A cat can be a fearsome opponent. Ounce for ounce, an enraged feline can do more damage than most other beasties two to three times their size. Clancy J. B├╝mps, the Gray Menace, had demonstrated this on several occasions. His zenith had been foiling and bleeding, a thief attempting a break-in at the old loft building where I had a workshop.
When found in the morning, the thief was crying for mercy. The police had never seen anything like the career criminal reduced to tears by a “kitty.”
If the cat wore a cap, that escapade would have required a plume to denote the elan, flair, and bravery of the achievement. And where to get such a plume? Why from one of those noisy seagulls that habituated the railroad tracks that ran below our loft building. However, his human servant, me, was unappreciative of his need and kept a firm watch on him. As usual, humans lacked an understanding of a cat’s duty – their thirst for achievement.
He snuck out one morning just before dawn for a patrol along the tracks. when I woke up, there was no screaming and yelling for breakfast; that wasn’t normal. A check of the area showed no lineup of the night’s dead mice, another oddity. By chance, I noticed the seagulls slowly strolling as a group further and further away from our building. Then the entire flock seemed to take a short hop of flight before resuming the stroll. Appearing just above the top of a rail was the tip of a grey tail. The cat would lunge for a bird, the flock would hop out of range, and the cat would pursue.

Running down to the tracks, I had a job corraling an angry cat and avoiding disturbed seagulls. On the way back to the workshop, I picked up several discarded seagull plumes. I combined the plumes at the shop with a bit of woolen duffel, twine, and catnip into a toy that mollified the great hunter. But every time he played with that toy, I swear I could almost hear him saying, “I was that close to getting the whole darn tail. Bloody useless humans!”