Last night I was in the kitchen around 9 p.m. when I heard the catflap rattle and the cat entered, bearing an enormous vole in its mouth. As usual, the vole was released to be a plaything, and as I approached it was cowering in a corner.
With one swift grab I had it in some kitchen roll, and voley was deposited outside to squirm around in the undergrowth for another day. It was drizzling outside, and I took the damp animal to Clare, observing that it had lost its elastic collar and bells.
A new collar was duly constructed and affixed to the lethal feline's neck.
This morning, as I was pulling back the curtains in the living room, I noticed a small, quivering speck of furriness on the floor. Barely alive, it was duly transferred outside to the front garden.
A few minutes later, a very dead vole was discovered next to the fireplace. This was chucked out of the kitchen window into the back yard.
About ten minutes later, I thought I would take some pictures for this journal. The vole ejected into the back garden had gone! I was surprised that our garden birds move so fast - the Andover vultures, no doubt.
In the front garden, the formerly barely alive creature had been reduced to the currently fairly dead vole pictured below (click on it to make bigger).
The cat, I then noticed, was without its collar and bells. It has clearly learned how to remove its collar in order to hunt more efficiently.
It's scary living with a cat which is visibly getting smarter every day. I'm getting concerned about leaving my Open University course books on Quantum Mechanics lying around, in case it gets to read about Schrödinger (here): God help us if it takes to delocalising.