Originally Posted by Kent Wang
This Catso sounds like quite the racketeer.
Catso appeared one Thanksgiving and was so impressed with the turkey handout he scored that he adopted my grandparents as their outdoor cat. During cold weather, a favorite activity of his was to sleep on the hood of whichever car had just come in from a drive and had the warmest engine. The cars got covered with his dirty pawprints.
We never learned where he came from or how old he was. The theory was that he had escaped from a car that passed through on I-95 or had run away from an abusive home. He had a mortal terror of brooms, which figured into the abuse theory. He was not afraid of every implement with a handle, however, and would often preside over gardening or construction projects around the yard.
One minor gardening project invloved planting a catnip plant. Subsequently, a miniature fence needed to be constructed to keep the catnip contained and to keep "Cat," as he was invariably called in tones of disapproval, from rolling over and crushing the adjacent flowers while he was getting wasted. Lord only knows what fantastic brutes he imagined hunting after a roll in that catnip bush, but he certainly pursued them with an acrobatic prowess that must have struck terror into their hearts if not killed them on the spot.
One of Catso's titles was "The Mighty Hunter." He was phenominal. He killed birds, mice, rabbits (not "bunnies" -- damnit), squirrels, and rats, which were the one thing he wouldn't deign to eat. Every once in a while, he'd get really introverted. That's when you knew he'd been bested by a racoon.
He performed some fairly amazing feats to apprehend these creatures. Once my sister-in-law rescued a bird from his clutches. No sooner had the dazed bird flown away and alighted in a nearby tree than Catso was up the tree and out on the limb with the bird in his mouth again.
I once found him lounging in the ivy and gave him a good petting, something he never turned down. While he was blissing out, a bird alighted a couple of meters away, and no sooner had I become aware of the fact than Catso was stolling away with the bird in his mouth. The speed with which he went from completely relaxed and oblivious to fully alert and active is something I've never witnessed before or since.
A few of us witnessed one of his hunting adventures that nearly cost him his pride. He was walking along the stockade fence between my grandparents' yard and the neighbor's, when he spied a bird in a bush on the neighbor's side of the fence. After spending a few moments of ritual stalking, in which he adjusted is stance slightly, he lunged headlong into the bush, only to find himself clinging for dear life, spread-eagle, to the swaying bush. The bird, meanwhile, had flown away with time to spare. After a few moments of panic, Catso recovered his wits, hooked a paw over the top of the fence and clambered back onto it. He then jumped down and started cleaning himself as if nothing had never happened.
So here's hoping Catso, "Good-Old Catso," "Catso the Mighty Hunter," "Catso the Dirty Loafer," "Cat," "Cat-oh," "Kittyboy," "Kitty-oh," to mention only a fraction of his titles and epithets, has gone to a heaven that is a spacious yard with penty of critters to hunt.