In the cat vs. dog wars, a point in favor of cats is that, with a little bit of planning, they can be left alone for days at a time. A clean litter box or two and feeding and watering stations scattered about the house in case one gets spilled, and cats will fend for themselves. The cats may be angry with you, but they won't starve.
After almost a week away from our home in the country, the first thing we noticed was the full food dishes. The second thing was that none of the cats came running when they heard us unlock the front door. That was troubling. A frenzied search revealed that the upstairs bedroom door had blown shut. We opened it expecting to find angry and very ill cats. But the room was empty. We did find a window screen had been ripped from its frame.
Finding themselves trapped when the wind blew the door shut, the cats had take matters into their own paws by making their own exit-which they used to get onto the roof, down a tree, and into the fields around the house. They returned with their kills. Kills that they dismembered in every corner of our shag-carpeted bedroom. Five days worth of the bits and pieces of mice, moles, rabbits and birds were scattered everywhere.
It was another full day before all the cats came wandering home, each one looking glossy and well fed, and not just a little satisfied with the mess they'd made of our room.
Dale Austin, August 30, 2005
All images and text Copyright Dale Austin, 1962-2008