Chipmunk Wrangling

At my work they just got two new kittens, Tommy and Tigre, who are cute and mischievous. The crotchety cat matriarch, Raven, is offended by this. So the other day in order to express her displeasure and remind us who is where in the social heirarchy, she went out and caught a chipmunk and brought it into the house. She made it all the way down to the shipping room door with it before getting caught. “Gross! Michael!” comes the shriek, and in I run.

Raven promptly drops the chipmunk, who, never mind injured, is not even fazed by having been rudely captured and carried around by the scruff of the neck like a kitten. He races up the stairs and buries himself in a heap of random picture frames, cardboard boxes and rolled-up rugs.

I get me an empty trash basket and a piece of cardboard and go digging through the pile. For awhile the chipmunk eludes me. Then I pick up one of the rugs. He shoots out the bottom and back down the stairs, with me after him! But he can’t push the door open to get into the shipping room. “I have cornered you, small rodent!” I shout. “What will you do!”

He runs up the wall and leaps. I swing my trash basket and slam the piece of cardboard over it as a lid. I, the human, am victorious! I carry my prize triumphantly down to the kitchen door and release him, traumatized, to live out his life in relative peace and comfort until one of the less merciful cats crosses his path.


  1. Curiously, that behavior actually sounds like she was trying to mother them. Mother cats bring live prey to their kittens to train them to hunt. She was trying to be nice.

    1. I was just going on the scene I’d witnessed earlier in the day when they showed up in her designated sunbeam and she hissed and whacked them both about the head for awhile until giving up and heading off to find some peace and quiet. But the people at work seem to agree with you. And I suppose it’s not unheard of to want to batter the exasperating members of a younger generation one minute and mother them the next. Now that I think about it, my grandmother does that very thing to me.

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