Gifts.

People have a lot of theories about why cats bring their people dead animals: The cats want us to know how fierce they are, or else they love us and bring us proof of their love.  Some people even say the cats  are trying to feed us like they would feed kittens.

To these theories, I say, no.  I know this because one of the upstairs cats has just deposited a warm, dead rat in front of our door.  Do they want us to know they are fierce? Do they love us, Rocket and Spot from upstairs? No.  Spot likes us to scratch her, but Rocket runs away.  Neither do they want to feed us. We are random primates. Why reciprocate? We are not their people.

This is the second gift-rat in two weeks. Anyone know what is going on in the brains of the upstairs cats?

5 Comments to “Gifts.”

  1. By stephanie, July 14, 2009 @ 9:01 am

    This is a good one. I’ve also had dead animals dropped in the bed, although we tend to get birds. I honestly think it’s some kind of offering. I read an article yesterday about cats being able to control their humans through meowing (it’s posted on my facebook page), but it didn’t say anything about dead animals. Still, I think it must be along the same lines.

  2. By Robin, July 14, 2009 @ 9:39 am

    Along the meowing lines, there is a “present” meow that goes along with the gifts. It used to strike fear in my heart as to what little dead furry thing my cat was going to plop on my pillow. Also, my friends indoor cat used to “kill” the hand towells from the kitchen and bathroom and place them by the front door every day.

  3. By Erin, July 14, 2009 @ 2:32 pm

    They’re training you to hunt. Or trying to – the why, I’m not sure. Growing up, watching Mummy Cat with her six kittens at my parents house really taught me a lot about feline behavior. The purpose behind presenting kills is to encourage similar behavior, apparently… perhaps your four-legged neighbours upstairs think you’re starving? Either that, or they have the same twisted sense of humor as the Godfather.

  4. By Beth, July 14, 2009 @ 10:29 pm

    I’ve received decapitated mice from one cat I owned. My strictly indoor cat would catch bundled socks from my sock drawer if I left it open a crack and deposit them in front of my chair. I don’t know why either.
    But I have watched a mother cat bring a live mouse to her kittens. She set it on the floor in front of them and when it started to run away, she pounced on it. She did this three times and the next time, she watched it go and then batted one of the kittens as if to say, “get out there kid, it’s your turn now”. But it was a live mouse, it wouldn’t have worked with a dead one.

  5. By Liz, July 15, 2009 @ 6:59 am

    Stephanie, I need to find that link.
    Robin, the hand-towel-killing cat is hilarious!
    Erin, I don’t gwt the why either.
    Beth, I’ve heard similar stories, but it doesn’t help my hunting instinct to bring me dead stuff.

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