Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wednesday with Skeeter

This Wednesday we are featuring a post from Skeeter. He is a wonderful Mouse Hunter and he is going to share his wisdom with us M-Cats and M-Cats-in-Training!
How Ta Catch A Mouse By Skeeter

LC suggested I write down my experience in catchin mousies cause some kitties admire my huntin skills, an ofers might want ta learn. Of course, lots of you kitties know this stuff puurfectly good on yer own, so this is fer the learnin ones.

1. WHAT – There are lotsa kinds of “mousies”. There are real mousies, voles, shrews, moles, an rats. Ive neffer seen a rat, but they are just big mousies. You will prolly nefer see a rat eether, but bigger is fiercer an I hear they gots sharp teef so be careful iffen ya meet one. Iffen ya see raised tunnels onna ground, thems moles. They mosty stay unnerground, so they is hard ta catch. An they is kinna fierce too cause they is predaters like us. Shrews are predaters too, but smaller than molesies. They tunnel too. Voles use shrew an mole tunnels ta move around in, but they make little catpaw-size holes up from the tunnels. Mice live onna ground or in the house.

2. WHERE – Outside, yer prolly gonna find shrews an voles most often. At least I do here. I seldom see a real mouse, though I got one this year. The shrews make raised tunnels inna ground. If ya follow the raised dirt, ya sometimes find a hole. That’s the place ta catch them. The best places are where there are a few holes near each other. Mice tend ta like depressions inna ground where is stays dry like unner shrubs or think vines.

3. WHEN – Real early day or real late day is best. That’s when they come out ta move around above ground. [That’s “crepuscular” – The Big Thing] An that’s why we are most active then! So that’s when ta hunt mousies. When ya kinna go FRAP [That’s Frenetic Random Activity Period – TBT] at those times of day, that’s why. Yer huntin mousies in yer head!

4. HOW – Once ya find the holes inna tunnels, sniff em good. If there be mousies usin that tunnel, youll know. Sit a couple lengths away and just kinna nap. Yer ears will let ya know if a mousie is stirrin cause they make little scratchy an sniffy noises. Sometimes they are efen dumb enough ta squeek! Mebbe they are talkin ta each ofer or somethin. But who cares so long as they make a little noise. Ya might smell them if the wind is right, so try to sit where the wind is in yer face while looking at the holes!

Now ya gotta be patient! They arent gonna come outta the holes jus cause yer there waitin fer them… They got their own schedules. But twilight makes them come up fer food or findin other mousies ta play wif.

When ya detect one, ya gotta move real SLOW. Raise up an put a paw forward real careful. Ya don’t wanna make anny noise, so put the paw unner the grass or leafs and move yer body a headlength forward. Then do the same thing with the ofer front paw. Affer that, move yer back paws ta here the front ones were, cause that spot is already crushed an quiet.

When ya see the mousie TRY not ta do the butt-wiggle an tail-lashin thing. I know its hard not ta, but try. Mousies are dumb but theyre not blind. Motion scares them an they usally run back inna hole! When ya are about 2 legths away an can see em, pounce. I don’t mean run at them, cause they hear the grass or leafs move. I mean pounce up in the air like ya was hoppin over a box or yer in-bed Bein. Air doesn’t make anny noises!

Come down with both front paws forward, tagether, an onna mousie. The idea is ta hold it down so it cant run. An TRY ta hold the head down onna ground cause they DO got teef! They cant bite hard, but it can be annoyin. After that, move yer paws back an forth ta roll them ofer. That confuses them an lets ya get a gooder grip.

As soon as ya can, lift the paw off the mousie head so ya can put the bitey on the back of the neck. That way, ya can carry it off ta an open place on the lawn where it cant hide good if it gets away. Now ya wanna make sure ta toss it aroun a lot an bat it. I will remind ya that this ISNT “playin”. Yer tryin ta wear it out so it doesn’t bite ya. That doesn’t mean it isnt fun, jus sayin theres a reason ta do it. When it stops movin, the huntin is done!

What ya do affer that is yer own decision. I eat them, startin at the crunchy head an stoppin about the middle cause I don’t like the grassy stuff in their tummies. Jeremy The Winter kitty used ta gobble them whole an go SNAP leavin all four paws anna tail sittin onna ground. Ayla doesn’t eat them at all cause she doesn’t like the fur. LC eats legs.

Its OK ta scavenge as long as it is still warm. I often eat what the others leave behind. Tastes just fine. As long as it is still warm, of course.

I hope this helps. Iffen ya got anny questions, jus ask. If I’m asleep, well, LC is pretty good with froggies, but Ayla is become a great hunter [with Skeeter teachin me – Ayla] an can answer questions. She caught 2 shrews an a birdie this week. I am so PROUD of her!


Mr. Tigger said...

Thanks Skeeter for sharing your Mouse Hunting skills with us M-Cats and M-Cats-in-Training! I enjoyed it and learned a few new tricks!
Hi 5 paw,
Mr. Tigger

Lux said...

Those are great instructions. I can only hope I someday get a chance to put them to use!

Skeeter, LC, and Ayla said...

Wow, Skeeter is so thrilled ya liked his mousie-huntin tecniks but is all proud/mbarrassed. He is sittin in his bed all surprised an pleased.

So thanks fer posting that.

LC an Ayla

Anonymous said...

Wow, those were most excellent instructions, Skeeter! You are correct... Patience is a very important part of hunting. Sometimes it takes hours and hours of careful watching and sniffing.

goldenshade said...

Great post. I may have to make that into a poster so I can study sometimes when I can't be out a-huntin'!!!

Purrs, Goldie

Kellykat said...

That was a fabulous post! Furry informative. I'm sure my hunting skills will improve emmensly when I use these tips. Thanks!

PB 'n J said...

That seems like excellent advice Skeeter. I don't know how you feel about apprentices (or girl cats), but my sister Pearl is a pretty great hunter!


Colby and Cheddar said...

Dis was a furry informative post. Cheddar has a really hard time not flickin' his tail and doin' the butt wiggle when we are huntin' lizards. Sometimes, I get so excited on the windowsill just lookin' out at lizards that I fall right off! So we are going to practice bein' patient like you, Skeeter!

Tybalt said...

Skeeter is very wise!

The Island Cats said...

Thanks for the lesson. We gotta convince mom to let us go outside so we can catch a mousie or two!!

Wally, Ernie & Zoey

Mickey said...

Nothing like getting info from a pro!! Thanks Skeeter!! I hope I get a chance to try my paw :)
Maybe if one gets in the house ;)
Shhhhhhhh,don't tell Mom I said that :)
Purrs Mickey

Alasandra said...

Catching rabbits is even more fun, but it made the Mom sad, so I can't catch another one.

Those were great tips for the beginning hunters in our club. ~Socks

twenty pound tabby said...

Eric and Donovan say voles are the best - they fight back! Much fun to be had.