Here's the Scoop: July 2, 2014

Chew on this
This has been a big year for wildlife. That last sentence probably has you all excited to learn what’s been up with my “pet” bear this week. Sorry, no “Three Bears” tales allowed — publisher’s orders. However, he said nothing about chipmunks.
Chipmunks, as we all know, are much smaller than bears. That’s probably why you don’t go into many hunting lodges and gaze upon an impressive chipmunk rug. I’m thinking that even a whole bunch of chipmunks sewn together wouldn’t make a very impressive room ornament — too many clashing stripes.
Anyhow, our cat has no problem with chipmunks. She loves them, in fact. She demonstrates this affection pretty much once a day. We even came up with a name for the daily dose of these creatures that she deposits on the porch: vita-munks.
Actually, we’ve had to adjust that term a bit, because it didn’t take long for her “one a day” habit to turn into, “Whose turn is it to shovel the chipmunk pile today?”
Yes, it’s been a very good year for chipmunks, if you’re a cat who enjoys playing “catch and show” as much as ours.

Like night and day, or...
Holly (the cat) is a study in contrasts. She’s a passive, loving kitty at night and a brutal killer by day. Kind of like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Chipmunk Hyde. Of course, she doesn’t limit her conquests to chipmunks. Moles, mice, voles and the occasional bird all make their way to the trophy porch. Holly is not very big, so she has yet master the art of squirrel catching. She likely will, though, because I can see that those creatures are driving her nuts.
Face it, the catching of these critters is kind of gross. Still, it’s a fascinating sport to watch. Being someone who has trouble staying “on task” without a great deal of movement, I love watching Holly as she heads out to her favorite hunting spots. She will sit poised for very long stretches, moving more slowly than Congress, awaiting the inevitable scurrying by these creatures out of their hiding places — and into the claws of doom. Sure, that sounds dramatic, but I’ve got to think that’s kind of how it feels to be on the “caught” end of this situation.
Since our house is surrounded by woods, there’s little chance that Holly is going to run out of hunting challenges anytime soon. I like to think that every critter that ends up in a bloody little pool on the porch is one that won’t be finding its way inside and nesting in the walls next autumn. So, while I agree that picking up the remnants of Holly’s prey is not my favorite pastime, I also look upon this haul as a sort of home security system. With really sharp claws.
I guess that’s why I’m quick to heap praise upon Holly when she brings home another freshly killed animal and presents it to us, as if to say: “Just fur you.”
— Brian Sweeney