09 December 2006

Temi catches another one!

Our 18-year old Temi has a new interest these days. On windy days she likes to go out into the backyard to hunt. And when she catches something, she brings it into the house and drops it on the floor while meowing for her kittens to come over. In Cat Watching, Desmond Morris explains that this is what mother cats do to teach their kittens how to handle and kill a prey animal.

The problem in the case of Temi is that she doesn't have kittens and she only chases and catches the leaves getting blown around in the wind.


Is she getting senile? Does she really think the leaf is an animal that she caught? The BBC reported last week that cats can suffer from a feline form of Alzheimer's disease. Temi, however, doesn't seem to have developed any peculiar behaviors; she still responds to her name, recognizes us, remembers where her litter box, food and water bowls are. And despite her advanced age, she is still in good shape—you should see the way she goes after the leaves.


I am guessing that this is just a new game she has invented to make the best of her golden years.


Simla said...

She's too cute!!!!

John said...

I don't think my mother's cat did anything like that when he was in his older years.

Tristram Brelstaff said...

My mother had a long-haired cat that would occasionally bring in slugs in its hair. During the day the cat liked to sit under a hedge in the back garden and we thought that it was probably doing the same at night. Some of the slugs would get entangled in the cat's hair and have to be cut out, but others we would find making their way across the carpet away from where the cat was sitting. Most of the slugs were small, less than 2cm long, but at least one was a over 10cm long.


Tristram, thanks for posting that observation. A couple of weeks ago I had a post in which I discussed dispersal of snails by sheep & goats. Although domesticated cats don't travel long distances, this shows that slugs & possibly snails can get into their fur.

Anonymous said...

18! She is definitely şn good shape.

Tristram's contribution is also interesting. Arent the slugs irriatated by or dont they sense hairs. I once observed a slug moving though the tangles of a funnel web (actually i have noticed it from the the photo ob the web).


Nuthatch said...

This is great!

Roger B. said...

Our cat (sadly no longer with us) started to behave eccentrically in her old age.

She took to 'roaring' for no apparent reason. She used to disappear upstairs, then a few minutes later we would hear her giving repeated raucous calls. We called it 'roaring' because her stance was very similar to that of a male lion when giving territorial calls.

I have no idea what purpose it served!