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Their soft paws pitter-patter against the floor. Their little mews come out high and melodious. Their motor-like purrs vibrate as they rub against your legs. In my experience, cats have been the most peaceful, loving and playful animals there could be.
Growing up, I had two cats. Their names were Buster and Billy. They loved to talk to us and snuggle, but their all-time favorite thing was to play! They could chase a ping-pong ball for hours at a time. In the morning, I would wake up to two fluffy kitties gently nibbling my nose and licking my cheek. They thought we had slept long enough.
One day at school, I was talking with my friend, Jack, about how cute and affectionate my cats were. He said that his cat is the “devil of the family.”
“Jack, he can’t be that bad. Cats are so cuddly and playful.”
“Do you want to bet a hundred bucks on it?” he said.
It turns out, he is that bad.
Jack told me about his brutal cat and the way he has injured his family. His dad often has big, deep scratches on his arms and legs. The worst story was about the time that the cat attacked Jack’s head; scratching and biting parts of skin off of his scalp. Funny enough, Jack’s mom was never the target of the cat’s wrath. I couldn’t even process that a cat could be so vile. I also couldn’t understand why they would keep a cat like that.
One afternoon, Jack invited me over to his house. I agreed quickly as I wanted to see the “Killer Cat.” The walk to his house was full of strong warnings: to stay outside of his house until the beast was crated.
We walked up the five flights of stairs, getting closer and closer to the infamous animal. I felt a shiver go up my spine when I heard the low growls and hisses from the other side of the door.
“All clear!” Jack yelled to me.
As we walked into the apartment, I saw a shaking crate in the corner of the living room.
“Max, meet Felix.”
“Sheesh, he is crazy!”
“I shouldn’t say it, but I told you so,” he added.
After a snack we forgot about Felix and his low hisses and watched some soccer. It was the FA English Premier League game. As we heard “Goaaalll!” from the TV, we also heard the voice of Jack’s mom telling us that she’s going across the street to the grocery store.
About ten minutes later, the doorbell rang.
“Hello?” Jack called
“Yeah, it’s Max’s dad.”
“Okay, I’ll buzz you in,” Jack said.
My dad walked in and noticed the crate stuffed with Felix in the corner.
“Hey you guys, why would you put a cute little kitty in such a small crate like this?” my dad asked.
“Because he’s the devil on the earth,” Jack snarled.
“Ha! Jack, you’re so funny. I’m going to let him out”.
My dad had just made one of the biggest mistakes of his life. He opened the crate of the vicious beast. I ran for the front door and Jack ran for the bathroom. Suddenly, all hell broke loose. Through a crack in the door, I saw Felix lunge for my dad’s chest. Luckily, my dad ducked out of the way. The cat flew. The second attack was aimed at my dad’s left leg. This was the first time in my life that I had seen a true killer cat. It’s was also the first time I saw my dad scared of an animal.
As blurs of Felix’s muscular body shot through the air, my dad cursed like a truck driver. Felix was vulnerable now and he backed up next to Jack’s bedroom door, hissing wildly. My dad kicked the closest thing to him, which in this case was the crate. Thank God Felix shot into Jack’s bedroom where my dad could lock him in.
My dad flopped down on the couch and sat still, in shock, for minutes. Just then I heard Hope, Jack’s mom, walking up the stairs. I ran down towards her and dragged her up.
“What’s the rush, Max?” she said calmly.
“My dad was being attacked by Felix!”
“Oh NOOOO!” she screamed.
She was now running up the stairs with bags of groceries in her hands. She threw open the door and saw the room looking totally normal; except for my the look on my dad’s face.
“I’m getting out of here,” he said quickly.
“Bye Hope, Bye Jack. Oh, just to tell you, the cats in the bedroom, out of his crate.”
We flew down the stairs and out into the bright street. My dad turned to me and said, “Holy s@*#! That was right out of National Geographic!”
From that day forward, I’ve looked at cats in a totally different way. Yes they can be cuddly and kind, but they can also be vindictive feline warriors. I don’t think I’ll ever forget Felix and his thrashing attack on my dad. My mom will never forget the first time my dad retold the story with his arms flailing and his voice growing louder; shouting, “It was just like National Geographic!”
I guess Jack won the bet.