The great outdoors

It has come to my attention that we have a dangerous predator lurking in our yard. A stealth animal with razor sharp claws and the teeth of a great white, a female that stalks it’s prey with the precision of a tiger, her name is Ruby. My adorable sweet little kitten, who we rescued from the life of dumpster diving in a murky Fan alleyway nine years ago, has turned into a hunter.

After picking the boy up from school Friday, we turned into the driveway just in time to see my sweet fur ball walking nonchalantly towards the car. As we all got out, distracted for a minute by untied shoelaces and a book bag that was not quite zipped, the precious flower says sweetly, “ Mommy, Ruby has something furry in her mouth.” As I turned to look, Ruby the sweet former housecat (former as in seven and a half years ago she was thrown outside when the news of an impending birth presented itself) dropped a wriggling, writhing, extremely plump mouse in my azalea bush. EEK! I told the kids to calmly walk to the back porch as Ruby, our dear sweet Ruby, was in the midst of disemboweling a rodent.

The kids immediately freaked and ran, eyes closed, I might add (I really was impressed they didn’t fall), to the house. I had a stern talk with Ruby, reminding her to take care with human Mommy’s flowerbeds. As I wished her happy hunting I went in to console my traumatized children with a nice snack (Ha!).  As the children ate their celery and peanut butter, I took a gander out my front window, to check on the state of the hunt.  I saw that Ruby had managed to corner the poor mouse and was really playing at the “cat and mouse” angle. I yelled out the window, “ Would you just go ahead and put the poor creature out of its misery!” As I finished cleaning up the kitchen, the children wanted to go out and play, but of course were scared of whatever gruesome scene might greet them. I went to check and saw that Ruby had finally finished the job, either that or the poor mouse had a heart attack, seeing as there were no marks present I would go with the latter.

I left poor Mrs. Mouse in the yard under a shovel for Daddy to dispose of when he returned home from winning the bread, I am sure he was so grateful. You would think that would be the conclusion of my Ruby story but alas, that is not to be. Remember, she is a skilled hunter now (and slowly turning into a sociopath).

On Saturday evening, as we were enjoying a nice cold one and grilling out, I see my darling Ruby dive head first into our forsythia bushes. As my husband so calmly observed, “Wow, she has a hold of something” I hear an awful keening sound, coming directly from her bulged out cheeks. “Ruby, spit that out, “ I shouted sternly at my furry friend. She quickly obeyed and out popped a baby mouse; a sweet little thing with its eyes still closed. The baby mouse hurriedly rushed to my darling husbands side for protection, and protect it he did. While I reprimanded the cat, reminding her we do not, I repeat do not eat babies, of any species (that’s important) my sweet husband got a little bucket, scooped up baby mouse and deposited it gently back where it came from.

As we basked in the glow of our good deed, it seemed to dawn on us that Ruby had just the day before, eliminated the mother mouse in our azaleas. (Sigh), I can only hope that it was Daddy mouse that met his demise on Friday (no offense Daddies) and that Mother mouse was anxiously awaiting the return of baby mouse from the death clutch of my stalker cat. Yes, I think I will go with that version. Until then I will keep Ruby’s food bowl filled at all times, just in case she gets hungry.

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