THE LAST HUNT
A SHORT STORY BY V.M.SANG
I need a wee.
I could use the litter tray, but I prefer not to. OK, I’ll admit it. I want to go outside to hunt. It’s just getting light and that’s a good time for hunting. I’ll just go upstairs and wake someone up to open the door. (Don’t know why they won’t get a cat flap. It’d save them always having to get up.)
The door’s closed. No use going to the boy’s door. He never gets up for me. I’ll just scratch at the adult’s door.
Ah! Someone’s moving. It’ll be her, I expect. He never comes to let me out if he’s in bed. I don’t think he hears me scratching. Here she comes.
‘What do you want, Kim?’ she says to me. ‘Do you want to go out? Come on then. I’ll open the door.’
We go downstairs and she unlocks the door. I rush out into the dawn. It’s cool, but pleasant. Now for that wee.
That’s better. I wonder what’s about this morning? I’ll go over to the common I think. There’s always more game over there. Over the fence and down the next garden path. They’ve got a fishpond, haven’t they? I’ll take a quick look. A nice fish would be good for breakfast.
Hmm! Fish! Sit quietly, Kim and wait for them to come up. Here’s one. Quick flash of the paw and scoop it out. Ha ha. It’s flapping all over the lawn trying to get back to the water. Can’t understand why they want to live in it. Nasty wet stuff.
One quick jump and there’s a tasty snack. Now to see what else is about. A quick sprint across the road and onto the long grass. Quiet, now, Kim. You don’t want to frighten everything away before you’ve had your fun.
The birds are starting to sing. I like birds. They’re fun to try to sneak up on, but they’re quick and can fly. It takes great skill to catch them. Much more than mice and voles. Squirrels are fun too, and frogs. I like the way frogs jump about when I let them go briefly. Toads are horrid though. They don’t jump and they taste foul.
There’s a blackbird pulling up a worm on the cut grass. I can probably sneak up in this long grass until I’m near enough to pounce.
Missed her. I remember the time I did catch a blackbird. I’d been out early, like today, and managed to get him. He made such a squawking that She came out. She shouted at me to let him go and ran after me. I fled with my prize under some bushes but she came after me, grabbed me by the scruff of my neck and pulled me out.
Oh the indignity of it! I opened my mouth to tell her that this wasn’t how to treat a cat, and the blackbird took the opportunity to escape. He flew up into the nearest tree and sat there laughing at me. That hurt my pride somewhat.
I can’t understand humans. Why do they make such a fuss about birds? They don’t eat them. At least not the ones in the garden, but they get very cross if I chase them. They don’t mind if I catch mice or voles though.
Except for one occasion, I remember. I’d caught a baby vole. It was small enough to fit in my mouth and I took it home for the humans. When I got to the door it was closed and so I made a little chirrup, which I could do with my mouth shut. They should have known that that sound meant I had something in my mouth, but no, it seems not. Sometimes humans are so stupid. Anyway, the boy opened the door. As I went in, I suppose he saw the little vole’s tail sticking out of my mouth and he grabbed me, saying, ‘No you don’t. You’re not bringing that in here.’
Of course, that made me open my mouth and the baby vole jumped out and ran. I ran after it, but it disappeared under the boiler.
I sat there for a time while the humans poked under the boiler with sticks, brushes and whatever else they could find to try to make it run out, but it climbed up and they couldn’t get it. I could see that there was no chance until they had stopped their fussing so I walked away.
‘Oh no you don’t,’ He said. ‘You brought it in, you’ll get it out.’ And He picked me up and carried me back to the boiler. I stayed there for a few minutes and then went away again.
I suppose they got the little thing out again eventually, but they couldn’t see that the problem was of their making. If the boy hadn’t grabbed me I wouldn’t have lose it like that. Oh, well, so much for memories.
Now what? I’ll just listen for a while, I think. See if I can hear anything underground.
Squeaks. Mice probably. Where is the entrance to their nest then? I think that it‘s a mouse family, judging by the number and pitch of the squeaks. Now for my nose. That should tell me where their run is and lead me to the entrance.
Here it is. The entrance to the nest. Now to wait.
Here she comes. Ready to pounce. Quiet now, I think she’s suspicious. Tail lashing then—jump.
Got her! I’ll play with her for a bit first before killing her. That’s always good fun. Right, carry her away from the hole so she can’t run back into it. Now to let her go. See her run, crouch and—pounce.
I think I’ll try throwing her up in the air and catching her. Hear her squeak! She’s truly scared now. Let her think she’s getting away again and—pounce. Ha ha. This is such fun. Throwing again, letting her run again.
I think that’s enough for now. One quick bit and she’s dead. What’s that? I think She’s calling me for breakfast. All that hunting has made me hungry. What She gives me is better than mouse so I’ll leave that and go home.
Run quickly across the road. What’s that? A car? Can’t get across in time...