I love my Grand kitties, Firework and Willow. (I’m holding the fluffy one, Firework) They not only decorate our 20 acres with their striped and furry prowling but I have noticed a substantial reduction in the rodent population most likely due to those very same prowls.
In fact, since winter brought with it occasional snow falls and dropping temperatures, we emptied a nearby shed full of stacked firewood to keep our house warm. How does that relate, you may ask? The answer…a pack rat family had set up housekeeping in that very wood pile!
We disturbed their cozy home by dismantling it, but happily the pack rats have either:
- Picked up and relocated
- Been consumed by either Firework or Willow or
- Been chased far away from our house by those same kitties
If you read my post-Halloween offering about my pack rat adventure last November, it may be easier to track with me on my “relationship” with these annoying but really kind-of-cute rodents.
We had one other pack rat problem since that late autumn incident, but our walls have been silent ever since. (Have you ever heard a pack rat gnawing at who-knows-what inside your walls? It is not only sleep-depriving, but extremely concerning.) They have even been known to gnaw through electrical wires, creating fire hazards. Yikes!
Willow and Firework live with my son and daughter-in-law and the three grandkids, just a hop skip and a jump from our house. But those kitties have made our 20 acres (and beyond) their home. In fact, they have followed our family on 2 mile-plus walks up the dirt road and towards a nearby canyon. Even in the snow! (They sometimes have to be carried back)
Their mom was a feral cat from town, but the kittens have been loved and cuddled since birth. So, they were taught to hunt and hike from Mom, and their early contact with humans was one of love and gentleness from the very beginning.
This has resulted in the perfect kitties…gentle, sweet dispositions with humans and ferocious hunters of the small prey. So far, the wild birds have seemed safe, although I felt putting out birdseed would be akin to creating a deer blind for our little hunters so I had to forgo that pleasure this winter. Hunting cats can be a mixed blessing, but I wouldn’t trade these two for anything!