When I first met Sheba, she was new in adulthood, belonged to my then roommate who had a house in North Seattle.
Next door was a house that had a rather rough past over the previous decade. It sat empty, needed some repairs, and its separate garage sat a couple feet away from the fence between the homes.
Sheba, like so many young cats, full of her hunter felineness, feisty, rambunctious, playful.
Her genocide on the local rodent population was both impressive and irritating.
I would find mice heads on the floor, an occasional rat that wasn’t that much smaller than her.
She would bring them to my bed, deliver them to my slippers.
I think she was convinced I could not feed myself.
At the foot of the stairs while I was working on some lamps
She spit out a baby that convulsed, then died.
After all that, she really is a sweet cat.
Like many cats in my experience.
She did meet her match.
She got in a fight with a grey stray cat that had been circling the area for a while.
He beat her up, he made it clear who owned the territory outside.
He would lurk outside after that, I chased him off a few times
She was cautious after that.
Didn’t go outside as much.
Rarely caught a rodent
(which I thought was good)
But the change in her I thought was a little sad.
She is a little cat.
As big as her spirit is, she could not overcome the large grey cat that had a passion to keep his territory available for his food.
There was no further discussion for her.
She would go outside, but not for long, and didn’t go far.
If the door closed behind her, she would come back and paw at the door.
It was clear she wanted an escape.
A Few years ago, I moved into a house in Burien.
It was a house that had a number of stray cats.
She was timid to get to know the yard.
Wanted me around to escort her at first.
I kept an eye on her,
She came across strays that taught her of the pecking order of the neighborhood.
Indoor cats do not do well.
There were no mice. ( that’s a good thing )
We would take walks in the morning, in the evening.
She would smell bushes, walk cautiously as we did.
Eventually, she is comfortable with the door being open as she explores the yard alone.
Never gone too long, she comes in, checks on me, then steps out again.
I heard a familiar guttural meow.
She had a small mouse in her mouth, she laid it at my feet while I was sitting at my desk.
It was whole, but dead.
She was proud of her catch.
It had been a long time.
I was surprised with the cats in the neighborhood that there were mice.
She found one. Caught it, did what cats do.
She was happy with herself.
It had been a long time.
This well into adulthood, pudgy indoor cat, still has the hunt in her eyes.
She loved being a cat again.
As much as I hate having to deal with dead rodents.
I was happy she was feeling her “catness”