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A cat lovers nightmare: hunter on the loose

I have to say right up front that I am writing this column in a state of some distress. I feel like I’m a marked man and am on edge most of the time these days. I think my cat is out to get me. I know how crazy that sounds, but let me present the evidence before you decide whether or not I’ve lost my mind. I swear that everything that follows happened exactly as I relate it — no embellishments will be made.

My cat has been exhibiting a disturbing pattern of behavior towards me for some time and it has been gradually escalating. It began innocently enough, with him hiding in my closet or under the bed at night only to jump on me at 3 a.m. Annoying, but I wouldn’t call it particularly threatening. Turns out he was just getting warmed up.

He raised the stakes a bit one night when I was lying on the couch watching American Horror Story with the lights off. Clearly he could not let such an opportunity pass by, so he climbed onto a high table and leaped over the back of the couch, landing on my chest. It’s at times like those you find out how strong your heart is.

But those hostile acts pale in comparison to the shenanigans he pulled this weekend. You will no doubt have a hard time believing that the events I am about to relate actually occurred, but what I’m about to tell you is 100 percent factual.

When the weather is pleasant we sometimes leave our back door cracked open a bit to let in fresh air and allow our pets to come and go to the back yard as they please. Every once in a while the cat will bring in something he has caught, leading to an impromptu funeral having to be held for some unfortunate small creature. It’s pretty standard stuff for a cat owner.

Friday night the “great hunter” was spotted running into the house and ducking under the bed with something in his mouth. I peered in to see what the cat had dragged in, and was surprised to see two pairs of eyes staring back at me — one pair belonged to the cat and the other to some creature who was at least half as big as the cat.

It turned out to be a small possum, and it was very much alive and well. A broom was retrieved and used to direct Mr. Possum back out the door. Kitty wisely took off ahead of him as soon as he saw the broom and was not seen again for some time.

But that was not the end of it. The very next night, as I was getting ready for bed, I heard a scratching noise coming from one of our bathrooms. The noise turned out to be coming from the tub. I pulled back the shower curtain expecting to see the cat but instead saw… the possum. He was back, and somehow had gotten trapped in my bathtub. Did you know that possums can scream? Turns out they can, and it’s not something you ever want to hear. It was one of those moments when the brain simply could not accept what the eyes were telling it they were seeing.

I guess I will never know for sure how a possum ended up in my bathtub, but I strongly suspect that the cat re-caught his hostage from the previous night and placed it in the tub, where he knew it could not escape. I know how crazy that sounds, but I can’t think of any better explanation, and the cat certainly seems to have made it his mission in life to try and scare me to death.

And so, in conclusion, if you’ve never owned a cat you should definitely adopt one if you have the time and money to give it a good home. They sure make for interesting pets.

Bill Ferguson is a resident of Warner Robins. Readers can write him at fergcolumn@hotmail.com.