Tammy Simpson knew that Ginger the cat wasn’t generally the best hunter – except when it came to stalking baby moose. Over the years, in fact, the kitty has become obsessed with watching the creatures from her porch. But then one day, Ginger hunkered down into a stalking position and silently approached the calves.
Of course, big cats are expert hunters, and even their domesticated relatives are efficient little killing machines when they want to be. Indeed, they’re somewhat renowned for bringing hunting trophies back for their owners and leaving them on their porches. Not all cats are very good at it, though.
Take Ginger, for example. According to her human, Tammy Simpson, even though Ginger’s an adult, she’s never really developed an understanding of the food chain. “She hasn’t figured out how to hunt despite the fact that she’s seven years old,” Simpson told The Dodo.
In fact, Ginger is a bit of a scaredy-cat when it comes to almost every aspect of life. She doesn’t like it when her mommy moves things around the house, for instance, and even socks freak her out. Because of the feline’s anxiety issues, then, the predator lifestyle seemingly isn’t for her.
That suited Simpson just fine, and it was the kind of company she needed. She said, “I was very sick for a very long time. You know, people exhausted me. [Ginger] likes to cuddle, and so cats are good healing companions.”
That’s also why it both surprised and worried Simpson when Ginger began stalking wild animals. You see, Simpson lives in Homer, Alaska, and regularly gets moose visiting her property. So it seems that Ginger took a great interest in their comings and goings and paid special attention to the moose calves.
While moose apparently don’t actively target people unless they get too close or act threatening, it can be another matter entirely when it comes to domestic animals. This seems to be especially true for dogs. Indeed, moose see dogs as dangerous predators, and they sometimes even seek them out to try and batter them.
Furthermore, mother moose are more aggressive when they’re with their calves, so this could add an extra dimension to the danger. For Ginger’s part, the animals seemed to pique her interest on June 2, 2013. At least, this was when Simpson uploaded the first video of Ginger’s moose watching hobby.
Simpson has described how Ginger has since become obsessed with moose and now observes them every chance she gets. “If I point it out to her – if I’m like, ‘Hey, there’s a moose!’ – she’s out on the deck ready to watch them,” Simpson said. But Ginger apparently doesn’t need much encouragement.
“Like, if she sees [one] from the window or from the glass door, she’s ready to go,” Simpson revealed. However, Ginger wasn’t content to just watch the moose from afar. In fact, one day she became so fascinated with the calves that she wanted to get a closer look.
But Ginger’s first encounter with a moose didn’t go so well. On that occasion, she got into position and exchanged glances with the moose family for a time. When one of the moose made to approach her, though, the cat took off running for the porch.
Yet despite this setback, Ginger remained as curious as ever. On June 9, 2015, Simpson told the Anchorage Daily News that the behavior initially made her nervous. “I hold my breath every time and hope she’s quick enough to get out of any sticky situations,” she said.
So what does she do? Well, Ginger’s stalking methods begin with a mad dash down the garden to get closer to the moose. At a certain range, though, she slows right down and goes into prey-stalking mode. But despite her behavior, Ginger’s so far made no attempt to pounce on the moose.
In fact, her attention seems to be a show of affection. And although Ginger’s fascinated by all moose visitors, she’s most enthusiastic about watching the calves. “It seems like when there’s babies in particular, she likes to head out there,” Simpson told The Dodo.
It looks like the feeling’s mutual, too; the calves seem to have just as much interest in Ginger. After an uncertain start, indeed, two young moose seemingly got used to the cat’s visits. Subsequently, they even once apparently came closer to the house in search of Ginger.
But experts don’t seem to agree with Ginger’s actions, especially Jessy Coltrane from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. “Young [moose] are very vulnerable,” the wildlife biologist told the Anchorage Daily News. “And mothers are especially aggressive this time of year.”
In contrast, Simpson told The Dodo that moose have no problem with Ginger’s attention. “She’s not bothering them,” Simpson explained. “Like, I’ve never seen a moose get really upset. The one mother who had two twins, she just didn’t care.”
On the other hand, Ginger has always been an eccentric cat with some endearing – if unusual – habits. “She likes to put paper in her water dish and just kind of move it around,” Simpson told The Dodo. Her attempts to get attention are unique, too.
“She won’t meow or anything,” Simpson continued. “She’ll get really close to your face, and just stare. And eventually it wakes you up, like you can sense something’s there. It’s very terrifying; it makes me jump every time.”
On March 14, 2018, Simpson uploaded another YouTube video revealing that Ginger is still up to her old tricks. Perhaps the moose know she doesn’t mean them any harm, or maybe they’re just not threatened by her. Either way, Ginger seems happy that she can get close to the objects of her affection.