Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blind cats hunting bees (Yes, they can do it)

Lucy the blind cat attempting to catch a bee behind the blinds
Lucy attempting to catch a bee behind the blinds.
Let's get one thing straight: Blind cats are excellent hunters, especially when the prey is an insect.

Lucy relies on her hearing to navigate the house, and she's very alert to any changes in noise levels in the house. She will sneak up upon insects she hears and cock her ears and sway her head to zero in on where that insect is located. She'll wait patiently for hours for that insect to tire and begin to move more slowly. Then, she'll pounce.

If she doesn't want to wait, she has another method up her sleeve: I've seen her grab flying insects out of the air. She tracks them as they fly, gets underneath the planned trajectory, and jumps straight up to eat them. She rarely (if ever) misses.

The one problem comes when the insect is actually dead. When it's not making noise, she can no longer tell where the insect is.

My other cats love this.

They lurk and hide, waiting for the kill shot. And if Lucy can't find the body, they swoop in. Often, my other cats will eat the bugs Lucy kills while she circles the area, trying to figure out where the bug went.

Today, she was on the hunt for a bee. It was trapped behind heavy blinds, beating itself against the window. Lucy was perched outside the blinds, waiting for the bee to come out. My other cats were waiting in a row, hoping Lucy would kill the bee so they could eat it (lazy things).

Bees are in serious decline all across the world, and I've spent a lot of time this year planting bee-friendly plants in my garden to help with the situation. It makes sense that a bee would get into my house, since there are so many in the yard. I didn't want the cats to kill the bee, since I've been trying to keep the things alive and I don't want anyone to have an allergic reaction to a sting. So, I tried to capture the thing with a glass jar and cardboard lid, but the bee ended up stinging the lid like a crazy man, and he died from his injuries. My husband tells me I should be thankful that I am not ending this blog with a story about the emergency veterinarian, but I still feel guilty.

For another perspective on blind cats and hunting, click here. For more information on bee decline and how you can help, click here. I'm going to try to convince Lucy that the bee is actually gone, since she's still downstairs listening for it, patiently waiting for her moment to pounce.