Guard cat on serious duty

McMurray Musings Connects

By THERESA WELLS, Connect Columnist

One serious guard cat, also known as, Sirius Black. SUPPLIED PHOTO

One serious guard cat, also known as, Sirius Black. SUPPLIED PHOTO

When the water main replacement took over the street in front of my house the past few weeks I expected some inconveniences, like not being able to use my driveway and having to traipse through neighbouring yards to enter and exit my own.

I expected it would get the dog out of sorts, as she is a sensitive kind who doesn’t like unusual noises, and the scraping and banging is most definitely out of the normal range expected in my quiet area. What I didn’t expect, though, was the territorial nature of my cat.

Sirius Black is an adoptee from the Fort McMurray SPCA. There is no doubt he is an unusual creature. His nicknames range from “Ninja” to “Puma”, as he may be nine pounds of domestic feline, but in his head he is ten times larger and a ferocious beast.

He is the cat who is found on top of open doors and hidden in closets; the kind of cat who teases the dog mercilessly and taunts the other cat who is – generally speaking – too fat and too happy to respond. And, he is the sort of cat who keeps a watchful eye on the neighbourhood goings-on.

 

He is the cat who is found on top of open doors and hidden in closets; the kind of cat who teases the dog mercilessly and taunts the other cat who is – generally speaking – too fat and too happy to respond. And, he is the sort of cat who keeps a watchful eye on the neighbourhood goings-on.

Enter the water main construction crew: Sirius has a cat tree in the front window; his vantage point on the world and from which he observes his domain, chittering at the occasional bird and growling at the Chihuahua that lives across the street. For the past few days, though, the cat tree has become Command Post Guard Cat, as he scrutinizes every move of the construction crew with disdain and often outright anger.

When they began digging up my driveway – his driveway in his cat mind – the anger became evident. Ears back, eyes narrowed slits, he watched them for hours on end, leaving his post only to eat and the occasional visit to the litter box. His work day begins with theirs and ends when they finally close the gates and pack up their lunch kits.

Sometimes I catch him growling at them, a deep rumbling growl that is unmistakably the feline version of: “Get off my lawn”, and sometimes I catch them looking at him through the glass, no doubt wondering why there is a cat watching them so intently.

I don’t have the heart to tell them he is plotting their demise, stalking their every move and considering which is the weakest of the herd, the one he could most easily take down in a lion-like display of cat power. Who knew a small cat could harbour so much anger?

I must admit it has been quite entertaining. Sirius has a personality unlike any other cat I’ve ever owned or even encountered, an entirely unique take on the world. His intelligence is rather startling at times, although he still does things like misjudges distances and ends what was intended to be a graceful leap in a jumbled mass of furry black paws and sharp little claws.

He is a cat, but he is a very unusual one and I have no idea why as I don’t know his history beyond the two years we have had him.

He is a cat, but he is a very unusual one and I have no idea why as I don’t know his history beyond the two years we have had him. That he was a street cat for a time is clear as he is as savvy as cats come, but his keen sense of territoriality, his self-confidence and feline swagger? It is almost beyond comprehension as at times he seems more like a small furry person than a cat, with complicated emotions and behaviour.

They are beginning to wind down the water main replacement now. In a few days they will be repaving my street and the construction crew will move on to their next job, and it seems likely they will never know how much excitement (and hatred) they elicited in one small black cat.

I know though, and so does Sirius. I suspect he will be storing this encounter in his memories, and will never feel the same about men in bright orange safety vests. One of the workers commented to me that my cat seemed very interested in what they were doing. I chuckled of course – if only they knew what one small black puma ninja cat was really thinking about them.

– Connect Weekly –