I was never a “cat” person. I’ve always liked cats in passing, kind of the same way I like kids these days. They are super cute, fun to play with, but I don’t really want one living with me long term.
And then I met Flea Market Guy. He had two cats when we got together. When we moved in together, he brought those two cats and a parrot (Lulu). I had two dogs and a fish tank full of gouramis.
I ended up giving my sister the fish and the tank, in an effort to downsize somewhat. We were living in a very small space and had 5 other souls that depended on us. What we didn’t intend to happen was to keep collecting animals. I found a tiny bobtail kitten while I was pumping gas one day. It was getting ready to storm as Hurricane Zeta was set to make landfall and we had all the rain that had been blowing through. So we named the kitten Zeta. She was tiny. Her eyes were barely open. I wrapped her in a sweatshirt and brought her home. I officially declared her “my cat.” She bonded with the dogs and sometimes I think she even thinks she’s a dog. After Zeta, we brought in a cat that my friend could no longer keep. She was still a kitten. A calico. We changed her name to Tiki. And then there were four.
It didn’t really seem like a lot because we had a doggie door and they could just come and go as they pleased. And they did.
And then, one day, FMG and I went to our local gas station and one of the cashiers said her boyfriend was abusing her cat and the kittens she just had. He had thrown boiling water on them because they wouldn’t use the litter box. I should have probably just called the police on him, but if he would do that to the cats, I feared what he might do to her. So instead of calling the police and reporting him for animal cruelty, I told her I would go to her house and Mama and the kittens.
I brought them home in cat carrier. There were 2 orange babies and a grey one. They were all scared, including mama. We kept them in our room for a while and then started to let them explore. Once they found the outdoors, they were happy. The grey one wandered too far and never came home. Hopefully someone loving got her, but we may never know. The other kittens stayed pretty close to the house.
We named them George and Sal. As they grew, they became really prey driven. They love attacking things. Sure, all cats like playing with moving objects, but George, he takes it to a whole other level.
He likes killing things, after he tortures and plays with them. Sometimes I think he was a serial killer in his last life.
He has brought birds, mice, and rabbits into the house. Sometimes the rabbits are still alive and squealing because he is skinning them alive. Sal just kind of goes along for the ride like George’s patsy, but on occasion he will kill something. That’s how they got their nickname, “the murder twins.”
When we moved to South Carolina, we didn’t really think about the wildlife that would be here. We knew we were going to let all the cats come and go. Our new house doesn’t have a doggie door and since it’s a rental, it’s not going to be getting one any time soon. Instead, FMG put a cat door on one of the windows that leads to the back yard. So the cats can go in and out with no problems.
They can also bring critters, dead and alive, into the house with no problem as well. And they do. The other cats will sometimes get in on the shenanigans, but for the most part, George is the instigator.
Every time he kills something, I feel more and more traumatized. I know that he is just “doing what cats do.” And I know that I could very well lock him and the others inside the house and not let them go explore, but that’s a lot of cats to have in the house all the time. Plus, they like the freedom of going outside. I don’t think I would like it very much if I could never go outdoors and explore. Actually, I’m sure I would hate that. So, I thought letting them out and dealing with the occasional murder was just something I was going to learn to live with.
…until the other night.
We heard screeching coming from the living room. I got up to see what it was and George had a baby critter on the floor and he was batting it around. I grabbed the critter and took it back to the bedroom with me. It was so small and I was still half asleep, I couldn’t really tell what kind of animal it was. Before I could figure it out, another screech. FMG got up and got the second one and brought it into the bedroom. I ended up laying them next to me in the bed and going back to sleep for a couple hours.
I was pretty sure when I woke up, I would be sleeping next to two dead animals, but they were miraculously alive.
I found a rehabber and took them to her. Unfortunately, they did not make it.
But, I came home and had a talk with George. I asked him to PLEASE quit killing rabbits and mice. I just didn’t think my soul could handle it anymore. Now, I’m not saying that George knows English or even that he has the mental capacity to understand my plea, but since then, he has not brought any mice or rabbits or birds into the house nor have I seen him killing any of them outside.
But now, he’s moved on to frogs and lizards. I know that a life is a life and I should not be relieved if he is taking one kind over another, but, I will say, frogs and lizards are really resilient. I’ve had way more success scooping up a lizard and a frog and relocating them outside alive than I have had with any furry creature.
So maybe asking nicely does work. Now I guess I need to ask him nicely to just quit killing, period.