The Great Black Hunter
Onyx, fondly known as "kitty", was also known as "The Great Black Hunter". The hunting instinct was strong in him. I don't know if it was because we used to play rough with mouse toys when he was little, or if it was all instinct. He was good, though, and throughout the years taught several kittens how to hunt just like a mama cat on a farm would do.
The following story deviates from the "See Kitty" format, but I think you can see why.
One spring day, I received a call at work. "Your cat's gone" says Neal on the other end of the phone.
"Gone?" I replied.
"Gone. I let him out half an hour ago and he hasn't come back."
"He'll come back," I replied, laughing, and hung up the phone.
About 45 minutes later, the phone rings. "He's back," says Neal. "He brought lunch."
"What did he catch?" I replied.
"Something he's never caught before" was the answer.
"Well," I said, "he's caught mice, shrews, rabbits that were bigger than himself, birds, chipmunks, squirrels I suppose--though I've never seen him with one . . ."
"None of those."
"Ok, I give up. What did he catch?"
"The biggest damn garter snake I've ever seen."
That made me start. Since he'd grown up on a farm, Neal had seen a LOT of garter snakes!! "Did he kill it?" I asked.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, he keeps grabbing it by the tail, shaking it back and forth and then letting go. It flies through the air and lands, then he pounces on it and does it again."
At this, I'm laughing so hard I have tears running down my face. "Got to go."
15 more minutes pass and the phone rings again. "It wasn't as dead as we thought it was." I hear.
"It turned and bit him. I suppose it got tired of flying."
"What's he doing now?"
"Sitting on the porch."
"No, the snake. Onyx is about 10 feet away glaring. I think he's trying to decide whether or not to pounce on it again."
I don't really remember what happened after this, but to this day, even though I didn't see the incident, I have a full mental picture of how he must have looked! A week later, as I was leaving for work, I saw Onyx's mitten-pawed partner in crime trotting down the side-walk with a kitten-sized snake of her own dangling from her mouth--she was only 5 months old but obviously learned quickly.
Submitted by Susan Zeigler
Copyright © 1999 & 2000 Susan E. Zeigler
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