Um, Why Is My Lunch Eating My Lunch?

In an amazing series of photos, a fearless rat stared down a mighty leopard–and the leopard blinked.  While the puzzled cat sniffed and watched, the rat helped itself to the leopard’s steak dinner.  Be sure to read the full story at the Mail Online.




I’ve had nightmares like this before, John L. (I’m always the leopard.)



  1. LOL “freezer-nose”

  2. WOW super cute! the last pic is almost like if the leopard was kissing the little guy (*_*) how sweet

  3. That would have been awesome if the leopard would have given him the tiniest of licks!

  4. :-O Wow. Just… wow… I’m getting nervous just looking at these photos… but Babeh Rat is just fearless. I love how annoyed the rat looks in the last photo… completely blissfully unaware.

    And speaking of “sharing is caring” … quite nice of the leopard to share food. I mean, its not like such a tiny babeh rat could possibly eat a lot. 😉

  5. I could’ve sworn I’ve seen this before…is this a retread? Maybe I’m thinking of Fark, not CU…

  6. I’ve seen this before– but it is still– well, amazing. Whoa. “A fud is eating my fud.”
    A zoo-born leopard might have no reason to think of the ratty as food– as a toy, maybe, but not necessarily as food.

  7. Ahn. This is one of my favoritest. [set of] pics. evar.

  8. That last pic, with the sneefingks and crinkleh nose and squinty-happy-eyes, just kills me. Ded. Deceased. No more. Caput.

  9. I’m so nervous for the little rattie! And I cannot get over how beautiful that leopard is!!!!!!!!!! The paws, they keel me!!

  10. Meriweather says:

    I remember this story. The mouse survived, by the way– ate his fill and wandered off, leaving one bemused leopard.

  11. Leslie (NTA) says:

    Cute pix & cute hovertext YAY CO

    Now onto the subplot….NTM signs off by speaking to the “Sender-Inner”
    “John L.” about always “being the leopard”

    How about the Beatles (“John L”…..see, where I’m goin’, here?) song w/ the lyric “I am the Walrus” Relevance, perhaps?????Hmmmmmmm………

  12. You see, this is what I was talking about on the other post. The leopard took his girlfriend the rat out to dinner. He (being carniverous) ordered the steak while she opted for the salad (you can see the greens on the far right side of the pik). However, when the food arrived she happily tucked into to his rare steak and ignored the salad.
    Being a nice guy he doesnt’ like to complain (I share his predicament), but you can see in that last pik he’s all, “Honey – you know I love you and everything [nuzzle], but if you wanted steak why didn’t you order it?”
    Worse still, she’s all, “Yo, back off with the tendernesses – I’m busy eating your fuds! Can’t you tell when a gal’s hungry? Sheesh!”

    Sad to see that nice guys always get a bum deal, no matter what species they belong to (sigh).

  13. BeckyMonster says:

    @Tony James

    If only human societal conditioning were as simple as it is in the animal world.

  14. Nicely done, Tony. And no, I will not suggest that the next time she takes his steak he should eat her. Learned my lesson, haven’t I?

  15. Is it just me, or do leopard feet look a bit like clown shoes? Especially that left front paw–it looks very floppy in the toe region.

    Cute pics, and I’m glad to hear that little Mousy McMouserson did not get eaten!

  16. 😯 I’m afraid I may hafta replace my giant rubber ducky background on my screen! I’m torn! What do I DO?!?

  17. In the last picture.the ratty is all “Um, yeah, I like you, too. Now back off!”
    That is one big, beautiful puddy tat!

  18. @ Berg – Clown shoes! LOL!

  19. Very daring…

  20. The rat was probably saying something along the lines of “Excuse me, I’m eating here.”

    This is simply amazing.

  21. Oh god. That really did it. I’m officially ded after this post. There couldn’t have been a better Friday afternoon post to finish off the work week with a *bighugegoofydumbgrin*

    I’m with you, brinnann. I had the giant ducky, too. But, this will definitely be replacing!

  22. I was in Australia when this photo spread hit the Intwerwebs, the lepoard is female and was pregnant. The photographer wanted to snap some pics of the leopard for a report or something, I don’t remember; and the keepers threw in the morsels of meat to get her to come out. While they were waiting, the rodent ran up and started to eat on the meat, and then the leopard came out. The keepers and the photographer thought that she would eat the rodent along with the meat, but she didn’t. She was just curious. The nose bump was her trying to push the rodent away, but it would just go back. All the while the girl was snapping pics. No one could believe that it happened like this. The keepers thought that it only happened because she was preggers and rather lethargic.

    But overall, totally Qute!!!!!!! =)

  23. Ratty in the last pic is all “Hey, can’t you see I’m eatin’ here? Go ‘way!”.

  24. @Berg, those do sort of look like Sideshow Bob’s feet.

  25. The story says the rat is a baby! (big ears and paws, bare tail) If Mrs. L is pregnant, as stated above, she may react to a baby rat the way other animals we’ve seen. So sweeeeeeeet!!!

  26. I want to nibble on those fluffy leopard toes!

  27. That rat certainly has the best story to tell at Friday Happy Hour…

  28. What a gorgeous kitty!! I want to scritch it on the bum!

  29. Speaking of which: Why have we not seen those beloved Engineers back here for their “Engineer’s Guide to Voting (and Ginger Cat for President)”!?? It is an outrage that I did not see it here first!

  30. Why, look, it’s Tony James and his date!

  31. Not That Mike The Other Mike says:

    Poor pwned kitty-cat! Say, I know just the thing to cheer her up–a massage! (Now, where did I put that instructional videotape?)

  32. Mr. leopard is making the same face my kitteh makes when he smells something bad.

  33. Pyrit – wha’? You see Hon Glad around here?!
    But it is true – I feel The Pain Of The Leopard. He knows that one good [horrrf] and the rat is no longer an issue, and yet he is constrained by social niceties. It reminds me of Grant & Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story.

  34. Excellent posting work, NOMTOM.

    The comments about Ms. Leopard not recognizing TinyRat as food remind me of Alex and the zebra in Madagascar (late on Friday, I can’t remember the character’s name).

  35. Can I use this picture for my small business’ network, can I????

  36. And I want the leopard for my very own.

  37. T.U.M., it’s called the Flehmen response. I believe they do that not just for bad smells, but when they smell something interesting and they’re not sure what it is. They’re trying to get more information about the smell. I love the look, it’s kind of like the demon face look.

  38. I think this is a repost? Oh well… it’s a good one 😀 Love that the big kitty is just so bewildered and curious about the little rodent heh

  39. Tortuguasan says:

    Mousie-Magoo has obviously misplaced his spectacles…

  40. I wonder what it feels like to be sniffed by nose bigger than your head? Kind of like standing under a vacuum cleaner hose, maybe? Or an air-conditioning unit?

    On second thought, maybe I don’t want to know.

  41. TJ – Welcome to the partay! Try the horsy dervishes. Care for a social nicety? Try one!

  42. [hi-fives Pyrit]

  43. I sent this in too! I’ve been looking for it for a few days! I’m so glad you put it up; like an idiot I deleted the email, so I’m glad it’s up here, even if it is from somebody else. TOO CUTE! Can you IMAGINE the SCHNORF sound that little mousie must have had to tolerate? And look at it’s perfect little hands! *GAH!*

  44. It would have been great if there was a final picture of no mouse and the leopard licking his whiskers.

  45. This cannot end well.

  46. El Ratito is like, paws-up, “Hey…I’m eating here!”

  47. Look at mousie’s little hands!!!!!

  48. This is way too adorable. particularly loving the COXCU shot! the little baby rat looks like its about to topple over

  49. Beth (in NC) says:

    Re-pawst? Or…. or….. have I finally lost my mind? :-/ It was bound to happen sometime I suppose!

  50. Mary (the first) says:

    Beautiful! Now that it’s been explained that the leopard is p.g., yes, I see her tummy is fuller than you would expect, even in a zoo leopard. And .. the COXCU has a shot of my favorite kitteh thing.. WHISKERS! Lovely!

  51. Do big cats even normally eat such small creatures? Domestic cats, and I’m assuming wild cats too, are instinctively attracted to small, furry prey that moves (like a rat rummaging in the grass for something to eat). But I’m not sure that a leopard’s diet would consist of much rat, and if not, then the leopard will not have the evolutionary-developed instinct to think of a rat as food at all.

  52. Oh, look at the leopard’s coat…..looks soooo soft!

  53. Mr James, it doesn’t just happen to men or between romantic partners. My mother rarely orders dessert, will make snide comments on the fact that I order dessert, will talk about the size and fat content of said dessert in uncomplimentary fashion, but then the fork starts sneaking in from the side……….

  54. @ Theresa: It sounds like you and I have the same mother! And all these years I’ve been told that I don’t have a sister…

  55. Oops–make my last comment @Theadosia–read/wrote too fast.

  56. PS: All: mega-snerk!

  57. That mouse has nads of steel.

  58. “A fud is eating my fud.” – priceless!

    So… when is that damn squirrel gonna pop up in the picture?

    That is one pretty (big) kitty.

  59. Hmmm, I guess I should stop berating my cats for merely showing mild interest in the mouse that got in my place. I guess they are in fierce company after all.

  60. Yes, the pics of the befuddled leopard and the cheeky, oblivious baby rattie is a repeat, but who cares? The cat is gorgeous, and the rodent is, well, one brave, lucky rat. But didja follow the link to the story about the Norfolk terrier who climbed up a tree and had to be rescued by a tree surgeon AND HIS PARROT???!??!?!????

  61. awwwwwwww *giggles*

  62. That is one brave rodent. I hope I’m that brave when I grow up.

  63. I posted this on my own blog a few weeks ago, too. It is the most incredible thing. I recommend reading the whole story. That leopard is all, WHO ARE YOU?

  64. This is a very cool set of photos. Very different from the usual cat and bird or two otherwise incompatible pets photographed together in many homes. Just the dichotomy between the “cat” and “mouse” family members in this case is awesome.


  65. That cat is so beautiful! Very nice photos.

  66. wow~amazing

  67. Yo dawg, I heard you like lunches, so we put a lunch in your lunch so you can eat lunch while you’re eating lunch!

  68. The little rat is too cute! Even looking at the pictures my heart skips a beat out of fear that leopard will snatch him up. I would, but only for cuddles. Super cute.

  69. Super cute, but I have to point out that it’s a jaguar. Which makes that lil rat even luckier!

  70. Observe how the stunned little critter freezes and holds his breath! Poor little guy…I hope this ended well for the mouse!

  71. My mom told me that all her dogs and cats (the hoodlums) cornered a mouse on her patio. Mom thought the little guy was done for, but the mouse finally said, “Eff-it, I’m toast anyway” and fought back, ferociously! The mouse got away! Maybe he was inspired by his rattie cousin. Power to the rodents [little clenched pink paw fist in the air].

  72. summerfuzzehpants says:

    Hey leopard! I’m happy you’re eating and all, and I’m gonna let you finish, but my lunch was the BEST LUNCH OF THIS YEAR.

    (is it played out yet?)

  73. Careers Nigeria says:

    Hi There !!

    The pictures are really great and unbelievable. The last picture is very nice.

  74. Yarrrrr. Who’s steering this grotty galleon?! Sharply now! Ye dock wallopers.
    Yer cannons arrr cold an’ nary a salty dog in sight. Sharply now!
    Or it’ll be Boot Overload for all!

    [Oh no… nononononononoooo… I’m going to be needing rum – Ed.]

  75. …why is the rum gone? 😦

  76. Ship in a gale! That’d be why my boots are a-soakin’!

  77. That rat looks scared stiff in the last picture! I’m surprised he didn’t die of fright!

  78. Huh, I think the leopard is broken :/

  79. This is so effing wonderful… : )

  80. Happy Caturday everyone! (Yes I know this was posted yesterday but it’s Caturday now!

    And let me add, shiver me timbers, yarrrr! Pass me the rum!

  81. omg my cousin took this picture!!!!
    casey gutteridge !!!!

  82. Andrew, it’s not a jaguar. From what we can see of the coat, there are no little spots inside the bigger spots, so it’s a leopard.

  83. Def Leopard.

  84. Avast, ye scurvy leopard! I, a wee bilge rat, demand yer meat for me lunch. ‘Tis true, matey, my trifling bites will not bring yer lunch to naught. Now stand back whilst I enjoy my repast. Yarr.

  85. I haven’t read every comment, but if the leopard is pregnant, then it makes sense she’s going to have swollen feet!

  86. will it eat it?

  87. would love to see that cheeky skwirrl pop up in this!

    didn’t that cat startle at the rat? Maybe I”m imagining things.

    And, am I the only one grossed out at rats eating meat?!

    [Rats will eat almost anything. – Ed.]

  88. something about this just slays me. finally decided it’s the leopard’s feet. they are just so cute and funny, like big galoshes maybe? i don’t know. maybe don martin from old mad magazine?

    actually, just love the whole thing…

  89. Theo, regardless of the actual ending of this story, I’m thinkin’ that we need an “impending doom” tag. That mouse looks like he’s about to crack open a big old can of whoop a– on the leopard any minute . . . dun, dun, dunnnnnnnn!!!! (impending doom theme music plays loudly . . . )

  90. Nowt but a girlie plank rat you are! It’s to the spittle bucket fer you, my clipper nosed friend.
    Vittles is vittles!
    And, it’s CAPTAIN Scurvy Leopard, for Crichton out loud. Burn me for a backstay, else!

  91. LOL today is talk like a pirate day! Didn’t get it at foist. Pass me the rum ye land lubber y’ar!

  92. Yarrr.
    I’m off (heh!).
    Force 12 at sea.
    Means, party me hearty time!
    When they invited me for the *19th*, …I gave ’em the eye a’course.
    An’ they look’d me all a jibble.
    It’s a fiesta party they said.
    So’s I gave ’em the *Aye*yi-yi-yi!
    Aaaan’ they still din’t *get it*.
    Very soon, my lubbly hosts will get it.
    An, they’ll be sorreeeee (singsong)!
    Yo ho ho and really bad eggs and a bottle o’ rum!
    Have fun!

  93. Arrr, Pyrit, by the good Saint Robert Newton, ye didn’t lose no time!

  94. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww wwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  95. i love how the rattie looks so raggidy

  96. Honestly, I think the rat just figured it was screwed when big cat came in for a sniff, so it might as well go out with a full belleh. Pretty smart wee thing.

  97. Oh, that’s funny! Great images.

  98. your foto is tne nice one

  99. hahahahah oh my!!!!!

  100. oh, no. pirate talk….

    urp. hate it.

    hides under the bed. will take fifteen or so guys to drag me out but anything is better than PT

  101. Awwww! That is just so cute!

  102. This is just ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE.
    What happened to the rat afterwards..?

  103. That’s no Leopard, it’s the local moggy on steroids. He is wary of little rat after the run in he had with its Mum at the local costcutter.
    I ‘ll keel haul the next naysayer that disagrees with me, every man jack o’ you scurvy swabs Yar har har and a bottle o’ Rum

  104. Waituuuuuuuuuur! There’s a rat in my filet d’antilope!

  105. Hon Glad – Absolutely right you are, Sir! Moggy on steroids. (shifty eyes)

    wannadance – Come on out!
    By the gelatinous blight o’my scurrilous heart, I promise (I would swear but that’s not nice), it was only a bit o’ falootin’ fun. Harmless cannon fodder.
    Pls. don’t be hatin’.
    (wait, r u pullin’ my peg leg?)

  106. Queen of Dork says:

    Why is this pic posted again with a different title and no comments allowed?

    [See that “Encore” tag? This is a rerun. Also, all of our old posts get closed automatically after a few months. Anti-spam measure. – Ed.]

  107. Looks like a rat with toxoplasmosis (infection by a parasite that causes rodents to lose their fear of cats, large and small). Lucky for him that’s one confused leopard.

    And what a pretty cat!

  108. @NTMTOM: if you’re going to give the nice kitty a massage, I sincerely hope you’ve got your plate armor on!

  109. Is this giving anyone else Madagascar flashbacks? It’s almost as though she doesn’t know she’s supposed to eat the rat. Very cute!!!

  110. Queen of Dork says:


  111. Queen of Dork says:

    Everyone is talking like a pirate so….

    ‘Ello Govna!!!

    I know, that wasn’t like a pirate. I’m a dork.

  112. Queen of Dork says:

    Bunny said, “Twister!”
    Horsey said “Ill kick your butt.”
    Bunny said “lunch first.”

  113. Queen D — was that intended for this post?
    (also, not bad)

  114. Queen of Dork says:

    Yes. My bad.

  115. Lol, great caption: “Why is my lunch eating my lunch?”

  116. *hee hee* mouse is ticklish behind the ears!

  117. @Tigress – when you think about it, relative size wise it’s not where near a fair game even when it’s a regular cat vs. mouse. To them a cat must look like King Kong.

  118. Only after reading the whole article I realized that this is the very same leopard that 5 years ago – while I was visiting the project – took one of its enormous paws, reached with lightening speed through the feeding slot in the fence and gave me a good smack on the head (and a leopardmade scar on the forhead, one of my most cherished achievements in life sofar). Sheena was very sweet up to that point and had the decency to retract her claws without taking my scalp with it. Until 5 minutes ago I used to think her hunting instinct was just too strong to resist the opportunity, but at least I wasn’t trying to steal her lunch.

  119. Rattie should be the new poster mascot for Courage! Wow!

  120. I’ve had that dream too – I’m the MOUSE and ALWAYS have my fill and get away!

    =^ ^=

  121. Duuuude! Personal Space! Sheesh!

  122. eek that was close

  123. Aww, those pics are so sweet.

  124. is it eat ing the mouse or is it loveing on the mouse

  125. wow, that’s an incredible thing to ponder

  126. OMG thats cute! Hopefully it didnt eat iit!!

  127. aaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwww

  128. aaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwww that is so precious

  129. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I keep coming back just to look at this picture from time to time. Even after I’ve checked out the updates. D-awww…

  130. thats awesome, i have never seen this before. excellent.

  131. that is so cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the cheeta is beautiful and the rat is adorable!!!!!!!!

  132. This is so adorable and beautiful!!! Think I’ll frame it. Terribly cute and precious.. Georgeous cat! Love your comment, Gizmo.

    But guys, that’s not a rat, that’s a mouse or something. Not a rat.

    Thank you for posting this pic!

  133. a littil lol