Cats love murder. Mice, birds and exposed ankles often find themselves the unwitting prey of one of the few animal species on Earth that seemingly kills for fun. Thus, many a cat owner has also had the morbid pleasure of being presented with their pet’s fresh kill. Fluffy will come home and drop the bleeding carcass of a bird on your shoe with an expectant look, as if you were going to gobble it up right then and there.
Dig in rookie! Or ain’t ya got the balls?
Why does she do it? Because Fluffy does expect you to gobble it up right then and there.
Most cat people will tell you that cats are instinctual hunters and even when they are satiated by last night’s canned tuna, they will still take down a low flying sparrow if the opportunity presents itself, just for kicks. Then after successfully nabbing their quarry, the proud pet will then present it to the dominant group leader (her human owner) as a gift. While perfectly logical, that assumption is slightly incorrect and only half the story.
The dead bird, seemingly gift wrapped in ruffled feathers and crimson ribbon, isn’t actually an offering to the owner at all, but more like a training exercise. See, cats teach their kittens and other dependent family members how to hunt and catch prey in gradual steps. When Fluffy dropped the corpse on your shoe, that was lesson number one in her teaching curriculum. She has noticed your appalling lack of hunting skills and inability to catch your own food, and is trying to teach you, as she would one of her kittens, how to feed yourself.
So instead of being appalled or grossed out the next time your cat brings you a fresh kill, eat up, and then prepare yourself for lesson two. That’s where your formally cute kitten kombatant teaches you the importance of fatalities.