I've heard that when a cat brings you a dead animal that it is a present, is this true?
I have heard that too. My first cat presented us with some baby mice from the basement of our house. This cat seems to like snakes most, and seems to want to keep them for himself. I think he figures the gift economy works unidirectionally from me to him. It could also be that the cats involved think you are too inept to hunt for yourself.
That is a very interesting point that I had not considered. By following that, they must be operating at a much higher cognitive level than most non-cat owners give them credit for (assuming cat owners think that cats are as smart). The cats know that we can provide them with food, yet they go one step further to believe that, despite being able to magically give them food, we are incapable or inept at hunting properly for ourselves; as if we have only found a trick or some gold mine for their food because they don't see an antelope carcass lying around the house.
Hunting is an all-encompassing rapture for my cat. While he was taking out my garden's snake population he spent months camped out by my heat register looking for something to slither out of it. I would agree that a cat's intelligence works on a different plane than our own.
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