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. Bümps, 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!”

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