Thursday, September 21, 2006

Feline Mafia

While we're on the subject of bad cats, I think I'll share the story of the most threatening cats I've ever encountered. I first came in contact with these cats over a year ago, when I unknowingly moved into an apartment complex that was owned by the Feline Mafia. I was unaware of the true ownership of the building when I first moved in because the Feline Mafia, or the Litter, as they called themselves, had front men posing as humans in the rental office. (In retrospect, I should have known they weren't human. They were suspicious, not overly friendly, and their powers of will were greater than their powers of reason.)

I first saw signs of the Litter late one night when I was coming home from work. As I passed through the parking lot toward my apartment, I felt that I was being followed. I turned to look, and a large, striped tabby with a scar down his face was staring at me brazenly. I took several more steps, stopped, and turned again, only to find that the cat had closed the distance between us. I quickened my pace and made it the door of the apartment and entered. The cat passed my door, but lingered in the complex for sometime.

A few days later, I saw the same cat again, this time followed by several other cats. They stopped outside an apartment on the first floor and waited for the man inside to pay his dues, in the form of food. I watched as the poor man, afraid to even step outside his apartment, flung the food out the door. The cats ate and left, probably to collect dues from other tenants.

That night I learned what happened to those who crossed the Litter. At about three in the morning, I was awakened by unearthly screaming and howling coming from the pool. I ran to the window, and witnessed the following scene. There had been a fight, and a cat who had been so unwise as to displease the Litter cowered underneath a pool chair a large ugly stripey cat swiped at him. The large cat was getting closer with every swipe, and the weaker cat decided to run for it. He took off through the pool fence, howling all the way, with the large cat close on his tail. I'm not sure what became of this poor, foolish cat, but I never saw him again.

The most terrifying experience I had with the Litter was in the December, about six months after I moved in. I had managed to avoid paying off the Litter thus far and was determined not to submit to their rules. I was walking out the door of my apartment and turned around to grab my umbrella, which I keep just inside the door. Though I was only turned around for seconds, when I started back out the door, an orange cat stood in the door frame looking at me. I froze, and, aware that my life was in danger, screamed, hoping to attract attention and scare off the Litter's hitman. It worked; the cat slunk off into the shadows, and I hurried to class. That very day I began making plans to move to a safer neighborhood. I now live in an apartment that is not in the shadow of the Feline Mafia. It is a feeling of freedom and security that I thought I might never have again.

But don't get me started on that gang of teenage squirrels that vandalizes the neighborhood with reckless abandon. I overlook them for now, but I know a group of cats that might be grateful for some new targets.

No comments: