As much as Miss Mao loathed Little Boy, she adored The Daughter. More than once, The Daughter woke in the middle of the night to see Miss Mao settled comfortably on a pillow nearby contemplating her sleeping face. This spooked The Daughter so much that Little Boy was soundly scolded for not closing the door properly.
None of us knew however, the extent of Miss Mao's adoration until the day before we left. Miss Mao had laid a little tribute at the door to The Daughter's room. It was a little bird, the size of half my hand. It lay so still we thought that it was dead. We ran to get Sinfonia, who assured us that the bird might still be alive.
Somehow, Miss Mao had caught the bird gently enough in her jaws that no damage had been inflicted, and then Miss Mao had contrived to bring the living bird as a gift to The Daughter. At the door to The Daughter's room, Miss Mao lay near Little Bird, mesmerizing it with her golden-eyed gaze. Little Bird lay there, unable to move.
The Daughter cupped the little thing in her palms and settled it in a flower pot far out of Miss Mao's reach. It took a while for Little Bird to recover and fly off into the bushes where I managed to get a photo. Even then, Miss Mao bounded into the bushes and stalked the bird for another 15 minutes. We could only watch helplessly as hunter hunted prey. Fat cat Miss Mao hunting was a creature of deadly speed, precision and elegance. We had no idea she could run so fast or leap so high or strike like lightning.
Happily, Little Bird got away.
When it was all over, The Daughter realized that she had forgotten to thank Miss Mao for her little love gift. It is no small gesture when a cat brings a human a still living prey. Even more interesting was that Miss Mao brought The Daughter the WHOLE bird. Sometimes, cats bring a thigh or a head or some innards to share. Miss Mao's gesture that spoke of love, and her willingness to share the best and freshest of what she could offer.
How does The Daughter do it? How does she charm all these animals? The sheep come rushing when they see her. They will jostle each other to be able to get themselves up closest to her. Very often, when she is in the sheep's paddock she is hemmed in on all four sides by woolly bodies. Our Milo clearly loves her most. And now she has gone and charmed the Queen Mother, Miss Mao.
Next to such obvious favour, Little Boy feels quite bad because his relationship with Miss Mao is very poor indeed. And I am jealous too because hey... Miss Mao comes to ME in the mornings to get some extra helpings of Friskas. So why didn't I get a gift?! Hmmmmmmph!!