Is your pet an attack cat? Does he or she serve as a guard kitty, able and willing to keep bad guys at bay?
Debbie Russell, one of my IAABC behavior consultant colleagues, recently read my debut thriller LOST AND FOUND and posted a lovely and very positive review that said in part, “I also loved Macy’s role at the end of the book.” (Thank you, Debbie! read the rest of the review here.) For those who haven’t (yet read the book, Macy is the trained hero cat who literally “nails” one of the bad guys.
Debbie also emailed me. She said, “You’re probably aware of this, but cats, when they bite, can absolutely savage the target before nerves even have a chance to respond to, “hey, I’m being bitten!” I once had a cat land three deep bites before my CNS could even begin to yank my arm back. I cringed on Macy’s attack.”
She also gave me permission to share these two true fascinating tales of cats defending their owners/territory:
We had dinner with a couple, and the husband told us of the following event. He was a teenager, sleeping and awoke due to some noise coming from the living room. He picked up a bat and went forward towards it. His Dad, whose bedroom was on the other side of the living room, heard it also and came from that side. What did they see? Their giant Maine Coon had a man on the ground, behind the couch, totally torn up.
He was screaming “Get it off of me! Get it off of me!”
They tried. It wasn’t easy. Apparently said MC hadn’t learned “aus”. (“Aus” is the German release command used with dogs.) When they approached, he’d just growl. I imagined him thinking, “MY PREY! I can eat off of this for a month. Go find your own.”
Eventually they got him off the guy, police arrived, etc. However, this cat had even managed to tear through the intruder’s leather jacket. Impressive, huh?
And a second story . . .
I can’t remember where I heard this, but remember it as true. A woman awoke to see blood splattered in her stairwell leading to the upstairs bedroom. She called the police. Based on the blood splatter, they determined that the Siamese must have launched him/herself at the intruder’s head from the stop of the stairwell. Yikes. Can you imagine?
Yes, I can imagine! My cousin once told the story of their cat that liked to lounge on the top of the refrigerator, next to the back door. A burglar entered the house, and…you guessed it…kitty launched an attack from on high, and drove the intruder from the house. As I recall, they knew because of the blood stains and door left open. Does this sound familiar? Where did you think I got the idea for that Macy scene?
I’ve also had consults with cat owners to help them diffuse territorial aggression and “guarding” areas of the home, especially when visitors enter. One client’s cat wouldn’t let the pet sitter to enter by the back door (the cat “owned” that area) but was fine if the pet sitter arrived from the front door. Cat-to-cat aggression is much more common (and discussed with tips to solve it in my ComPETability-Cats book). But cat-to-people aggression can be horribly dangerous and terrifying.
Then there are cats who sleep through strangers coming and going, while others probably would show burglars where you hide the silver. Where do your cats fall in the scheme of things? Do you have stories of cats running to your rescue–if not physically, perhaps sounding a warning? Please share!
I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my THRILLERS WITH BITE!