I was woken in the wee shall hours by cats growling on the verandah. It wasn’t the wailing and wauling of the queen calling the neighbours’ toms – no need, she’s already pregnant again – and it sounded quite unfriendly, so I got up to check there were no forasteros about.
No one ran when I opened the door: the shadows were apparently all members of our own semi-feral tribe. But the growling continued.
Then I identified the sound as the possessive crooning they make when they have caught something and are warning the others away.
I couldn’t see what the prey was, but I think it was rather smaller than the one in the picture. Given the fact that the hunter there is un gato pequeño who was undernourished as a kitten until he joined our tribe, I think that was una rata en toda regla. More recently I’ve only seen them with ratones.
I’ve mentioned Spanish diminutive forms in the past, and how you can take a word like taza (a cup) and make tazón (a bowl). So it’s never seemed logical to me that a ratón should be so much smaller than a rata. (Though I have had it explained to me that “Las formas femeninas suelen ser más grandes.”)
Of course, to make sure that everyone knows you’re talking about a small mouse, you can use the diminutive form ratoncito. Anyway, whatever it was the cats caught last night, I hope they have cleared up the evidence.