The cat that adopted us has been putting on weight, even though I've only fed her haphazardly the past few months. She raids compost buckets, and most days I see her out stalking voles and mice in the pasture, but I couldn't understand why these would be making her splumper. Obviously, not having to nurse three growing kittens makes it easier to keep a little weight on, and at first I assumed she was just getting back to her normal condition. But then she kept going. She's obviously not overweight, but she has more heft than at any point since she first showed up almost a year ago.
I had been thinking that she was getting handouts from the woman down the way who feeds some local strays, but when she stopped by a few weeks back she said she hadn't seen our cat before, though she did have a guess at who her mother was. Then Ed told me that he'd seen her with a pigeon, and two days ago Oban confirmed that this was no one time thing by triumphantly parading around with a decapitated corpse for the duration of his evening walk. Then yesterday she wandered out of the hops barn with - literally - feathers stuck all through her whiskers.
We have a lot of pigeons around, so I don't think there's much danger that she'll exterminate them. I find it interesting that she has learned to catch them, and has kept at it. I've never seen her with any other bird, but pigeons are meatier than anything else around, and much more substantial than any mouse. While I can't prove it, my suspicion is that her taste for squab is what has put the extra meat on her bones.