The kitty-cat killing machine

When I first heard it, I was confused. Of course I had been sleeping so that explained it. It’s kinda freaky to be wakened in the wee hours of the morning — somewhere between the beginning of Rapid Eye Movement and dawn — by strange sounds emanating from the hallway.
I guess if I have to explain descriptively, the sound was guttural and from a small mammal.
To further the sound’s description, imagine a house cat not saying meow, but rather with a rolling tongue something like ‘b-l-e-e-t, b-l-e-et? over and over. It was dark and it was late. Since I am a scaredy-cat, I did the only thing I could — I slunk deep under the covers and forced myself back to sleep, only to rise again with the safety of the rising sun. (Nah, I haven’t watched too many scary movies . . . )
Bathed in the warm glow of the morning sun shining through the window, I hopped out of bed and went into the hallway to check things out. Out in the yard, songbirds happily sang.
But in the hallway I saw the carnage that had obviously taken place during the hours of darkness. Beanie Babies were everywhere — a little brown monkey was on its back in an unnatural position; a little green bear laid face down on the floor, up against the wall. Up and down the hallway little multicolored stuffed animals were left in death throes.
In a pile of dirty clothes I noticed Thomas, our grey striped cat curled up and sleeping soundly. I knew then, at that moment, something wasn’t right with that cat. He was about a year old and on that night had gone on an orgy of stalking and killing our children’s Beanie Babies.
Tom was an orphan raised by human hands, ours, after he was found stumbling down some lonely dirt road. He had a larva (some call ’em botflies) living just beneath the skin between his left ear and cheek. He had some sort of viral infection and, well, that’s why we called him Thomas, because we doubted he would live to see the next day. Live he did and grow he did.
Thomas is a good pet (as far as cats go) to our family. Everybody else he hates. I guess he must hate Beanie Babies, too. And, while I understand his feelings towards the little stuffed critters, I am not about to grab ’em by the neck with my teeth, shake the stuffing out of ’em and then drop their carcasses around the house. People would think I was nuts, which is what I think Thomas is.
The carnage is daily. When we come home in the afternoon we know Tom has continued his quest to kill all Beanie Babies. We even made it Sean’s chore to pick up all the stuffed animals and put them back in the Beanie Babie Basket, located in the play room. Tom has never been out since in our care. He has never hunted live prey, but to watch him, you’d never know that. I admit to be in awe of Thomas? instinct to kill.
Until recently, I didn’t know why that instinct was so strong. I didn’t know until I saw an episode of Animal Planet’s ‘Most Extreme? television show. If you’ve never seen the show, they pick a subject like ‘Most Extreme Flirter? and then count down from 10 the most flirtatious critters in the natural world. The kids love it, it is interesting and funny. In the episode of ‘Most Extreme Killers,? I discovered that the common house cat is the world’s Most Extreme Killer, more extreme than even the great white shark.
I went on-line and found out this is true. In 1998, the Minnesota DNR posted info from a University of Wisconsin study into ‘free-ranging domestic cats.? Get a load of the following information and you’ll understand Thomas.
‘The most recent UW research suggests that the estimated 1 million to 2 million free-ranging rural cats in Wisconsin kill roughly 40 million birds each year.?
These cats don’t kill for food, they kill for the sport of it. Because they can.
It makes me feel warm and fuzzy that an insane serial killer is living under the same roof as me.