Don’t play with your food

Readers of a nervous disposition should look away now, because I am about to reveal the unadulterated truth about Lady Voledoomcat’s appalling behaviour when it comes to the treatment of small rodents.
I was down in the kitchen this evening when she came in through the CatFlap(R) with a small furry thing in her mouth. I immediately shouted “Out!” and she took her anticipated meal out to the patio. I decided to watch what she did with her catch, which appeared to be a small vole.
At this stage the vole was in fairly good nick, if a little shaken, and could probably have made a good getaway had it been anywhere near some long grass. Lady V had other ideas and let it try its best whilst literally dancing around the poor beast. She would actually spin around completely and catch the vole again and again. The next trick was to let it get to the wall and try to climb up; she would permit only so much of this before pawing it to the ground again, mouthing it and patting it about. By this time the vole was visibly tiring and unable to make any further escape attempts.
The cat had plenty of play left in her, however, and proceeded to sprawl out in the evening sunshine and roll around, displaying the classic “playful kitty” method of springing the vole up into the air and down again. By now the little thing was twitching and its chest would convulse as its end came nearer. Lady V rolled around on top of it, enjoying the warmth of the ground, and displayed a complete nonchalance towards the fate of her prey.
Only when the poor wee thing was no longer moving did she decide that playtime was over and teatime had arrived. She proceeded to devote herself to her carnal appetites and the vole disappeared completely in little under two minutes. She then came in to seek appreciation and the usual domestic attentions from the household.
No doubt some readers will question my role as passive observer in this drama and protest my failure to intervene on behalf of the vole. If I had tried to get out to her, I’ve no doubt that she would have picked up her prey and carted it off to some location where she could entertain and feed herself with disapproval. The other point is that she does this several times every day and a single intervention is pretty meaningless in the overall scheme of things. If I’d stayed upstairs the drama would have been played out in the kitchen unobserved by me, so feeling guilty for observing and accepting Lady V’s behaviour is irrational and unreasonable, however much some sense of guilt creeps in from being a witness to the microcarnage.

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