Two beautiful and well loved domestic cats, Finley and Tucker, used to bring ‘gifts’ i.e. toy mice, to their owner Cee Webster. She then bought them an automatic dry cat food feeder. It took a little while before they got used to it but it seems that they started to relate to the feeder as they would relate to their human companion; as the provider of food. As a consequence we are told that they now drop off their gifts into the bowl of the automatic feeder.
Finley in particular likes to play fetch with a toy mouse. Miss Webster thinks that it is Finley who is taking the mouse back to the automatic feeder. Although she has not seen him do it and therefore she is not 100% certain.
If he is doing it, and has changed his affiliations from his human owner to an automatic dry cat food feeder it is surprising that he relates to the feeder as if it were a human.
He may simply be placing his toy mouse, which he would see as prey and therefore food, with the existing food provided by his owner i.e. dry cat food from the automatic feeder. Perhaps he is putting it into ‘storage’ much like many wild cat species do when they have attacked and killed prey.
The mountain lion is particularly good at this. Mountain lions normally hide their prey under leaves in order to return to it. It would seem that this domestic cat is doing something similar and of course it is entirely instinctive because there is no need for it.
If that assessment is correct then this is not a cold-hearted rejection by a domestic cat of his human caretaker in favor of a metal device but storing prey for subsequent feeding. This is a suggestion. The evidence is tenuous anyway. It may not be significant and could be a temporary aberration.
P.S. Cee hastens to add that both cats are still affectionate towards her.
‘I can’t sit down anywhere without both of them wanting to fit into my lap somehow,’ says Cee.