The natural instinct to hunt remains intact in cats despite being domesticated, which is why many owners are treated to a grisly surprise every now and then. Cat owner Ben found himself becoming the regular recipient of unwelcome living gifts, but his reaction actually swayed his pet to rethink her choice of offerings.
It’s thought that domesticated cats bring their humans dead animals because they think of our species as unprofessional hunters. Ben’s cat Baloo clearly thought he needed a helping hand and would regularly bring him mice and small birds, but she never injured her prey, which added further complications for her owner.
“I’d wake up to her on my chest with something in her mouth which she would then drop on my face or chest, and then meow,” Ben told The Dodo. “I don’t know if she expected me to think it was for breakfast or that it was simply a gift.”
Naturally, Ben was repulsed to be greeted by these living critters every morning and his lack of appreciation became evident to Baloo. “She always looked so confused and sad, which made me feel pretty bad,” Ben explained. However, Baloo eventually idealized the notion that maybe living prey was not an area of interest for her owner.
After a couple of months of Ben rejecting Baloo’s gifts, she finally got the hint. She figured that if mice and birds weren’t satisfying her owner, maybe a leaf would be. Baloo was right. After receiving a positive reaction, Ben soon found himself being greeted with a leaf every morning.
“They were always big, nice looking leaves,” Ben explained to The Dodo. “It was such a relief from the live mice every morning that I would show my gratitude by taking the leaf and playing with it while she sat on my chest.”
Ben has since moved to a new home that doesn’t make Baloo’s naturistic hunting as accessible, but he says her affectionate gifting has been traded for some quality snuggling.
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