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Sheba, the little killing machine

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I just have to share the latest episode of Sheba, my little killing machine. But first some history.

Sheba was adopted from the local PAWS in 2004 after they rescued her from a colony of 50+ starving cats that had formed in the country and were living in basically a garbage dump after an elderly lady was taken to a nursing home. So she had known both "having a human family" and "living in the wild." When I first got her, I kept her inside for a few months before letting her out, so she'd develop a bond and would come home. The first time I let her out alone, within about one hour she delivered one dead bird to my front door and another to the back door. Since then, I rarely let her out alone, and definitely not in the summer when there are young birds around. At least in the winter, the birds here are faster and more wary.

Last summer I decided to let her and the other cats out on the second floor deck by leaving the glass slider to the deck slightly ajar so they could come and go during a hot spell. I've never seen her leave the deck, so doubt that she did. Yet within a ten day period she brought two bats and one bird into the house. One of the bats was still alive and she released it.

Then several days ago I was lying in bed one night and heard her meow very loudly from another part of the house. She usually has such a tiny little voice that I decided to get up and investigate. She was in the hall outside the kitchen eating prey. I think it was what was left of a bat! But as I dashed into the kitchen to get a paper towel with which to pick it up, she polished it off so I'm really not sure what it was. But that time there were no doors or windows left open. It had been cold so I'd even had the furnace on and it had been days or weeks since I'd left the door open other than just long enough to go through it. So if it was a bat, it must have at some time come in with me and "hung out" around the house until Sheba caught it.

Now I'm happy that if there is prey in the house that she protects me from it, but I've got to admit I don't like the idea of her eating it. Especially not just a few days after she's been de-wormed!
post #2 of 10
WOW! She IS a little killing machine! I had to laugh at this story... she sure is effective - sounds like she did her homework on survival skills!
Make sure she is up to date on her rabies vaccines though, as bats are known carriers of rabies...
post #3 of 10
You have quite the proficient little hunter there!

We had a smart little persian/DSH cross named Gracie who was like that. She was a mouse a day, sometimes 2, cat. We had intended to keep her indoors when we adopted her from the local HS, and we'd been told she had been an indoor only. Obviously the previeous owners lied when giving a history. We couldn't keep her in. She was the best cat we ever had. Very smart inside and out. Lived to be 14 years old.

I'm sure your little one is a survivor.

With a cat like that, we just routinely dewormed her every 3-4months, and put revolution on her every month to keep her from picking up critters from her prey.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Within a few hours after I wrote the above post, I was getting ready for bed when AWK! A bat came zooming down the hall toward the bedroom with two cats hot in pursuit. It turned back as I slammed the door. I didn't want that thing in my bedroom! Like a coward, I stayed in my room while my feline soldiers manned the front lines. For about an hour, I could hear noises out there periodically as I presumed they jumped at the thing.

Rationally, I'm not afraid of the thing. Yes, a very small proportion of bats in this state have rabies, but the risk is relatively small. And I'm not one to think the thing is going to wind itself in my hair. But emotionally, I'm just terrified of something zooming toward me like that. So while my kitties normally sleep with me and I usually leave my bedroom door open, last night that door stayed CLOSED except when about once an hour one of the kitties came scratching at the door wanting in. Purdy and Sheba both got their petting and reassurance periodically, but soon wanted back out again. I didn't get much sleep. But there was no way I was going back out there until daylight, when if the critter was still around it would likely be hanging from a beam in the vaulted ceiling in the living room, trying to stay out of sight.

My guess is that the damper on the fireplace must have been left open and that's how these bats have been getting in. But I still haven't had the courage to pull the screen back on the fireplace and try to locate that lever. I haven't used the fireplace in at least 15 years and as far as I knew, the damper was closed. I suspect my BF must have opened it at some point when he was smoking inside, thinking that would help air things out.
post #5 of 10
Hey all,

Twofatcats - I can totally empathise with being the owner of a "killing-machine"!!

Salem, my 1 year old DSH is fast becoming one too...the other day I happened to look out the window just as he was trotting across the garden with an adult pigeon in his grip (the thing was almost bigger than he was!!).
By the time I got the back door open, he'd scooted into the neighbours garden and that was the last I saw of the bird.

I know he and his sister Shadow, occassionally eat the birds they kill, and from time to time (this morning for instance) there is some sick left on the floor overnight with feathers in it!). Yuck to say the least...but I'm seriously worried...can eating the birds be harmful to cats??

Does anyone have any idea how to counteract his new aviary diet - as I know theres' no way to stop him eating the birds I don't know about.

Mucho gracias

post #6 of 10
How could it be bad for them? It is the food nature intended for them.
post #7 of 10
My Ollie is always bringing me Voles and mice. She leaves them by the door with barely a scratch on them! but they're dead as doornails!
post #8 of 10
Domestic cats are one of the most serious threats to the songbird population in the world, especially North America. For that reason alone, they should be kept inside. They do more harm than all the DDT that was ever sprayed in the country.

That said, I doubt it does the cat much harm, except expose them to all the parasites and diseases the prey animals carry. A lot of those are probably species-specific.
post #9 of 10
If my rescue tortie, Kasey, was allowed outside and did not have a left rear leg compromised by an old injury (pre-rescue), this very socialized, attention loving old girl would be an ultimate killing machine.

In fact, in her old life, she was.

She was the "mouser" at one of our company facilities. Not content with this, she used to go outsite the fence, into the rural landscape and bring back many and various things, some of them larger than might be expected .

She seems happy to be a house cat now, I think she understands the comfort and the safey, given she can still run but not jump or climb.

She does play vigrously, she will chase a string as long as you keep moving it, without seeming to tire, perhaps it is that old hunting instinct in her.
post #10 of 10
My cat growing up Pickles used to kill chipmunks and squirrels all the time..Only the occasional bird...One time he brought a squirrel in for my mom and her thinking it was dead was just going to scoop it up and throw it in the outside garbage. HOWEVER it was NOT dead it proceded to run behind the stove with Pickles running after it trying to get behind/under the stove...The part that struck me as funny is when I came into the kitchen due to the ruckus being cause I saw 4 grown women standing on chairs yelling at me to get my "Darn cat" outside with his present..LOL Pickles recaught his present and killed it on the back porch thankfully he never ate his prey he just left them lay around for all to see
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