There is a stray cat in the community. You don’t know the cat and yet she consistently brings dead birds to your front door and meows until you come out. What does this mean?
It isn’t unique but probably quite unusual. The way to try and understand this is to refer to the mother-kitten relationship.
Mother’s bring prey animals back to the den to feed their offspring and to train them how to kill prey. This behavior looks like that. To that piece of information, we can add the fact that stray cats sometimes have the confidence and/or desperation to approach people for caregiving. They ask to be adopted.
And they seem to have the ability to instinctively select a good human to care for them. But there is a confusion here: the cat is bringing a gift of food for the human they don’t know and asking that the person cares for them. This would imply that the cat is looking to the human to be their mother/carer.
So, the cat is both behaving as a mother feeding her kitten (the human) in bringing the food to them and at the same time acting as a kitten seeking a surrogate mother.
This confusion isn’t surprising to me as the usual human-to-cat relationship places the adult cat in the position of being a kitten all their lives. It is unnatural in that sense. The adult cat has the mind of a kitten while at the same time has the mind of an adult cat when out alone hunting. She or he switches between the two mental states depending on the circumstances.
To return to the stray cat who brought the gift of a bird to an unknown person; it would seem to me that this stray was a domestic cat in a home and was forced to fend for themselves by hunting. She or he decided that it was time to live in a human home again and selected a person who they believed would be safe.
At the moment of depositing the bird on the front doorstep it seems that she is behaving as a mother towards a kitten. The homeowner being the kitten. If the person takes up the offer of adopting this courageous cat, she then becomes a kitten herself to the human surrogate mother.
It looks like the cat is gifting a bird to the unknown person. And that is what it is. And it is remarkable in that sense as a lot of people don’t give cats credit for their intelligence and how switched-on they can be.
The story is real. A woman, Brandy Whaley, on the quora.com website asked the same question: “This is really confusing me, a cat keeps leaving dead birds on my doorstep and meowing until I come out, I must stress that it is not even my cat, it happens almost every night and I don’t understand why my front door, any ideas?” She asked the question about 17 hours ago.
We can only hope that she decides to adopt the cat if her circumstances are suitable. They might not be as she is a student. Students are not in a great position to look after a cat.
There is another possible scenario. The previous occupant of the home where Whaley lives is the cat’s owner. They moved and left their cat behind; abandoning her. The cat then has a direct connection to this home and wants to be let in.
I have seen that before. It is not uncommon for cat owners to abandon their cats by leaving them behind when moving home. The new owner is then faced with a cat who regards the home as their ‘home range’ and wants to be let in. For the cat it is very confusing. The confusion can be resolved if the new owner adopts the cat! This is probably unlikely. You hope that they at least take the cat to a rescue center where they have a chance of being rehomed.
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