Prey… come in…

I fear the neighbours at the back of the House of Chaos aren’t that happy anymore with the presence of so many frolicky felines. Because they had rabbits.

A few months ago The Mistress observed from the Guest Room (on the 1st floor) Hrimnir playing with something in the garden behind the Garden of Chaos. The Cleaning Scourge was watching too and she exclaimed: “Oh look, he’s chasing a rabbit ! Oh ! Oh that poor rabbit !”
But no, Hrimnir was not chasing it, he was actually playing with it. Imagine that… our fearsome feline hunter frolicking and romping with a rabbit ? Obviously he was having fun. Equally obviously -judging from the frantic hoppings to and fro- the rabbit wasn’t so thrilled about it but had decided to give back as good as it could. Rabbit chasing cat chasing rabbit. You had to have been there…

Cue the Wednesday before last. Again the Cleaning Scourge was present. (why do such things have to happen on Wednesdays so she is there ?) She was in the garden having a quiet satisfying smoke during a well-earned break from the hard work of getting the House of Chaos at least clean enough to not drop dead in. And then all hell broke loose. “Come !” she yelled, “Come and see what Loup-Garou has in his mouth ! Oh the poor little one ! He’s killed it ! Oh woe !”

Loup-Garou was looking immensely satisfied with himself. Every hair on his aging body was exuding a clear and terrible self-congratulation. And indeed his mouth was full… with something as black as himself. Something furry. Something that had one eye open wide and that was shivering. At first glance we though: kitten. But then, as we picked Loup-Garou up by the scruff of his nape -forcing him to drop his prey in the process- it set off hopping instead of running. A rabbit ?

Yah. A frantic, shivering, hopping-like-mad, long-eared, black-as-night rabbit. And cute too. Bleeding a bit as well. Miracle of miracles Lou hadn’t killed it, but had somehow decided to bring his prey home and finish it off there at leisure. Unfortunately for him we decided that a clean kitchen should remain a clean kitchen. And so The Mistress grabbed Lou again by the scruff, locked him up in the Kitchen of Chaos and went in search of the traveling cage. (With Frankendrolleke having been so ill lately, and Frankinneke having been sterilized the day before it was close at hand.) Grumpy Man made a dash for the little hopper but it proved rather elusive. And the Garden of Chaos proved to be full with interesting hiding places as well. While in the meantime the Kitchen was full with one offended -thus angry- kitty and no way out.

And so a very interested Freya was drafted for the catch. With her deftly flushing out the poor rabbit from where he could not reach it, Grumpy Man could soon catch it and deposit it into the traveling cage. Where it immediately crawled into a corner and sat there panting. The poor tyke. It was a sweet little thing, didn’t bite at all, thus it must belong to people. And because we knew the neighbours behind had rabbits Grumpy Man was sent off with the catch in order to find out whether it happened to be one of theirs.

Their reaction:
“Yes. It’s ours. But it was in its cage.” *unbelief*
“It isn’t anymore.” *shrug*
“But how did it get out ?” *shocked unbelief*
“Ask our boys I guess” (with ‘boys’ Grumpy Man meant our feline friends)
“But it was in its cage !” *really shocked unbelief*
*sigh* “How strong is that cage ?”

Yes. Sigh. How to deal with that ? Obviously our cats had discovered the presence of fluffy hop-arounds and decided to take a closer look. And even more obviously the hunters amongst them have discovered interesting ways of interacting with said fluffy hop-arounds. Like somehow getting them out of the cage and inviting them home for dinner. Free ride included.

Because a few days later I found one very dead little white rabbit on the floor of the Kitchen of Chaos. And one very smug looking Isegrim. Ain’t he the big boy ?
Wasn’t he surprised when I did praise him but then took the dead baby out and into the garbage can ? That floor was clean Izzy !

And several days after that we caught Bean Sidhe in the Garden of Chaos happily munching away at… the black bunny. Rest in pieces poor creature. Sometimes, it seems, Mother Nature is cruel. But animals are just animals and us simians should not anthropomorphize them too much – you can’t expect a kitty not to chase prey. You can, however, build a sturdy cage in which Mr. Fluffy can be kept safe. The cat is predator. The bunny is -alas for the poor mite- prey.

Speaking of appearances and disappearances, we had a worry during the same period. As mentioned above, the Tuesday before that Wednesday we had Frankinneke neutered. That evening she disappeared. She stayed away for a full week ! Fortunately the Man In White had used special stitches because he reasoned that she was too feral to be trusted for removal of stitches while awake. It had been difficult enough to give her a shot for the surgery (the poor thing clawed her way out of my arms and into his curtains when his phone suddenly rang) but a few minor scratches in my hand and on my coat later she was slowly nodding off in the travel cage. The Man In White said it was better not to repeat the ordeal. So the stitches he used will dissolve on their own. We figure she had been shocked by the strange events and the pain and had thus fled the House. But now she is back, a bit thinner and one of the stitches a bit inflamed (for which -thankfully- I have antibiotics which -even more thankfully- she actually eats), but still enormously fond of scritches and cuddlings.

Frankinneke is also the only cat I have every encountered who does NOT scream her lovely head off when traveling in the car. Weird.

Picture below:

Having seen how the simians praise enterprising kitties who bring home freshly caught prey, our youngest feline denizen decided not to be outdone and came home with an impressive piece of… boiled bone. Well done little hunter. As I am typing this he’s happily gnawing on it, but what you don’t see is the 3 female feline denizens of the House of Chaos keeping an eye on things around him. Protective ?
Naaaaah…. figuring out how to rob the tyke more likely…

Frankendrolleke mjam

And it’s weekend again… time’s not crawling here in the House of Chaos, it flees ! Let’s visit the Carnival of the Cats (hosted by Kashim & Othello and Salome), Weekend Cat Blogging (hosted by Julies Mind Over Matter), the Bad Cats Festival of Chaos (once a month, hosted by Nikita), the Cat Blogosphere, and the Friday Ark.

Runt of the House

There is something wrong with Frankendrolleke. He’s small, and remains small. He’s potbellied, and despite anti-worm therapies remains potbellied. His pelt is scruffy and sparse, and despite the freezing temperatures outside and the fact that all other feline denizens are sporting magnificent coats by now, remains scruffy and sparse. For many weeks he would rarely play, sleep a lot, and not show the characteristic curiousity of kittens. In all… he looked wan and sick, barely able to live. And in the Outdoors he would have died by now. He’s a runt.

Grumpy Man has the opinion that Frankendrolleke is a typical product of inbreeding: his probable dam is Frankinneke, his probable sire the indomitable murderer Almost Franky. Who is also the probable dad -and granddad !- of Frankinneke. How, one wonders, would Drolleke call the one who is not only his father, but his grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-uncle as well ? Über-dad ?

Yet the tyke has been showing some promise lately. He has been observed playing with the toys The Mistress so generously strews around for her feline babies to disport themselves with. He has been seen attacking the single toy on top of the scratching pole that the others haven’t been able to tear off yet. And a few days ago he has even been spotted romping about with not only his probable dam Frankinneke, but with Isegrim too ! Wonder of wonders…

So small as Frankendrolleke is, so huge are the pair of lungs he has tucked away somewhere in his tiny body. Step on him (not so difficult when his pelt sports the same colours as the tiled floor) and the siren goes off. Is Isegrim a bit too rough with the tyke during their play ? The entire world will know, what with the banshee-shrieks being emitted from that tiny tiny muzzle. But the quiet determination with which he stalks the eating simian and with which he will endeavour to steal your food is a more interesting wonder to behold. No shrieks there, no plaintive yowls… only the huge moist eyes that stare forlornly at you, telling woeful tales of breaking hearts and clenching stomachs… whilst unseen his tiny paws are busy trying to drag away whatever happens to be in reach and he can retreat with a triumphant erect tiny tail and his mouth full with the spoils.

As young as he is our Frankendrolleke is already the accomplished thief and swindler, the jaded accumulator of pity and treats, the experienced Casanova gleefully burrowing his way into your heart and arms. How can one resist that tiny furry body worming itself into your embrace, having climbed up his way, settling himself into your arms and looking up at you with those enormous pleading eyes and the faint hopeful smile tracing on his bedraggled muzzle ? How can one remain cold-hearted and aloof when he so clearly places his tiny trust into your care ? Who can stay unmoved by that tiny body emitting purrs so thunderous yet radiating such fragility ?

And that is what he is counting upon for his survival: the huge eyes, the mischievous yet at the same time melancholic expression on that fuzzy muzzle, the enormous ears giving him a Gremlin-like appearance, the potbelly that turns his gait into a joke showing off his vulnerability, the tiny and thus clearly fragile paws beseeching protection and care, the small defiant tail that will quiver with indignation when he is turned away… He radiates cuteness in the mega-watt range. His bedraggled tiny state triggers all of the right buttons in our hearts. It is as if Mother Nature has designed him to be as most appealing as can be to the simians.

Aside from all that he’s a nuisance that urinates and defecates in the house, steals our food from our forks, and will trip you whenever you are occupied in the kitchen – preferably when you have something dangerous or fragile in your hands.

But AARRGGHH !! He’s so cute !

And now he’s ill. Not just a bit off, or feeling a tad down. No, he’s really seriously ill. He’s pathetically-lying-in-the-couch-all-day ill. His eyes are swollen shut, leaking a foul-smelling substance. His tiny pink nose runs too, but not so foul-smelling. At first he sneezed, but now… His breathing is belaboured and he emits a worrying GNARFL-GRRRUD noise. All in all… he’s got a cold. Or it could be the dreaded Cat Flu. Is the blood now and then leaking from those little pink nostrils just a sign of irritation of the nose, or an indication of problems far more sinister ?

It’s a viral thing. So it’s no use really to give the tyke antibiotics. Yet his eyes need drops and for good measure the Man In White has prescribed (anti-biotic) nose drops as well. Which our runt does NOT want to take like a man ! Oh no ! The Mistress has to wrap him tightly into a towel, keep a choke-hold on the tiny head, and administer the drops swiftly lest she be bitten. Yup, the tyke has teeth, and knows how to use them. One time, when Grumpy Man was watching, the tyke retreated his head a bit, took careful aim at the nearest finger, opened wide and… GNAP! That hurt. Grumpy Man rolling over the floor laughing his head off hurt too. And I did mention his good lungs earlier, didn’t I ? We had occasion to marvel at their strength during the past few days because he would use them to greatest effect every time he got wrapped up for his drops. “IEH ! IEH ! IEH ! IEH !” It was worse than a Hitchcock movie soundtrack. And every time again the other feline denizens came over to admire him. They recognize prime pathos when they encounter it. And take notes.

Need I comment that Frankendrolleke managed to perfectly wrap the Man In White around his tiny pinky claw ? Confronted with the latest addition to our feline troop that grumpy no-nonsense simian was smitten all over again: “Oh but he’s a lovely boy isn’t he ?” “He’s a runt sir.” “A bit small for his age, I concur,but look at his attitude !” The Man’s fingers were being bitten off, but he just kept beaming at the tyke.
For some strange reason this happens with all of our furry friends. I don’t know how they do it. But then, our late woofie managed to charm him as well. The Man In White may be a misanthrope, but animals have dibs on his heart.

The other feline denizens of the House of Chaos are sneezing, coughing and sniffling too, basically shrugging it off as just a common cold. They’re only giving Grumpy Man and The Mistress cardiac arrests with every coughing fit. I can assure you that a cat’s coughing is NOT a nice sound. He’s choking and gagging and trying to breathe and endeavouring not to fall dead on the spot but all you can do is sit by and listen helplessly.

Fortunately -so far- only the runt has been taken down by the nasty virii. The Mistress shudders when she contemplates giving full-grown felines like Loup-Garou or Bean-Sidhe the drops. We don’t think a restraining towel would help here. Or that a band-aid afterwards would suffice.

Picture below: misery in tiny package

Frankendrolleke ill

It’s weekend, it’s snowing, and the Feline Denizens would rather not go out… Yet, social duty calls… the Carnival of the Cats (hosted by Imeowza), Weekend Cat Blogging (hosted by Meezer Tails), the Bad Cats Festival of Chaos (once a month, hosted by Nikita), the Cat Blogosphere, and the Friday Ark.

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