Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Day I Killed the Wild Cat

Yesterday I mentioned that I would kill a cat to have my daughters gorgeous hair.  After I typed that statement I realized that I actually had killed a cat.

So here is the story :-)


When I was 12, our family moved to the mountains of Colorado.  After living 13 different places with the Army, we were quite excited to have pets that wouldn't 1) have to live in military housing or 2) be given away after a year.  Within a couple years of settling in our wonderful big home, we acquired a lovely variety of chickens, rabbits, cats, dogs, ducks and goats - and that's only the outdoor animals.

One of the more practical additions to the barn (all the ducks did was poop and feed coyotes) was Marmalade, a large, orange tom cat.  Marm enjoyed catching mice and cuddling with his people.  Unfortunately, he also enjoyed scrapping with other tom cats, a habit which eventually ended up killing him.  But not yet.  Marmalade is still alive in this story.

The barn and the food we fed our kitty attracted a couple other homeless kitties.  They would come and go, but Marmalade remained top cat and having a few more mouse-eaters was fine by us.  All was well...until one day...

The Wild Cat was enormous and orange with a half tail and fangs.  He was 150% the size of Marmalade and would whip his tail in short order.  And he did too, numerous times.  Our poor kitty limped around with a perpetually injured ear/leg/back and lived in fear.  One morning, when my Mom walked into the barn, Wild Cat made a huge leap from the loft towards her face.  Mom ducked and the Cat's claws sunk into the barn door behind her.  He yowled and ran out the back door.  It was then decided that Wild Cat needed to go away forever.  The shotgun became standard issue with the milking pail each time we went to the barn - but days passed and Wild Cat did not show up.

After the attack, my parents went on their weekly date night leaving the eldest ones in charge.  My sister Marie and I had the barn chores that night. 

We forgot the shotgun. 

As I began the milking, I noticed Marmalade, who had been calmly eating his kitty kibble, was bristled and staring toward the loft.  Suddenly, his back arched, he hissed and bolted out the door.  At the moment Marm fled, Wild Cat appeared at the loft.  He stared at me for a minute and then ran out the door after Marmalade.  Marie and I dropped what we were doing and dashed to the house for a shotgun and a spotlight - it was getting dark. 

I had the gun and Marie held the spotlight.  We looked around the back of the barn and saw a large, orange figure in a cluster of rocks.  I knew I shouldn't shot into a pile of boulders especially with a shotgun.  Together we hollered at him and threw rocks in his direction hoping to move him to where I could get a better shot.

He vanished. 

Then we were really scared; out in the dark with this disappearing crazy cat that attacked our Mom.  We searched frantically with the spotlight and finally saw a pair of glowing eyes up in a tree.  It was him.  Marie tried to hold the spotlight on him but it shook violently.  I prayed out loud that God would help Marie hold it still.  As the beam caught his glowing eyes, I aimed and I fired. 

The cat dropped immediately but started to move once he hit the ground.  We panicked and ran towards the nearest Daddy figure around, our neighbor Steve.  Considering he opened the door to two sobbing shaking messes, one holding a shotgun and stuttering something about a wild cat that was killed but alive, he handled things very well and asked us to take him to where we last saw the cat.  He hadn't gone very far and he was very dead.  Steve gathered the remains and deposited it into our dumpster. 

I called my parents and told them the whole story, adrenaline still pumping through my body.  I had already been hunting successfully a couple times but none of the deer I had shot were out for blood or had glowing eyes or were skulking about in the dark.  They had all dropped instantly, too.  And we weren't planning on eating it this evil cat, either.  It was a new thing.

The next morning, Dad went to the dumpster to look at the Wild Cat a little more.  It's short tail, fangs, long legs and unique ears led him to believe this cat was perhaps a Pixie Bob, a cross between a bobcat and a domestic cat.  Bred in captivity as a novelty pet, Wild Cat appeared to be a cross that had happened naturally in the wild. 

I skinned the tail and tanned it with salt. 

I'm a warrior like that.

Our cat, Clyde would have been proud of me.

The End

(I'd like my hair now, please)


Renia said...

LOL! Love it. If only you could get her hair. But then again, that kill was for a different reason....not to get hair. ;)

Stephanie said...

I remember you telling me this story and I have yet to forget it! There have been many times that I have referenced to your pixie bob story! :) In fact, not too long ago I was telling someone about it and they almost didn't believe me!

Beth Ann Zeller said...

The best part was the cell phone call that we received in the Wal Mart parking lot. "M-m-m-m-m-om, I-I-I-I-I-I- K-K-k-k-k-k-illed the w-w-w-w-wild c-c-c-cat!"