Let me tell you about my cat. My cat’s name is Aiden. He is all black, slender, has bright yellow eyes, and has rather sharp claws. He is an outside cat that loves to prowl about the Wilbraham suburbs stalking the various rodent-culture which include but are not limited to: Rabbits, moles, chipmunks, birds, mice, and so on and so forth.
Many times I come home to find a mangled corpse sprawled across our steps like some sort of primal offering upon the edifice of a blood-god. Once I came home to find a headless mouse, which isn’t so out of the blue, but this time the intact head was lying next to the body as if it had been recently cleaved. So then I start to wonder, did my cat take the mouse’s head off with a claymore? Did it kill the mouse somewhere else then carry the little mouse head in its maw separately? Odd things to ponder.
One day, however, I was standing in my kitchen which has a big window in which to view the majority of my back yard. There are a lot of trees and assorted fauna in the backyard for our cat to hunt in so sometimes I’ll just watch him as he stalks though the garden or eyes an oblivious rabbit from afar, gliding in closer and closer with menace in his eyes. So this particular day I witnessed something extraordinary. I watched Aiden as he stalked up on a chipmunk, given how skittish those things are I wonder how he possibly catches as many as he does. (It would be interesting to see his “caught” and “gotten away” ratio for chipmunk hunting.)
So any who, Aiden comes upon the chipmunk with the utmost stealth and feline grace, slowly advancing as the unaware chipmunk licks his little paws to clean behind his ears. As Aiden is just a foot away, the chipmunk cocks his head ever so slightly, as to tune into a sound that has caught his attention but it is too late. Aiden has sprung and has the cuddly rodent pinned beneath his claws.
Now I expected for him to just rip the chipmunk’s throat out or perhaps claw it out but as he just sat there with a chipmunk squirming under his needle-like claws I remembered that cats like to play with their captive. And so began the torture of one of what could possibly be chip and dale’s distant cousin.
The cat started by batting him around a bit, then let him go briefly before he would recapture him and then batter him around some more. Then, to exacerbate things, he would let the chipmunk go yet again, letting it run long enough to taste the sweetness of freedom on the fringes of his taste buds. Aiden would then delight as he recaptured the chipmunk, reveling in the hopelessness emanating from the creatures furry pores. He did this long enough for me to get a glass of milk and then he pounced for the last time.
It was at this point that Aiden was finished playing, he let the chipmunk free only to give him a violent slash with his claws, sending the chipmunk’s tail flying. He then had the chipmunk cornered, slowly approaching as the chipmunk looked on helpless and tail-less. But then a turn of the tides, the chipmunk sprang forward directly at Aiden’s face, rebounding off his nose and in the following cat-confusion sped towards the nearest tree and rocketed up its side.
“Wow,” I thought, “what a ballsy chipmunk.” I sat there silently praising the chipmunk for his ingenuity in escaping my cat. Surely it was over now that the chipmunk escaped to the network of trees in our backyard. Aiden sat staring fixedly at the boughs of the tree. I caught a glimpse of something moving from the edges of the leaves, and then, without warning, a brownish blur streaked like cute lightning from the tree. He was a shining furry beacon raging toward the cat. From the depths of my imagination I could almost hear the chipmunk screaming like a castrated Leonidas in a teeny voice, “You may take my tail… but you’ll never take… my dignity!”
From then on it was impossible to tell what exactly happened. It was quick, there was a flash of movement for a few moments and then, when my eyes were able to fix upon that silent face-off outside my kitchen window, I was able to see Aiden walking triumphantly away with a broken and beaten chipmunk hanging limp from his jaws. I felt like my cat was walking away with the rodent equivalent of John Connor. The only one with the wherewithal to lead the “resistance” against my cat had just had his spine snapped.
After that I began to evaluate the personality of the cat, which tells me I probably didn’t have too much going on in my head that day to be analyzing the moral ambiguity of my feline pet. Essentially he’s a ruthless tyrant preying on those weaker than him for nothing more than pure enjoyment, but he also purrs so lovingly when pet behind his ears… so I was left conflicted. He still leaves tattered carcasses about the yard and I still pet him behind the ears, so all in all nothing will change.