Last week my husband caught a very strange encounter in the yard. It seems our little white cat not only attracts elk while inside, she draws deer while outside.
There she was minding her own business in the yard, when the deer appeared on the ridge. This deer was so curious about the little white cat (is it the color that attracts them?) that she wandered down to the edge of the fence. Of course the cat understands the fence and doesn’t panic, but goes on eating grass instead.* Eventually she was bored with that patch of ground and wandered away. This is where it gets weird. The deer followed her, around the corner of the fence and kept following until she got too far away to be interesting.
But by that point, the poor deer had attracted the other cat. He’s big and dumb, so he went into stalker/predator mode. I swear he thought he could catch and kill that deer despite the fence. And for a second the deer bought it too.** It panicked and started running away, at least until the cat got close and she realized the cat was tiny and no threat. Then of course she returned to the fence line to check him out.
And started playing with him.
See, when he got bored and tried to walk away the deer charged the fence, scaring him and making him get ready to fight. Then when she had the cats attention, she went into a classic dog play bow posture.*** I’ve never seen anything like it, and I certainly wouldn’t expect that from a deer. This little pattern repeated until the cat finally got fed up and wandered off for good. But it was a heck of a thing to watch play out. Predator and prey, playing together.
*Yes, she eats grass. Every day. No, I can’t stop her. It’s easier on all of us, houseplants included, if I don’t even try.
** This is probably related to the cougars around these parts.
*** I can’t even express how sad I am that I didn’t get any pictures of this. However, the rest of the shots start here.