Saturday, April 4, 2009

Natural Born Killer

The other day I woke up to check on my seedlings and to my surprise my corn has been chomped and murdered. The only thing left was the baby stalks and no leaves. I was devastated because I am not sure if they will continue growing or if they are gone for good. I wondered what could have done this and then Tom reminded me that we have a killer in the house and the mystery was solved.

The killer is Scout. Scout is a natural born killer. When we got her she was an outdoor cat. After she adopted us, she became an indoor/outdoor cat and finally when we got Shawn we forced her to become an indoor cat. But she never lost her blood lust.

In Florida at our house in Coral Gables, there are tons of geckos all over and our house was no exception. They were everywhere. I didn't mind them because they are so cute and do no harm. They eat bugs and for the most part just hang out. The only thing I hated was maybe waking up and going into the bathroom, turning on the light and seeing one on the wall. It always freaked me out because you just didn't expect it.

When Scout was forced to be inside, we started finding gecko body parts here and there. First it was a tail. Then one day gecko arms. Sometimes we would find a head. She loved killing them under our dining room table and we soon dubbed that area: The Killing Fields. There was nothing we could do because we weren't home during the day to stop the carnage. When we did see geckos in the house Tom and I would try to shoo them out so they could be saved to see another day. Once I saw Scout trying to nab one on the window blinds and I went and grabbed it. And that damn gecko twisted and sunk its teeth into my finger. Now it didn't hurt but damned if that thing wasn't hanging on my thumb. So in the meantime, I have Scout going nuts and trying to jump to grab it. The shock of this little creature chomping my finger freaked me out and I was paralyzed for a second or two. Finally I had to run to the back door with this thing hanging off my finger and trying to fight Scout off. I had to shake it off my finger. No harm, no foul though. It didn't break the skin and I saved it. But I thought that was really ungrateful of it.

If you know anything about geckos, they play dead but that never stopped Scout from chomping off a body part or two. On the other hand, Shawn who came to us probably a few weeks old knows nothing about hunting or killing. She is more of an accidental killer though. She would see the geckos and take a swipe and then they would play dead. But she wouldn't massacre them. She would kill them by beating them to death. I figured she wanted to play but since they were "lifeless" she would continue poking them until they were actually lifeless. Shawn is not the brightest bulb in the bunch. Sometimes we would be able to save them before they got squashed to death by the La Gordita (fatty girl - our nickname for Shawn). We would snatch them up put them outside and a minute or two later that gecko would get up and run.

The carnage didn't stop when we moved to Boynton Beach, FL. It increased. Our house had a screened patio. So the cats would hang out there all day and those poor unsuspecting geckos would wander in and BOOM - Death. It got weird in Boynton Beach. The preferred death zone was still in the Killing Fields. But now it wasn't just gecko arms and legs we would find. Scout became like the kitty version of Jeffrey Dahmer and got more creative and started just eating the bottom half of the gecko. So we would find little gecko torsos around the house. After awhile you become immune to the carnage and just pick them up and throw them out.

In Santa Fe and here in Sylva, there are no geckos so poor Scout has had to stop her killing spree. Luckily, we seem to have no bugs around here except for the occasional spider or ant. But I guess when she saw those poor baby corn stalks, Scout got the blood lust and channeled her inner Freddy and chewed them up. I finally had to move them from the kitchen table and put them on the dryer. Luckily we have one of those front loaders that is too high for her to jump on. I am awaiting to see if they survive . Now I have no proof it was Scout but she does have a history of killing so she is the likely suspect.

Here is a picture of the poor corn plants. They had nice big leaves before the killing.


  1. awww carolyn, sorry to hear about your corn plants. hopefully moving them to top of the washer will prevent future carnage :).

  2. One of our four pet children is also a tortishell kitty. She is VERY chompy. I actually looked into it and turns out a lot of tortishells are chompy, especially on greens. So, I find this interesting. I am wondering more and more if there is something about this breed of cat that likes to chew on things more than others, especially live things like corn plants.

  3. that stinks about the plants.....but on a fun cat loving note, your kitty looks like my bf's kitty, mojo!

    they are distant cousins!

  4. @fizz, OMG they look so much alike!

  5. This is too funny. Right before I read this, I had to call my husband to tell him that HIS cat (not mine, thank goodness) had eaten all of his radish plants that he has nursed the past 4 weeks. I accidentally let him in the laundry room...those poor radishes didn't stand a chance!

  6. Hope the plants are doing better on the washer!