Uses for a dead cat #102

The video below is of Jalla finding a dead cat in the old town. What’s interesting is that she passed by the dead cat at first and went and sniffed around a nearby drain. Then she backed up to the drain and did God knows what in there and then went over to the dead cat. I was expecting her to eat the cat, but like Willi with his chicken, it seems that some dead things are worth more for their scent value than their nutritional value. So Jalla put the cat in a suitable position for being rolled on and proceeded to get as much of the dead cat smell onto her fur as possible.
Hararis have told me before that hyenas won’t eat cats and one Harari friend offered to kill a cat and present it to the hyenas at the feeding place to test this hypothesis (Hararis love to test things scientifically) and I wondered how could a species that will eat anything from termites to elephants to its own kind, have an aversion to cats? Then one night while I was following Willi, he’d just finished off a bone when he wandered down a laneway and right past a kitten that was crouching on a ledge right about hyena head height. I noticed the kitten as I hurried past to keep up with Willi and thought to myself, ‘did he really pass up that meal?’ And then watching Jalla roll all over the dead cat and not even take a bite had me wondering if this Harari folk belief was actually based on fact.
So I mentioned it to the hyena man and he laughed and said tell that to Shebo. Apparently Shebo (the hyena with the snare wire around her neck) has killed five of Yusuf’s cats to date. And he claims that once she actually climbed the side of the shrine to get at a cat. He could be telling a tall story or it could be that Shebo has an acquired taste for felines while other hyenas have an aversion. But this is something I don’t need to know that badly that I’ll throttle a moggy and hang it over a stick for a hyena to eat.


2 thoughts on “Uses for a dead cat #102

  1. Do you think she might be afraid that the cat was poisoned? This cat look terribly stiff!
    I’ve seen my cat have that type of behavior; he would find some stinky thing and roll himself over it, purring. I wonder what smell could have possibly excited the hyena.

    • Actually there are a lot of poisons that the hyenas just can’t smell. There was a time when the municipality was poisoning dogs and because they were leaving the carcasses at the local dump, the hyenas were eating them and dying of the poison themselves. The hyena man realised his hyenas were being poisoned and went to the municipality and asked them to bury the dogs.

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