many dogs and cats and outside animals get scared of loud booms following the strange lights in the sky. Haven't you seen pets who are scared of thunderstorms? What's more, fireworks contaminate groundwater and this affects the health of all water drinkers.

I hear from my human that in India it is even worse than here in Divali season when every household gets to light up their own firecrackers. It is a cacophony of noise and light. Every year even humans get hurt and burn. So, even though, I haven't heard about the figures for non-human damages, they have to be even higher than those for humans. Tsk tsk.

Humans cannot control thunderstorms though I hear they are trying. But they can control fireworks and I wish they would eliminate all sound and harm to animals if they would like to continue this tradition of celebrating a day with pretty lights. I don't know what all these people are celebrating with these fireworks anyway but I plan to stay in and try to snooze. If you plan to go out and watch the lights, give some thought- when you can- to how it affects other non-human residents of earth.