How a lazy apex predator feeds itself using mind control.
What is a Gundi?
A Gundi is a small rodent found in the rocky deserts of Northern Africa.4
Gundis are from 17–18 cm in body length, with compact bodies covered in soft fur, short legs, and large eyes. They have only four toes on all feet and the middle toes of the hind feet carry comb-like bristles, which earned them the name comb rat. Gundis have short tails, which in some species are covered in a large fan of hair that aids in balancing as they move about their rocky and uneven environments.
Gundis don't drink water. They can get all of the water that they need from the plant material they eat, and they can eat pretty much any plant they come across. Gundi's live in colonies on the side of rock ledges. To deal with the problem of communal waste disposal, they have some sort of implicit agreement to all poop in the same location. So to find a Gundi colony, you need to identify their 'crottes' (in the local dialect), or a large pile of Gundi dung.5 Given than they don't drink water, it wouldn't surprise me if they didn't urinate at all.
Gundis are very good at dissipating heat, and when the temperature drops the collect together into close proximity -- making a kind of cuddle pile. They are very social, adorable, and make sounds like chirping birds.5
Gundi dung heaps can be centuries old.5 However, if you want to find an active colony, you will need to first identify such a heap, with some moist, recent deposits.5 To actually catch a Gundi will you will have to scale the adjacent rocks and literally pry them out of their rock crevices.
To hunt a Gundi by scaling a rock face in the heat of the desert, might be more trouble than it is worth. Evolution has provided the Gundi with a type of heat dissipation advantage over us. This same advantage that ensures that small people always win marathons.
The amount of heat your body generates is proportional to its contents, or volume. Volume has a cubed relationship with radius. Unfortunately your ability to radiate away heat, or to stay cool, is proportional to the surface area of your skin. Area has a squared relationship with radius. So, as the body gets larger in its radius, it's ability to stay cool becomes a harder and harder problem to solve.
So as you hunt under the burning sun, the little Gundi will sit comfortably, patient in its tight little rock crevice. You will suffer, every one of your big oafish-exertions, will make this mission more miserable for you.
Large cats have a similar problems stalking Gundis. Like us, they have a hard time dissipating heat. Unlike the little Gundi, they need to drink water. Though they may not be able to scale rocks as well as we can, they have all of the other advantages of being the apex predator. Pay no mind, in a square fight, this really wouldn't make a difference to our little Gundi. She would sit impregnable in her little Quebec.
It isn't a square fight at all though. The cat has a secret, terrible weapon: Toxoplasma gondii. They excrete it from their feces, and if an unsuspecting Gundi ingests it while eating it's plant diet, key portions of their brain turn treacherous. This corruption manifests as a change in thinking: the acrid smell of cat urine becomes a pleasant thing. Furthermore, the horror-memories associated with cats are reorganized into a thinking that cats aren't so bad after all.6
So unlike you and me, for a cat to hunt a Gundi it just needs to go to the bathroom in the vicinity of a Gundi colony. Then wait for a mind-controlled Gundi to climb down from it's impenetrable position and introduce itself.
This might have something to do with the small indian village in the Bhojpur district of Bihar state. ↩
According to the urban dictionary, a gundi is a ghetto girl or a thugette1:
"oh my daze that girl is a propa gundi!"
In Indian slang, it seems to mean something that is dirty.2
Gundi Kuti haraam zaddah3