Updated February 26, 2016
Dodger rolled his mighty shoulders in irritation as he surveyed the ugly mounds, a pox on the floral Eden eked out beneath fir grandeur. An invasion muddied the life-giving pond in the island garden, erupting like Mount Vesuvius.
Dodger’s ire rose up. His eyes narrowed to slits.
A breach in his kingdom’s defenses!
Hunching low, he stealthily approached the fresh mound, carefully calculating the situation.
He flinched at a stench wafting up his nose.
The pile ruffled up from below like magma boiling from a caldera, puffing and dusting, then settling back to rest.
Not a sound, no vibration from the ground.
Dodger leaped onto the dirty heap, dug until he found the hole and exercised his kitty litter rights, the solid kind.
Moles don’t respond to liquid assault. Dodger relied on this, his most dastardly tactic to keep the persistent devils at bay. Distasteful, but effective, there’s no denying, his maneuver sent moles scrambling.
Reinforcing the lines, Dodger dropped several of these bombs on connecting holes over the course of several days, adding their locations to his routine watch list, noting to himself they were to receive heavy fortification.
As the hot season peacefully progressed, Dodger relaxed his guard. The mole was forgotten; the mole hills long dormant. Instead of standing watch, Dodger napped at his post, tucked into the shade of a sprawling sword fern on the lazy summer days.
His whiskers twitched. A familiar scent penetrated his nose, but the recognition of it was on the tip of his mind.
Dodger lazily opened his eyes pondering the change. A small sniff, a rolling gaze . . .
. . . like radar his ears zoomed in.
There! A nudging of garden crust from below!
All fur tips on alert; he faded back into the brush, under cover.
Dodger wrinkled his nose; he knew that fusty scent.
On nimble mitts Dodger retreated from the island garden into the yard, remaining undetected.
Never one to shy from a mission, he hunted up a reinforcement to help roust the tenacious marauder.
He knew just the feline to do it, a young Tortie, the queen of the castle. Like some kitty cats, she was house savvy, but not street smart.
Abby was old enough now to learn the ways of the wild. She’d been an eager, willing student last season graduating from insects to shrews.
Dodger smiled, remembering her triumphant prancing when she had conquered her first mouse as winter closed in last year. She had yet to master bird catching, but was coming along fine.
Yet, for all her apparent refinement, her tastes were common, purchased cat food.
Dodger puffed up his chest. Wild game was a delicacy to be feasted upon with gusto.
Instead, Abby played her prey to death. Easily distracted by pretty insects flitting by, she carelessly abandoned carcasses.
Mole training was the best lesson to teach her focus and badly needed discipline.
Grave consternation furrowed Dodger’s bushy brow; his fuzzy paws pounded the earth.
Where was that sassy cat when he needed her? Moles don’t wait!
Dodger’s impatience grew as he scouted the perimeter along the hedgerow, and yeowled, her feline name leaping from his throat.
Suddenly, the sensitive tips of his chinchilla fur electrified a warning.
Tumbled from behind he was on his back tangled in Tortie limbs and tail.
He extricated himself with a huff.
Abby danced off trilling with laughter. “Curmudgeon!” she taunted.
Dodger growled. Her pranks were getting tiresome, another frivolous pastime.
With great effort he shook off his testiness, and trotted after her. Unlike most kitty cats, friendly persuasion did not come naturally to him, but he plied her with his plan, surprised when she bought into his scheme instead of traipsing off to play.
Abby dutifully followed him to the battle front.
Standing back, he let her gaze upon the scene. She hunkered down behind tall grass tufts. Then, she crept close, enticed and curious.
Sliding her eyes, she peered at Dodger quizzically. What creature was responsible for this filthy mess?
His ego assuaged by her deference, Dodger drew himself to his full height. Strutting to her side, he proceeded to instruct her on the fine art of mole eradication.
Knowing his “dastardly” tactic would be ineffective against the trespasser, he implemented it anyway; because Abby must master it before moving on to learn other methods.
Cheerfully, she followed his detailed directions, retreating with him to the next hole down the line. Imitating perfectly his watchful stance, she sat at his side like a model student to observe the result.
Abby patiently hunts a mole
All was quiet.
Still, nothing. It was too quiet.
“Wait.” Dodger’s imperceptible whisper allayed Abby’s restless twitch.
She stilled, her eyes riveted on hole. Wait, she told herself.
Anticipating her next twitch, Dodger cautioned her yet again, “Patience.”
He smiled. She was eager. He knew her heady rush of hunter prowess poised to burst into flame, the lightning coursing through her veins.
Abby checked herself, each strand of fur static with readiness.
She tensed. Her pupils dilated.
Good, Dodger thought. She’d felt the change beneath her paws. Instinct took control. She was hooked. Fixated, ready to strike.
Wait. . .
There is was!
Abby dived into the hole!
With both paws she clawed the evil interloper, dragging him from the dank cave and flung him out of the shady garden into the sunlight. She raced to pounce, but twisted in the air just before landing next to the writhing unknown beast.
It was a curious creature, furry, black like Dodger, but with naked paws and tail . . . and blind.
It reeked of putrid underworld.
Whew! Abby wrinkled her nose and looked askance at Dodger.
Indicating the boundary beyond, Dodger let her work the solution to the problem.
He cautioned her. “Devilish moles are not cat food, and watch those long buck teeth and needle-like claws; they can do painful damage.”
Retreating, he sought the shade nearby to keep relaxed vigilance over Abby, and rested his chin on his paws.
To Abby everything was fun-filled. She played her quarry, worrying it, mauling it.
Unlike mice or shrews, this animal didn’t capitulate or die from exhaustion, shock or abuse. With dogged determination it repeatedly turned back toward the last known mole hole and worked its way through the tall grass toward it.
Time and again, Abby swiped the mole toward the boundary, heaving it a bit closer each time.
Again and again, the mole did an about-face and swam toward the hole.
The afternoon wore on, doggedly.
The hot sun bored down, unrelenting.
Dodger watched, proudly.
Kitty cats are persistent, so was Abby. She enjoyed the experience, oblivious to time and heat.
Still, the tortured mole resisted, hauling his hot shriveling body inland.
Abby went without, food. She went without water. She skipped her usual siesta. She even overlooked her afternoon cuddling with her human pet.
The war waged on. . .
. . . Twilight set in.
The cards were stacked in Abby’s favor.
Dodger knew more than anything she hated to lose. No malevolent mole would best her!
She was fed-up and done.
A few good clobbers, a mighty thwack, with a grunt she catapulted the odious raider from the realm.
Dusting off her paws she threw her nose in the air, casting Dodger an I told you I could do it look before trotting home to her castle for the night.
Rising, he stretched long, yawned wide, and followed in her wake, strolling slowly through the evening shadows. He watched her safely inside before turning away.
His mind worked over the events of the day. Note to self: replace mole eradication tactic number 2 with “sic Abby”, not efficient, but effective . . . impressive results.
Bracing himself against darkness and the threats therein, he began his nightly rounds.
Moles don’t sleep.
Neither do coyotes.
This is a true tall tale. Dodger really does eradicate moles using his "dastardly tactic", and he taught Abby to do it, too. Both cats really did spend a long, hot summer day catching this one mole, as depicted in the story above.
My attempts at "friendly" mole eradication apparently aren't adequate in Dodger's opinion.
True to the nature of all kitty cats, Abby continues to play her prey to death.
She is a more focused hunter now, and has honed her skills enough to have caught a small bird recently.
So proud of her achievement she sought Dodger's approval before showing off her trophy to us. . . such dancing and prancing as I have never seen her do before!