Over the last couple of weeks, Whiskas has developed a strange, but amusing wee habit.
It started when our nephew, Liam, was staying with us. We’d eat our dinner, feed Whiskas and then head out on to the back porch to get down to some seriously competitive games like the ‘Really Nasty Horse Racing Game’ (which is great fun, but be warned, I’ve known one couple split up because of it).
On Liam’s second night, Whiskas wolfed down his Felix and Brekkies, ambled passed us and disappeared into the bougainvillea at the bottom of the garden.
“Typical,” Andy muttered. “He’s had his food, now he’s buggering off. We’re just a free meal ticket.”
It certainly seemed like typical mercenary behaviour, but about twenty minutes later we heard a loud rustling in the hedge, followed by a white flash as Whiskas leapt from the bougainvillea and, making loud but muffled mewing noises, sprinted at full pelt across the garden, up the porch steps and ran past us as though we weren’t there; strange.
He headed straight for our front door, where the muffled mewing continued.
“What the hell’s up with him?” I asked an equally perplexed Andy.
The three of us jumped up from our chairs and ran around the front of the house where we found Whiskas stood with his front paws on the doorstep and his nose pressed up against the door; still making strange noises.
“What’s up, Whiskas…what is it boy” I asked; concerned.
“For God’s sake,” Andy laughed. “You sound like you’re in a Lassie movie.”
At least I didn’t ask if anyone had fallen down a well.
Whiskas completely ignored us and pressed his nose more tightly against the door.
“I think he wants us to open the door from the inside,” Liam offered.
“That’s just ridiculous,” Andy scoffed, but the three of us headed back to the rear of the house, through the back door, into the living room and opened the front door where we found out what all the fuss was about.
What we couldn’t see from behind the cat was that he had a gecko clenched firmly in his gob. However, the opening of the front door was the trigger he was waiting for. He made sure we saw the gecko and then let it drop to the ground where it landed with a splat before taking off into the darkness like a reptilian version of the ‘Roadrunner’. Oddly enough, Whiskas didn’t make any attempt to go after it. Instead he stood looking up at us expectantly.
“Err, I think it was a present,” Andy suggested. “Good boy, that’s very clever.”
She reached down to give Whiskas a pat, but he backed off and turned to stare at his bowl.
“Aha,” Andy announced. “It’s all becoming clear now.”
A couple of nights previously, Whiskas had been playing (i.e. torturing) a gecko on the front porch for ages. Taking pity on the poor creature, Andy had thrown a few brekkies into Whiskas’ bowl, distracting him so that the gecko could make its escape. As it was something which benefited him, Whiskas clearly considered that this one-off incident had established a pattern.
Thereafter for every night of Liam’s holiday, the same thing happened. Whiskas got fed; Whiskas disappeared, reappearing 20-30 minutes later with another gecko in his mouth. Ran to front door; waited till we opened it; let gecko go; turned to bowl for reward which never came (well we didn’t want to encourage harassment of the gecko community).
Despite the lack of reward he’s still continuing with this strange little habit, the only difference is that the 20-30 minute ‘hunting’ period has been reduced significantly.
Whiskas gets fed; Whiskas disappears for about thirty seconds; Whiskas returns with gecko in his mouth.
There’s no disputing that Whiskas is a frighteningly efficient hunter (when he can be arsed), but 30 seconds? Come on, he’s not that good. I have a couple of theories:
- Whiskas has a bucket full of pre-captured geckos hidden away somewhere that he can dip into anytime he wants.
- It’s the same gecko every night and the two of them have concocted some sort of a deal. Maybe he’s offered it a share of the non-forthcoming brekkies.
I reckon it’s 1) because, since he started this business, the gecko population around the house has reached near plague proportions as a result of the numbers that he’s brought back and let go.