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I got to see Jack’s rage-face


Jack got into a cat fight the other night. This is unprecedented as a) Jack’s generally a cheerful, easygoing little chap and b) at the moment, there aren’t any other cats in the neighborhood.

Not counting Charlotte. They fight, or rather ‘fight’ — he gets too close, she hisses and wallops him one. Fight over.

But this was a proper screaming cat set-to. Charlotte was in the house, so we knew it was an intruder of some kind — from the horrible shrieking, possibly a fox. Or a werefox. Or a cat being skinned alive slowly. By a werefox.

But no, it was the typical cat thing: Jack and the stranger were ten feet apart, shouting at each other. The other guy was a big ginger and white fluffy boy. Twice Jack’s size. Don’t know if he’s new in the neighborhood or has come a long distance. He ran off into the hedge and I didn’t think more of it.

Hours passed, though, and we didn’t see Jack. This is highly unusual, so we went looking. Found him under a bush, staring into the gap in the hedge where the stranger fled.

I bent down to speak to him and he flipped his shit, shrieking and hissing and drooling so hard his chin was dripping. I honest to god thought he had rabies or a mortal injury or something.

Then I realized I had shone a flashlight in his eyes, blinding him. He had probably been on a knife edge, waiting for the intruder by the gap for hours, then suddenly blinded. I turned the flashlight onto my face and talked him down, got him into the house. Once he composed himself, he’s been super sweet and needy ever since.

Jack naturally has the crazy-eye — his eyes are slightly asymmetrical, out of focus. Makes him look unsettling. But holy shit I’ve never seen a cat as scary as Jack’s rage-face. For a terrible minute, I was frightened what he might do.

It’s always the little ‘uns.


Comment from Nina
Time: August 2, 2016, 10:37 pm

It just goes to show you that even if you neuter them, they still act like tomcats.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 2, 2016, 10:48 pm

I’d uprate that comment, if my rating system still worked.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: August 2, 2016, 11:17 pm

That Cat/Banshee Wail is scary as Hell, and I mean that literally. Mrs. Vegetable and I were awakened by it one night. Our Gina was at the all-glass garden door and screaming and throwing herself with all her might against the glass. Outside, sitting calmly with a cat-sneer on his face, was some stray cat – in HER garden. Gina was, like Jack, well beyond rationality. I’m kind of amazed that he recognized you. I had to throw a towel over Gina, and then I went out into the garden and chased that intruder off myself. Nobody messes with MY Gina.

Comment from AliceH
Time: August 3, 2016, 1:10 am

I just now had an episode of cat-sees-stranger-cat followed by cat-can’t-get-to-stranger-cat-therefore-attack-human. It was seriously tense. I was “trapped” on the back patio after shooing off the intruder. Couldn’t come in the back screened porch because my cat was hissing and making godawful moans and clearly wanted to shred me. I didn’t think to leave the front door unlocked. So, just stood there, making goofy soothing noises I hoped signaled “me friend! the one that feeds you!”. Nothing. Just more hissing and bared teeth.

Found a leaf on the ground and pressed it up to the screen for her to sniff. Then, I cracked open the door and tossed it in. Success! She POUNCED on it, and was thrilled by the crackly leaf thing. Meanwhile, I slipped in the door and got back into the house.

Was feeling pretty chuffed, until I saw… the intruder was back. Dammit.

This time, I filled a spritzer with water and vinegar, went out the front, and “shot” the damn thing over and over and over until it was in the neighbor’s yard.

Now mine is on the porch looking like none of this ever happened. I’m inside, typing a comment about my “ordeal”.

Damn cats. 🙂

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: August 3, 2016, 1:25 am

Cats are not nearly as domesticated as dogs are. And perhaps they cannot ever be.

Even still, all dogs have a trigger somewhere, buried more deeply in some than others, that can be activated. If you are an observant dog owner you learn to watch for the signs that the wolf is coming close to the surface – well, you do if you’re a dog owner that has a good understanding of dogs. Many if not most dog owners never see it, and I expect many don’t even realize that it’s there.

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: August 3, 2016, 7:35 am

People are the same way. I have seen it at bar fights, and at domestics. Tweekers, too.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 3, 2016, 10:17 am

Love your story, AliceH!

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: August 3, 2016, 1:34 pm

The closest I ever came to the cat rage business was an incident I may have mentioned here before. Arizona, the big red tabby and possible Maine Coon mix, had trapped a big cockroach in the living room. I’d heard eating them gave cats worms, so I stooped to take it away from him.

He growled at me. It was so loud, my then-wife heard him in the bedroom and later asked what the hell was that.

I told him, “Okay, fine, get sick,” and left him to it. He didn’t get sick; he lived to be 16 and a bit more, with frequent Blattidae snacks. Maybe they don’t hurt cats, or maybe not ones with iron constitutions like his.

Comment from AliceH
Time: August 3, 2016, 5:13 pm

“… big cockroach in the living room.”

“… frequent Blattidae…”.

I just figured out the *cat’s name*, not the location, was Arizona. Pray tell, Wolfus Aurelius, where did this happen? I need to be sure to never, ever, go there. ::shudder::

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: August 3, 2016, 8:19 pm

AliceH, you’re right, Arizona was the cat, named for the state where my then-wife grew up. He grew to be large, red rock-colored, and occasionally prickly like a cactus, so the name fitted him perfectly.

The location, God help me, was the same where I’m stuck now: unlovely SE Louisiana. You don’t want to come here? *I* don’t want to be here, and the Blattidae are only part of why. Oh, the number of six-legged invaders might have been because we lived right across the street from a park. I’ve seen a lot fewer where I am now. (Boric acid powder helps.)

Comment from Veeshir
Time: August 3, 2016, 9:17 pm

Wolfus, I live in Arizona (Apache Junction) and there are plenty of coyotes around this place. There aren’t a lot of stray cats or little rat dogs around here.

Every now and then I’ll hear an OUTRAGED!!! cat warning some coyote that he HAD BETTER NOT MESS WITH THE CAT!!!!
Next, I hear a screech as the cat is killed, then a bunch of coyotes sounding like a herd of ghosts being skinned as they eat the cat.

Cats think they’re far higher up the food chain than they really are.
I blame the Egyptians.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 3, 2016, 9:35 pm

My Grandma was from Baton Rouge. Lived in the bayou. We used to go visit in August.


God, I hated that place.

Comment from GunnerySargentHartman
Time: August 3, 2016, 10:37 pm

Gunny Hartman: Let me see your war face!
Jack: Mwrow?
Gunny Hartman: Your war face AHHHH!! that’s a war face
Jack: Rawr Hiss Hiss Spit!!
Gunny Hartman: You don’t scare me. Work on it.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: August 4, 2016, 1:00 pm

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 3, 2016, 9:35 pm

My Grandma was from Baton Rouge. Lived in the bayou. We used to go visit in August.


God, I hated that place.
It has not improved. I especially hate it now that I’ve lived somewhere that is not like it: Denver, CO. They pave all the streets there, you can make a left turn at every major intersection, and they have 4 seasons in the year. All completely unlike Loozyana.

Comment from tibby
Time: August 5, 2016, 5:37 pm

Loozyana – that’s were the grandkids are, so here we stay…melting hot, steamy wet, jungle growth, Lousyanna. and now to make it more awful – John Bel Edwards!!!!

Comment from Oceania
Time: August 9, 2016, 6:57 am

Harry the Little Ginger Bastard?

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