A dream of a thousand cats

I’ve never been afraid of cats before. Normally I really like cats, but tonight I’m seeing the neighborhood cats in an almost sinister light. I’m pretty weirded out right now.

A little background:

There are four cats in my neighborhood that make appearances in my yard almost daily: Mousey (aka White Cat), Shy Girl (aka White Cat II), Samantha (aka Black and Brown Cat) and Black Cat (who is waiting for Sarai to name her). These cats are all completely wild and none of them will let people get too close.

Samantha has two kittens (Little White Kitten and Little Stripey Kitten) who look around one month old. Sarai and I have been planning to catch them and find homes for them so that they don’t grow up feral. We also plan to catch Samantha and get her fixed. Samantha and the kittens live in a little crawlspace behind my house. We like to feed them and spy on them, but we can never get close enough to catch them. This crawlspace is the perfect shelter for them; it’s too small and inconvenient for people to get into.

Mousey comes and goes. He is possibly the father of Samantha’s kittens and often hangs around them, which is strange because father cats don’t usually stick around their kittens. I understand mother cats also don’t usually let other cats hang around them too much. But Mousey is always around.

Shy Girl doesn’t come around too often. She and Mousey don’t get along. They yowl at each other and have stare-downs.

Black Cat lives next door in the yard of the empty house and sometimes wanders over. She seems to get along with the other cats. I think she and Samantha are from the same litter (and also the same litter that brought us Elly last year).

So those are the players. On to tonights scene.

It all started when by chance I happened to look out my kitchen window and thought I saw some unusual activity across the yard. I went out to investigate and saw it was Black Cat and four kittens! Now realize, I had absolutely no idea that Black Cat was a mother. A closer look revealed that in the far corner of my yard were these four kittens (one black, one white, two grey), Black Cat, Mousey, and Shy Girl, all sitting around together watching the kittens climb around a wood pile. I immediately decided that I need to try to do with these kittens what I wanted to do with the other two, namely catch them and get them off the streets. As I went out there, the adult cats reluctantly scattered, leaving the kittens alone. I picked them up one at a time and brought them inside, after having to dig the last two out of the woodpile where they were hiding. I found a big cardboard box and put them in it with a towel to lay on, some food, and some water, and put them in my spare bedroom.

After all four kittens were inside I saw Black Cat climbing around the woodpile looking for them. She looked up at me with big yellow accusing eyes like she knew I took them. I felt really bad for her but it’s for the best. The last thing this neighborhood needs is more feral cats (these four cats I name here are not the only ones around, just the only ones that hang out regularly in my yard). Samantha was sitting on the wall near her crawlspace with her two kittens. Mousey was back in the corner, sitting and watching Black Cat. Then weird things started happening.

I walked into my living room and glanced out the open front door and what do I see sitting at the screen door looking in? Samantha and Mousey. Remember what I said about these cats keeping their distance from people. They were right up at my door, looking in and staring at me. They backed off a little when I walked closer to the door, and from there I noticed that Black Cat was out there too, also looking directly at me. I watched them for a while and walked away, carrying on with what I was doing. I passed near the door a few times over the next 20 minutes or so and every time the cats were back, just sitting there looking in. The kittens weren’t crying or making any noise, but somehow these cats knew exactly what happened, in spite of the fact that none of them actually saw me pick up the kittens and bring them inside. Samantha had left her kittens alone to come join these other cats at my door. This is when I started thinking about all the horror movies I’ve seen and stories I’ve read about cats taking revenge on people. This went on for some time. I was getting more and more uncomfortable about them being out there but I didn’t want to close the door because I was afraid of not being able to see what they were up to. I sat on the floor just inside the screen door for a while and stared back. The weirdest part was the fact that all three (the only one missing was Shy Girl) cats were out there, not just the one who was affected by my taking the kittens. Samantha was out there like she was lending support to Black Cat because she knows that it could easily be her next time. They were all looking at me like a jury. By this time it was getting dark outside and I was having trouble seeing them. I turned off all the lights inside so I could see out better.

I finally decided a peace offering was called for. After some deliberation, I picked out the white kitten as the one who should go back to her mother. Sam and Mousey backed off as I slowly opened the screen a bit and stepped out onto the porch. I sat on the top step with the kitten at my feet. Black Cat saw me immediately and almost ran across the yard towards me and stopped about five feet away. She looked at me, then looked at the kitten, then looked at me again. All the while Sam and Mousey were a little further back watching all of us. I got up and stepped back inside to watch. Black Cat cautiously approached the kitten and sniffed at her, keeping an eye on me. Then the other cats approached and each took their turn sniffing. Then they backed off a little and continued staring at me. This went on for around 10 minutes. Eventually the kitten wandered off down the sidewalk away from my house and toward the house next door where she came from. Black Cat followed her and the others dispersed. I closed the front door.

I tried to eat dinner after this but I had completely lost my appetite. This ended over an hour ago but I’m still looking outside every so often to see what’s going on. Now there are no cats to be seen. I can’t believe how much this has freaked me out. I’m still nervous and I’m sure I’m going to dream about this tonight. This sounds really lame but It’s crossed my mind to let the rest of the kittens go too. I’m not going to, I’m just going to hope that having one back has made Black Cat a little happier, but I can’t help but wonder if she’s going to come back for the rest. I’m also having second thoughts about taking Samantha’s kittens. I think she was the one who freaked me out the most. She was right up at my door looking in… It’s like she knows what I’m planning for her and hers.

This is all going to sound really silly in the morning.


saraicat says:

Wow, angry kitties. I’m sure they can smell the kittens or something, but it’s weird how the other cats are backing the mom up like that.

kchrist says:

I should have expected it from Mousey and Shy Girl. They’re little gangsters, straight out of Echo Park, you know?