Last weekend my cat Misha felt himself forced to leave his comfortable, warm cushion in the window seat (above the central heating) when my husband decided that it was time for the vacuum cleaner. He took his usual spot on the terrace, with his back towards us and his ears flat on his head. But soon he was distracted from his anger, when a small brown rat climbed from the ditch into our garden.
Once, our cat was a mighty warrior, who would be outside most of the time and would bring home rats larger than himself (he's quite small for a cat). But those days are long ago, a hazy memory. Now he leaves his favourite cushion rarely, and he gets special food for old cats with mobility problems. When he has caught a mouse, I believe that it must have walked into his claws. Reseach has revealed that parasites-worms in mice can influence the brain of the mouse to make the mouse careless, so it gets eaten and the parasite can move to the next host. Yes, my cat gets medicine against worms on a regular basis... Could the same worm-thing happen to rats?
It was fun to see the dilemma of my cat: attack or not? In his memory he still is that great warrior and he knows what to do with a rat. But in real life... Well, doubts! He followed the rat though the garden, from left to right and back again, getting a little bit closer each time. After a long time of following, the rat sat beneath a shovel and Misha decided to try to take a sniff, just after I took this picture. The rat was startled -like he didn't notice the cat before- and jumped a meter high in the air. My Misha did the same, and when they both hit the ground again, the rat ran to the water. And Misha? Well, he thought it was time again for his warm spot at the window seat, and ran for the door! Enough excitement for one day, or even a whole week! Or at least until the next time we decide to use the vacuum cleaner...