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These Cats Are All Mouth

, , , , | Friendly | March 22, 2022

My family has always been blessed/cursed with extremely bright cats. Several of us have stories about how we’ve been outsmarted by our own pets, but my favorite is my mom’s.

When I was a kid, Mom had several indoor/outdoor cats, the kittens of a feral cat she befriended. Since microchip cat doors weren’t affordable – they may not have even been available – at the time, and Mom was absolutely not willing to have a flap that anything could come through in her front door, we let the cats in and out manually.

When a cat wanted to come inside, it would sit at the front door and meow. Mom quickly learned to check to make sure the cat’s mouth was empty before opening the screen door, because they kept trying to smuggle rodents into the house to hunt later. We were fine with them hunting – there were a lot of mice around and no endangered species that we knew of – but not bringing prey inside!

One evening, Mom heard a very clear “Mew?” from outside. It sure didn’t sound like the cat had anything in her mouth, but she opened the door and looked anyway. The cat looked up at her, and even seemed to be turning her head from side to side as if to demonstrate, “See? I don’t have anything!”

Mom opened the screen door, and the cat took two steps into the house, bent over, and deposited a live, extremely unhappy mouse onto the floor. As near as we could work out afterward, she must have pinned it while she meowed, then gotten the whole thing – including the tail! – into her mouth in the time it took Mom to come to the door.

Mom eventually caught the mouse and released it outside, and from then on, the cats had to open their mouths before they could come inside.

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