11

Cats: Enjoy Your Bugs Responsibly This Summer

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Every cat knows that summer is the time to enjoy bug hunting. Whether you chase the occasional fly that manages to get into the house or go on hunting sprees in the great outdoors, we have some tips to share.

Humans do not enjoy bugs the same way we do. If you bring a nice, crunchy moth over to share with your human, you will probably be disappointed. The response will be something along the lines of “Very nice, kitty. Please take your moth somewhere else to eat it.” Or “Take that disgusting thing away from me.” They will not even taste it.

Note: Do not eat Tiger Moths or caterpillars. They might make you sick.

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Some bugs look better than they taste. We have something around here that the humans call a “stink bug” It looks a little like a really big tick. They fly around like other bugs. But when you start to eat them, they taste awful, like they’re way past their “eat-by” date.

Some bugs should not be eaten at all. You know those annoying bugs that fly around at night with their own lights? The humans call them “fireflies”. They’re almost impossible to catch and it’s a good thing. That’s not really fire in their rears; it’s poison.

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Note: It is considered poor etiquette to catch one and offer it to a dog. Many dogs will eat anything.

Then there are those nasty things that sting. The humans call them “bees, hornets, and wasps.” Although they are usually just a pain in the nose or paw; they can kill some cats. They are poisonous to those cats and can cause them to stop breathing. That is never a good thing.

There is also something called a “fire ant.” You can probably step on one and be OK. But they can also cause some cats to stop breathing. And being stung by a bunch of them will do the same thing to any of us.

Note: We recommend you stay away from anything the humans call “fire”. Except, of course, that toasty thing they have inside during the winter. Sleeping in front of that is a cat’s right. The human’s job is to keep it safe and keep it burning.

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Spiders are not insects, no matter what the humans say. Spiders are usually a lot more fun to play with. For one thing, they are usually within paw’s reach. And they move in a lot of directions to get away. You can play for a long time if you’re not too rough. (More like mice that way.)

Of course, there are a few to avoid. The humans like to give them human-type names: “black widow” or “brown recluse”. Generally speaking, humans will have an “ick”-type reaction to the fun, tasty spiders. They are more likely to go with an “eek”-type response to a poisonous one. Even humans who tolerate the regular ones will usually try to kill these. Self-preservation and all that.

Note: We live in Michigan and have a temperate climate. The cold keeps away most nasty spiders. If you live in a hot tropical place, make sure you know the locals. If you live in Australia, we recommend you not eat anything with 8 legs until you talk to an elderly cat (who has probably seen some unfortunate victims). Particularly if the spider is bigger than you are.

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Bug Hunting on a First Date. If you want to take a fellow feline on a bug-hunting trip, make sure they like to hunt in your style. Unfortunately, there are many instances of a run-and-play cat being partnered with a stalk-and-kill cat. There is little hope for the relationship.

Hunting as a Team. Usually bugs are small. So it is unrealistic to think that you will share the kill. However, it is polite to take turns bringing down the prey and eating it. If you catch something you don’t like, by all means offer it to your partner. You may both try for the next bug.

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If you are inside, watch for wall and tripping/falling hazards. If you are chasing a bug and fall off a table or run into a wall, you can be sure your human will be watching, laughing, and pointing a camera at you. Then they will show the video to all of their friends who will also laugh at you. In this situation, it is appropriate to make your next bug-hunting trip in their bedroom, in the middle of the night. Make a video. Send it to your friends.

Enjoy your summer. And Happy Hunting!

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(photos courtesy of Google Images)

5

Cat Forum: The Toys of Summer

Moderator: Welcome back fellow mammals. Today we are once again joined by Super Snooper (SS) and Kommando Kitty (KK) to discuss a subject near to every cat’s heart: cat toys.

KK: Thank you for having us here today. I would just like to clarify today’s discussion will involve several matters related to summer, not just toys.

Moderator: But the focus will be on toys.

SS: Actually, that will be the first topic of several. We would also like to talk about vacations and grooming.

Moderator: My script says that we are going to talk about toys. So let’s get started. How are summer toys different from winter toys?

SS: They are a lot more active.

KK: And easier to catch. Those mice are fun, but they have too many places to hide. (Aside to SS: It would be easier if Mom cleaned more often. SS nods.)

Moderator: Could you be a little more specific?

KK: I think you know we live in an old farm house. It’s really cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Dad says that’s because we have old windows downstairs.

SS: He keeps saying he should fix them, but we really don’t want him to. You should see all the cool toys that fly and crawl in during the summer.

Moderator: You mean you have insects as toys in the summer? (grimaces)

KK: What’s wrong with that? You wouldn’t want them flying all over your house would you? Besides you’re the one who wanted to talk about toys.

Moderator: (knows he’s beaten) So what type of insects are we talking about?

SS: Well, the best are moths. They fly around enough so we get a lot of exercise chasing them.

KK: And they taste good. Nice and crunchy.

SS: Junebugs aren’t bad, but they’re a little slow.

KK: The humans seem to find them disgusting. If they see one, they get rid of it before we get to play much.

SS: Spiders aren’t any good. They’re not poisonous around here, but they spent a lot of time just sitting there.

KK: Flies are good. They’re really fast.

Moderator: So what do you do when you don’t have any bugs around?

KK: We sleep a lot.

SS: He means for entertainment.

KK: I sleep for entertainment.

SS: We watch a lot of Cat TV. The birds and squirrels are fun. And the little chipmunks run around a lot. We don’t go out, and mom won’t let them in the house, so we have to watch.

KK: There are big, humungous rodents out there too. We saw them on human TV at the beginning of February, but they’re on Cat TV every day. Mostly they wander around and eat. But they run really fast sometimes too.

SS: I don’t want to play with them. They have big teeth.

Moderator: Anything else?

SS: Well, since you asked. The humans are talking about leaving us alone for a week with someone coming to visit daily. What are we supposed to do without the humans to entertain us?

KK: I hear there are places where we can go for vacation too.

SS: Yeah, great. I was in a place like that before the humans adopted me. They’re full of big, smelly, noisy dogs.

KK: We could go with them.

SS: They could stay here.

Moderator: Well, enough of that. I think it’s time…..

SS: One more thing – I don’t want Mom to brush me all the time.

KK: But it feels good. And makes you shiny and smooth.

SS: I like my fur just the way it is, thank you very much.

Moderator: Before we close, I think you two have a big announcement to make.

SS: That’s right. Big changes are coming to the blog. We’ll still be around, but we’ll have more friends. More animals, fewer humans. Whispers: I don’t think the Moderator’s contract has been renewed.

KK: Mom’s even looking for a new theme. She’s says there doesn’t seem to be a lot to choose from for our type of blog. (Don’t worry. She’ll be around too.)

SS: So come back next time, and we’ll tell you all about it.

Snoops and Kommando Sleeping