He has forsaken his winter hobbies of knee-nibbling and paper-tearing/chewing and taken up a hearty interest in rodent butchery. The game is plentiful.
At first, the carcasses were being left in the driveway, but this week, Salinger began to bring his offerings inside. One morning, I stepped on both a disembodied mouse face and an internal organ of some description. Another morning I chucked out a squirrel tail and one rear haunch.
Salinger's new hobby has led to a few misunderstandings between us. I suppose it's understandable that he would have hurt feelings when I "ew" and "ick" loudly over his wonderful trophies.
The other night, I got home late and heard him come in with a prize around 3am (I'm sure he has been doing this regularly, but I have happily slept through earlier instances of this behaviour).
What I heard was th-thump, as he came in through his "back door" (an open window with a torn screen).
Rustle, rustle, rustle, rustle.
Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch.
Yesterday, Salinger brought a live mouse into the house and let it get away. Saving it for later, no doubt. It has been living under my arm chair ever since.
Last night, the mouse came out to explore.
Rustle, rustle, rustle.
I imagined it running over my face and got a bad case of the shudders.
And where was Salinger? Why was he not dispatching this little nuisance which he had inflicted upon me.
No sign of Sal.
Around 8pm yesterday, I walked to my mailbox about 1km away, and Salinger walked part of the way with me. At the limits of his territory, he peeled off to engage in other pursuits. I thought I would pick him back up on the way home, but though I called, he did not come. The neighbours' dog was out, so maybe that was enough to make Salinger too shy to show himself.
I came home alone. All night and all of this morning, no sign of Salinger. Around 11am, I decided to walk over to the mailbox again, calling to Sal along the way. About half way there, I heard a plaintive "mew". There was Salinger, uninjured, but either lost or too scared to make his way back home.
We had a typical, belly-rubby reunion and then I encouraged him to follow me home. Fortunately, the neighbouring dog was not outdoors, but Sal still crossed to the other side of the road when we went past his house. Finally we arrived at the refuge of our own driveway though Salinger remained uncharacteristically cautious.
But by the time we were back at the house, he seemed to relax and was very happy to have a snack and then head outside to bask in the sun.
I'm glad I went out to shepherd him back home.
Maybe at some point today he'll find that darn mouse under the arm chair and kill it, preferably after escorting it back outside.
|An uncharacteristically sober portrait of Salinger, with his tail down low, rather than waving at its usual jaunty angle.|