So, I let Helo out into our fenced in backyard like usual today. He loves basking in the sunshine and running through the tall grass and I like to indulge him while drinking my morning coffee. Unfortunately we have a uniquely stupid squirrel in the neighborhood (that or it’s just young – I find the young, less worldly squirrels, a bit dense) who decided to pay us an ill advised visit.
The squirrel was promptly chased off the property by an eager Helo, but then it came BACK over the fence. Why, I don’t know…morbid curiosity perhaps? I saw Helo hunch low to the ground and then launch himself at it. This time around he was able to grab the squirrel and pin it to the ground. It’s the first time he has been able to successfully catch anything but you’d think from observing him that he’d done it a million times.
Let me tell you that a Savannah cat is a lethal hunter. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s like they go into turbo drive. He was bobbing from side to side so fast it was a blur, countering the squirrels movements with deadly accuracy. Helo was 100% committed to subduing the poor, shocked, squirming rodent.
I was a horrified. Thankfully I never let Helo out into the backyard unless I’m sitting there watching him the whole time, so I was able to intervene the moment the scuffle ensued. My coffee went flying and I ran at the squirming pair screaming, hurtling my jacket at them (an ineffective maneuver for those who are wondering) to try to break them up. I then grabbed Helo from behind but it took a lot to get him to break his concentration and disengage. Here is what my arm looked like after the incident, which probably lasted about 10 seconds:
For those who are wondering, yes – the squirrel escaped unscathed. I actually went outside a few minutes ago to retrieve my jacket (which was lying in the mud) and the squirrel came back. It was clinging to the side of the house and it dropped down into our yard once it saw me, and took off under the fence while I stood there, bleeding onto the lawn, looking after it in slack jawed wonderment. I think some creatures just aren’t meant to survive into adulthood.
Savannah cats are awesome pets but never forget their wild Serval heritage. Helo is a loving cuddly angel 99.9% of the time, but this side of him scared me today because it caught me off guard. It’s not Helo’s fault – Servals naturally hunt birds and small rodents in the wild and Helo was just going on instinct, but if you’re not prepared to see your your sweet adorable kitten flip a switch and turn into something wild and deadly, it is a bit scary.
Once I got Helo inside he calmed down instantly. I think he felt really bad about scratching me because he has been twirling around my leg, trying to rub up against me, giving contrite looks from across the room. I feel the need to ignore him until my heart stops racing and my cuts stop bleeding.
My arm will heal in a few days and I’m no stranger to cat claws so it’s not that big a deal. I’m not sure what I’m going to do if that squirrel insists on visiting us again though. The squirrels in our neck of the woods seem fascinated by cats and can’t seem to resist peering down at them from atop our fence and sometimes slipping into our backyard to explore. Suggestions?
Until next time. Stay wild!