Thursday, April 26, 2007

Gifts from our 'bad boy' cat

The vole and mouse were left on our front doormat by our grateful cat. I wish he wouldn't be so appreciative. Or it could be from a wild cat we feed called 'little guy' which is more likely. I just hope baby rabbits don't show up like a couple of years ago. I didn't know voles had such yellow teeth!

P.S. I added another scanograph of the vole. I used a 1 watt led flashlight to illuminate the vole from the side, as the scanner bar was moving to see if the subject would be better lit. It worked. Compare this image with the one on top.

P.P.S. I found another mouse on the front steps this morning 3/01/07 but blogger won't let me post it. I guess it's just as well as some people are grossed out by the carnage anyway.

Ah it worked. Just a momentary glitch. The mice look so cute but I'm glad the cats are keeping the population down as mice are hosts for deer ticks and I sure don't want to get Lyme's disease.


Blogger Annie in Austin said...

Ki, that doesn't look like a regular photo... is it my imagination or have you moved from scanning M&M's to flowers to scanning dead rodents?

If so, it really does get the detail, doesn't it, and beats having them stuffed and mounted over the kitty-bed.


8:09 AM  
Blogger Anthony said...

Do they have a Mouse and Trowel category for "Best Dead Rodent Pictures" because you'd be a shoe-in to win that one.

8:14 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Annie, yep I threw the rodents on the scanning bed but I noticed something creepy - when you enlarge the scan of the vole, there seems to be tiny lice like bugs all around the critter. Small rod like ones and slightly larger round ones with legs. Yuck, I hope I didn't bring all of that into the house!

Hi Anthony,
That's a good one. I would be proud to win that category!

Or skulls and skeletons of cat, dog, deer, racoon etc, etc. I'll have to try scanning those. Probably won't work very well unless I get a more powerfully lit scanner as I notice a drastic loss of light if the subject is more than an inch away.

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Pam/Digging said...

I thought those were scanographs. Eww! I hope you clean your scanner well before you try M&Ms again. ;-)

11:56 AM  
Blogger OldRoses said...

It could very well be your cat. Our first cat was an indoor/outdoor cat and a mighty hunter. He used to line up his kills very neatly outside of the door.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

My old cat used to bring home baby rabbits. Gross!

4:57 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Pam, what are scanographs? Ewww! is right. No more M&Ms for me. I do clean the glass with 90 percent isopropyl alcohol but the yuck factor still remains.

Oldroses, when the weather gets warmer and the birds more careless, you will see scans of birds...well maybe photos at least after the experience with the can't be sure what kind of vermin infest birds. Last year I had to throw water on our cat many times to make him release the birds he caught. The ones I wasn't around to save were left in front of either the front or back doors. You must have had a very orderly cat!

Sandy, Luckily the baby rabbit season doesn't last long. Last year I found a tiny baby, still alive with the skin stripped completely off the tail. You could see the tiny vertebrate's individual bones very clearly. Needless to say the rabbit died from shock not so much from the naked tail but from being mauled. Sometimes I wish I had the courage to kill the wounded animal quickly but I can't seem to do it.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Pam/Digging said...

"Scanograph" is what Annie in Austin dubbed scanned photographs in a comment on my blog. It's meant to distinguish them from conventional photographs. I've been using the term ever since.

7:30 PM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

Actually, Pam & Ki - I think it was Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening who started using that term after she posted her own scanned flowers.
I'm just having fun reading about them, and haven't made one yet.


9:05 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Pam, that's a good word for the scans, thanks. I'll use it too. I looked up scanograph/scanography and it is actually a word.

Annie, fire up that scanner! I bet you can come up with amazing things.

And many thanks to Kathy at Cold Climate Gardening who started all this.

Here's an interesting explanation of how scanners work and why scans shouldn't be considered a photograph.

4:43 AM  
Blogger DragonStone said...

Yuck. Disgusting. I can't believe you're making us look at his presents to y'all.

I miss my dear cat, Tiger. Now she was the big time outdoor hunter. She cured our mole problem (One summer, it felt like walking on clouds when walking around the yard), she kept the squirrel population down, and lots more. Her biggest kill ever was this huuuuge white rabbit that lived in a field nearby when I lived in New York. She left it on the front porch, as she did with every kill she ever made.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Dragonstone,

I know, I know, dead animals don't fascinate most people but we see so much road kill that I'm somewhat inured to the carnage, so dead animals don't bother me...much.

Amazing that your cat Tiger could bring down a big rabbit. I wonder how she killed it? We have a ground hog in the backyard and the cats leave it alone. Our cat makes a half-hearted attempt at the squirrels but won't even try to catch a cottontail. We had a Siamese cat once. I swear it was the fastest cat in the world. Her nails would click on the wood floor like cheetahs who can't completely retract their claws. Could leap up to the top of the refrigerator from a standing start and land with all four paws on the top. She almost caught a cottontail once. I had her on a 20 ft. cord because it was the first time she was outdoors and she spotted the rabbit. Took off after it and was almost on top of it but was jerked back because I was too slow. She hated our neighbor's cat and when she spotted the cat near our backdoor she caught, rolled it and roughed it up in half a house length after giving it half a house lenght lead. At least twice as fast as an ordinary housecat.

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Lawn Mower Man said...

Yea the pictures aren't pleasant, but every now and again our killer cat will take his live victims upto the bath room and drop them in the bath.. ie no escape. He then plays with them.

The mess in the morning is something out of 'Phsyco'. I wont send the photos. We would both be arrested probably!

12:41 AM  
Blogger DragonStone said...

I'm not sure how but I'm sure where she was raised as a kitten made a big difference.

There was a huge population of cats behind a mall in Virginia. They all had the same fur - no variations! The military started a program to weed down the population of cats by catching kittens and giving them away.

I got Tiger on my 9th birthday and I loved her. Right off the bat, she was an outdoor cat. She hated to be inside. The only time she ever really came in was during the blizzards in NY and that period where she had her litter (which blew us away because she was very anti-social to everything!).

Over the years, she brought endless animals to the porch. I still remember my mother leaning to me and saying, "They're presents. Cats leave them as presents to their owners." Bleh. I don't know what she thought we'd do with endless gifts.... Maybe in the medieval days while we're all starving, I'd probably make some stew. ;)

3:23 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Oh man, you've got a diabolical cat, lawnmower man. Like something out of a bad slasher movie. Good, don't send any pics. We see enough carnage around here with the road kills.

Hi Dragonstone, what other gift could a cat give other than something it could catch? Maybe that's anthropomorphizing what the cat does and maybe it's only bringing back the catch to feed her/his family but I like to think that it's a present too.

So the military has a heart! Giving away kittens no less.

Rodent stew! :0 :)

I once ate squirrel. Really not bad at all.

4:20 AM  
Blogger Gotta Garden said...

Well, Ki, I say YIPPEE to dead rodents! I couldn't garden without my cats and their efforts. One we call the squirel ace as he caught five that we know of...and I must say, the squirrels left the iris alone after that...

This same cat will, on occasion, bring his...victims...up to the back sliding door (he has to drag them up a flight of stairs) and will torture them there...we gave him another nickname...El Catta.

But, our favorite story is the one with the possum (excuse my spelling)...nasty old thing, much bigger than he...they used to do battle and the possum was winning (I have the vet bills to prove it)...until...ole possum somehow got himself stuck in the fence and expired. We pictured our cat sitting on top of the fence watching this with glee. Okay, I'll stop now. Hope I didn't offend anyone.

When it comes to my garden, we take no prisoners! (just kidding)

Oh...and Ki, of course, the military has a heart! You're speaking with someone who has been around the military her whole life. The Marines for the last 30 years, probably. I could tell you endless stories there, too.

5:14 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

I'm surprised your cat could catch a squirrel much less dispatch it, Gotta Garden! Ours will make a half hearted attempt but I think he's actually afraid of them. After all it's about 9 to 1 against him. I wish they would quit eating all the sunflower seeds we put out for the birds. At least we laugh at their antics when they chase each other around. We could use a squirrel ace or two. I greased the bird feeder poles with vaseline yesterday. It's fun to watch them jump up about 4 feet and slide down the slippery pole.

I heard an awful screaming sound a couple of times several months ago. Then saw a fox and a big cat almost too big for a domestic cat so I don't know if one of those animals made the sound. The other night I heard the same sound like a baby screaming very loudly coming from right behind the back door gives me the willies just thinking about it. I let the cat out earlier so I thought he was in a fight with either the fox or other cat (bobcat?) I rushed downstairs turned on the light and our cat rushed in all fuzzed up but I didn't get a glimpse of what scared him. I bet it was the fox. The other cat would have attacked our cat even if he was on the deck. I think the closely spaced railing prevented the fox from getting onto the deck. Sort of a spooky sound late at night.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Gotta Garden said...

Yikes, do live in the wilds! I'd be afraid to go out at night! Makes me rethink my desire for more!

Yes, he is an awesome hunter and the most gentle cat (inside). You have to respect an animal that is really good at something! Another of my favorite stories about him is that we had this mockingbird that was terrorizing the other cat. He'd cry (both boys) to me and hide under the vehicles while the bird dived on him whenever he came out. Sad, as he loves the garden. Anyway, out comes the other cat...plops himself in the center of the front yard...where he can't be missed...and waits. Sure enough, here comes Mr. Mockingbird and like something...I swear...from the exorcist...this cat whips his neck around and lunges at the bird. The bird does an immediate up turn (whatever it's called) and just barely escapes...really. Shall I say that within a day, the mockingbird was no longer a problem...

This cat is part manx, I think, bobtail cats they call them around here...he has only this little nub of a tail (we tease him and call him a cabbit)...but extremely powerful (obviously) hind legs. He is built totally differently from the other cat, who is your basic tabby (and is bigger).

When they were kittens, the tabby one could immediately climb the fence and walk along the top. The other...well, it took him some time to figure it out...and he'd fall off...that tail makes a difference for balance, I suppose. He did figure it out (quite interesting to watch...he didn't give up) and you'd never know now, of course.

Sorry to go on so!

8:54 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Gotta Garden,
I can listen to or read cat stories forever. We've had quite a few cats and every one seemed to have their own endearing quality.

It seems many gardeners have cats. Too bad there's not a category for a cats and gardening blog.

9:58 AM  

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