Teach Me to Hunt

Let’s get one thing straight: I have never, in my 35 1/2 years, shot a gun. I’ll give you a moment to gasp, or pass out, or shout, “wait, what?!” I know, I know, Infantry Husband, who shoots guns frequently, blah blah blah. Nope, no desire.

My disinclination to shoot a weapon has not stopped Captain SparklePaws from trying desperately to teach me, or anyone in this house, how to hunt.

In another case of stolen valor, you’re about to learn that Captain SparklePaws has not served a day in the military. He is an awesome, polydactyl cat (which, by the way, is a real thing and not a deformity).

I’ve lost count of the number of dead mice gifts this year, let alone ever. Thanks, Captain.

After Emma came along, Captain gave up on the pathetic humans in the house, and worked on teaching her.

Step 1: Introduce dead mouse; observe new cat’s reaction.

– New cat swallowed mouse whole. Success.

Step 2: Bring home mostly dead mouse and see what new cat does with it.

– New cat chased, caught, and ate mostly dead mouse, while human chased her shouting, “Emma, NO!” Success.

Step 3: Bring home live mouse and watch new cat hunt, catch, and kill it.

– Human keeps saving mice, but on the rare occasion she doesn’t get to them, the new cat has been 100% successful with mouse hunting. My work here is done.

Also, I’m not crazy (says everyone who is crazy, but isn’t willing to admit it)–Captain really is entirely unaware that Emma is a 50lb boxer. We probably should’ve had the older sibling talk with Captain: Yes, she’s smaller than you, and you can beat up on her now, but someday she’ll be bigger than you, and she’ll be winning these little wrestling matches. That talk should’ve happened a year ago–now it’s too late and it goes more like, “Emma, get Captain’s head out of your mouth.” Siblings.

Back to hunting–now that Captain has had so much success with teaching Emma how to hunt, he’s back to teaching the humans, because we’re still just the worst.

He also stares at me like I’m a total jerk when I throw the mouse pieces (yeah. I said pieces) over our fence. All while Emma bounces around, basically saying, “no wait, Mom, what are you doing! He brought that mouse butt for ME!!!” Then she stares at me like I am the meanest human on the face of this earth.

Last week, I threw a head-on-backwards mouse, left handed, in the dark, without my glasses on…the next morning I realized it was not only hanging from our fence (like some Vlad the Impaler-style warning to the mouse community: STAY AWAY), but it had frozen to the fence. Which took a bit of kicking, and a bit of apologizing (to the mouse).

Just a sampling of the delicacies brought to our patio.

Thank you for all of this, Captain, but I think it’s time you accept that I will not ever be impressed with your gifts.

Tonight, I found a head. I’m not sure if he thought, “maybe she’d like to try a different piece of mouse,” or perhaps he got carried away snacking and forgot that he promised Emma the whole mouse.

Or maybe it was a guilt thing: “you didn’t check to make sure I was in the house before you left for work, and I had to eat the entire mouse!”

Honestly though, is anyone else wondering what happened to the other mice heads?? Do you think he has some creepy mouse head trophy room? Do cats keep trophies? I’m putting way too much thought into this.

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