Sunday, January 30, 2011

What to Do with Elaine

Elaine, Elaine, Elaine.... what to do with Elaine? She is so cute. She has such a funny little personality. She has the most beautiful eyes. But, she is a killer. And I mean a KILLER. We should have named her Elaine the Ripper or Hannibal Elaine. She is a hunter at heart and that little heart of hers is making Blake and me reconsider our decision to

You see, Elaine, like most indoor/outdoor cats, likes to bring presents to the house. Tiny little dead presents. Well, at least the majority of them have been dead. It started with mice. She would kill them and bring them in the house. A few times, she would bring them in alive and torture them until we could get her to run back outside. Then, one day.... there were feathers.

Everywhere. Little fluffy bird feathers all over the place. She graduated from tiny baby mice to adult birds. One afternoon, we heard the "squeak squeak" of a dying animal in the garage and upon investigation, found Elaine plucking the feathers from a beautiful little bird. Being the bird-lover (NOT!) that I am, I "rescued" the bird by catching it and taking it far away to a field so it could potentially die in peace. Since that time (which was about four weeks ago), I have woken up to find three piles of bird feathers where Elaine had tortured a bird IN our house. And that's not to mention the many mice she has been bringing in over the past several weeks.

Last night was the the worst, making us reconsider keeping her. We originally got a kitten to keep Arnold company (particularly for when we move) and Elaine pretty much just fell into our laps! Some sweet friends gave her to us and we have LOVED having her... except for her killer mentality!

So, back to last night... I was sleeping on the couch and heard some LOUD knocking sound. It was 3:45 a.m. and hopped up to go investigate. As I walked towards the back of the house, I saw a trail of feathers in the hallway.... and then found Elaine, standing proudly in the laundry room, looking over her latest catch. Still half-asleep, I leaned in to see what the creature was. It had the coloring of a squirrel, but was definitely a bird. But, I couldn't tell if it was alive or dead so I stood there, thinking about what to do.

THEN - and man, I wish there'd been a camera on the wall so you could SEE this - the BIRD FLEW UP, HEADED TOWARDS ME!!!! For those of you know me, you know I - HATE - BIRDS! They freak me out. So, this bird is flying at me and I am screaming at the top of my lungs and jumping and all of that stupid girl stuff that we do when we see something totally freaky. The bird flies down the hall and lands in the threshold of my mom's bedroom. My mom was already out of bed after hearing my screams and as we were trying to figure out what to do, the bird started to fly again! And it landed ON HER BED!

Quickly, I grab a pair of latex gloves and an old hand towel and head for the bird. My only option at this point is to catch it and take it away. I lean over it, terrified that it's going to fly again, and try to assess the damage. It looked like she hadn't had the bird for long because there was no blood and it could obviously still fly. I had hope for this bird's little life. So, I quickly grabbed it and took it outside to our backyard. As my mom was taking off her sheets and pillowcases to wash, I shoved Elaine in her carrier as punishment.

Then, I held back tears... trying to decide what to do with Elaine. I love her, but this is crazy!! We've had Charlie - a 20 pound BEAST of a cat - for eight years and I can count on ONE hand the number of "presents" he's brought into the house!!! She has killed more than a dozen little animals since we got her last spring. Ridiculous! I don't think Arnold has ever brought a dead animal in the house... and he's a DOG!

After I let her out of the carrier, she wanted to cuddle. I felt bad about being so mad at her, so I snuggled with her... hoping that she would start to get the hint that we like her WAY better when she is sweet and snuggly.

So... the options are:

1 - Close the doggie doors and keep Elaine in the house 24/7. This means that Arnold will now have to be walked/let out a few times a day (which wouldn't be a problem except that we live 30 minutes from where I work and my mom's schedule is crazy!!).

2 - Close the doggie doors at night and pray that Elaine doesn't catch anything during the day.

3 - Leave Elaine at my mom's as an outside cat when we get married.

4 - Give Elaine away and let her be a barn cat or something. I mean... her hunting skills ARE pretty impressive.

We'll see what happens. So far, we are thinking that #3 is going to be the best option. That means, though, that we have to find a buddy "replacement" for Arnold, since we got Elaine for him. Agh! What to do, what to do...


  1. Does Elaine have a bell on her collar? If not, try one. It would scare potential prey away before she got to it!

  2. She does now! We read that on an online article after I posted this and went to buy one last night. So far, no dead animals!! I also bought her some new toys... a pull-back mouse that rolls and another flying toy of some sort! Maybe playing more with her inside will help, too!