The Demon Cat
Years ago I lived in what was a fairly rough neighborhood. There were a few restaurants on the next block, so we had more than our share of stray cats and dogs that would wander around. I never paid them much attention as most were WAY too skittish to allow you to get close. Until the Beast arrived.
I came home from work one day to find a relatively small hole had been torn in my screen porch next to the door, and what was, and still is, unquestionably the ugliest, biggest cat I have ever seen, sleeping on a chair there on my porch. I opened the screen door, he opened one eye, decided in a glance he could whip my *** if it came to it, and went back to sleep.
Now before I tell you the rest of the story, you really need to understand just how big and ugly this cat was. Go with me for a minute… imagine the result if a possum, a mangy rottweiler, a hairless skunk, and mountain lion had an **** and the possum got pregnant. Got a mental image of the offspring? Yeah? Well this cat was bigger and uglier than that. He had to be over 25 pounds, with this weird black/grey fur that looked like he’d skinned a dead animal and was wearing it as a coat. His paws were huge, and his head was bigger than both my fists combined. Big. Ugly. I gave him some space.
So anyway, I was ticked about the screen, but went on in the house. When I came back out a few minutes later to get the mail, this denizen of dumpsters was just stretching and getting ready to move. He gave me another dismissing glance, jumped down, and strolled into my house as if he made the mortgage payments. Curious, I followed. Following him, it quickly became obvious that he must have been someone’s cat at one time, as essential parts of his manhood had been removed. I was guessing that he had killed and eaten his previous owners for the slight, and had chosen to ignore the result.
Anyway, he nonchalantly strolled through the den and dining room into the kitchen. Upon arriving there, he stopped, turned around looked at me and hissed. He didn’t arch his back or anything, just hissed. When I just stood there, he made a sound that I’m sure was a “meow” at some point in his misguided life, but now just sounded like a hell-bound demon screeching for more blood and sinners. There was no direct threat, but instead an undeniable undercurrent of menace; he wanted something, and if I didn’t deliver I suspected he was going to pee all over my kitchen and flay the skin from my body for good measure.
I took a chance and poured some milk in a saucer and put it on the floor. He looked at it, looked at me, back at the milk, back at me… his look saying something along the lines of “What, no malt liquor? No bourbon?” When I didn’t move again, he finally relented, going to the saucer and draining it, treating me as if I had ceased to exist. When he finished, he flicked his misshapen tail at me, walked back to the front door and gave me another demon shriek. I let him out. If he had had fingers, I think he would have flipped me the bird on the way out.
This went on for weeks, so I finally decided I needed to call him something other than “Sh!t Head” so I finally settled on “Mooch.” It was just insulting enough to make me feel better, but no so insulting that I thought he may break in one night and kill me in my sleep. We kept up our routine through the remainder of the summer and into the fall… he would insult me and eat my food, I would do as I was told and be allowed to live. It was a wonderful arrangement.
When winter came, we had a very harsh cold snap right before Christmas. The temperature was supposed to be in the single digits that night. I’ll admit that it crossed my mind at one point to worry about him when he came by for dinner, but I figured it was always warm in hell. So I’m sitting there that evening watching TV, when I hear a Freddy Krueger-like scratch on the door followed by that god-awful sound of demons begging for release. I open the door and he saunters in, obviously cold, but unwilling to show it. I turned the tables and ignored him, closed the door behind him and returned to my chair.
What happened next astounded me. He came over, looked up at me, his eyes boring into mine… I could actually read his mind. He told me, “Look. I’m cold. I’m going to get in your lap to get warm. You tell anybody, I kill you. You try to pet me, I kill you. You so much as look at me wrong, I kill you.” I nodded my assent and braced myself as 25-plus pounds of smelly feline (yes, he stunk) jumped on me, turned around once and went fast asleep. I didn’t move for three hours. Let’s face it, you have a part-mountain lion, part-rottweiler creature on your crotch, you are mindful of making sudden moves. I’m alive to tell this story, so obviously I followed the rules.
Mooch the Demon-Cat used and abused me for four more years before he disappeared. I often wondered what happened to him, but always figured a fissure to hell reopened and he was called back home. Yeah. I rescued a cat… sort of.