Acid Heroes

July 28, 2012

Feral cats

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 11:47 pm
Tags: , , ,

Its weird how important my feral cats have become to me.   I can’t get hardly anything else together in my life.  But no matter how drunk or stoned I get  I always get it together to feed my four feral cats.  One batch of food for the night crew and another batch of food for the morning crew.

When I hit my campsight at night a couple of them are always waiting for me in the dark at the foot of the trail that leads to my camp.   They’re always a welcome sight.  Because cats mean that there are no humans lurking in the dark woods.  They are like security guards.  And in the morning, if I’m laying around doing something stupid like scratching my ass or pissing in my piss jar, if the cats are there I don’t have to worry about anybody catching me in the act.  Because if another human intrudes on my campsight the cats will spot him long before me.  They go running up the hill like they were shot out of a cannon.  So that alerts me before any humans get within eye-sight.   Those cats can make themselves invisible so quick.  You could be walking around in those woods for years and never catch sight of those feral cats.  Never even know they were there. Its like they have the ability to disappear and appear.  Like magic.  Those cats will not let you see them unless they want you to see them.

Which is why I feel honored that they let me bask in their presence.  I’m the only human being that they trust.

When the cats are laying around my campsight I can relax because I have some much-needed privacy (a hard commodity to score when you’re on the streets). Its like being in a magical realm.  This secret, private world that only me and my four goddam feral cats inhabit.

The weirdest thing is how they’re always waiting for me every night at the foot of the trail.  Usually, I’ll stagger up there around midnight and they’re always there.  But the other night I came up a little early around 11:30 and they weren’t there.  Its like they know exactly what time I’ll be arriving.  Like they’ve been studying me and my habits.  Which they do.  They’re an incredibly intelligent creature capable of adapting to the movements of humans like no other animal, with the possible exception of dogs.  But what I was wondering was:  How do they do it?  Do they have little kitty cat wrist watches where they can see: “Well, its only 11:30. That guy that brings us the food won’t be showing up for another half hour so we can goof off for a little longer until we have to meet him at the foot of the trail and do our purring, meowing, kitty cat thing.”

I’ll give you another example of the weird shit cats do.   My friend Linda Aton, the painter, lived in an apartment and she had a cat.  Whenever Linda left the apartment the cat would always be waiting to greet her at the front door when she came back.  Linda always figured the cat heard her footsteps  when she was walking down the hall and rushed to the door.  But one day I was hanging around in Linda’s aprartment for a couple hours while Linda was off doing chores.  Suddenly the cat bolts for the door.  Within 2 or 3 minutes Linda shows up.  The question:  How did the cat know Linda was going to show up 2 or 3 minutes before the rest of us?  Cats are psychic like that.  They’re a weird animal.

When I’m walking up the trail at night — in the pitch dark — I have to be careful not to step on them.  They’re darting in between my feet.  They’re rubbing against my ankles.  They’re all excited.  They know they’re about to be fed.

Then I go through this big drama when I’m trying to open the cans of cat food.  I have this crappy can-opener.  And I’m usually drunk and stoned.  And its pitch dark.  And I’m trying to open the goddam can of tuna fish.  In the pitch dark.   Which can defy the laws of physics (you’ve got to line up the goddam can of tuna fish with the can-opener exactly the right way or else it just doesn’t work).  And I’ll sometimes be flailing away for 20 minutes until I  line it up right.  Meanwhile, the cats are going wild. If I get the can even partially open they all jump on top of it and start licking the tuna fish juice that is leaking out of the half-opened can.  Which doesn’t help matters.  And then sometimes I just give up on the can-opener and pry the half-opened can open with my bare hands, often causing blood to pour out of my fingers (those half-opened cans can be sharp!).  And then finally I start dumping the tuna into the cat dishes. By this time the cats are in a frenzy and they’re jumping right into the cat dishes and I’m dumping the tuna on their heads.    Further complicating matters, one cat may be fueding with another cat.  So I have to put the one cat dish here and the other cat dish over there so they can eat in peace.  Its unbelievable.  They’re like little children.  And maybe thats the appeal.  They’re my kids.

And then in the morning I feed them again.  Usually around dawn when its just starting to get light.  But some mornings I’m too hung-over so I lay around in my sleeping bag like a bump on the log for a couple of hours.  The cats register their displeasure at my proscrastination r.e. their feeding schedule by jumping on my chest and sort of jabbing at my face with their claws.  Usually (but not always) they don’t break blood.  They just sort of give me a little sting with their claws, a little love tap.  That says:  “Hey, we might be cute little 10 pound blobs of fur but we can do some damage.  Get up and feed us before we slash the shit of your face with our claws.”  They’re lovable creatures, them kitty cats.  Eager to get my attention.  And it is a fact that nature has equipted them with 10 switchblades on their hands.  So at that point I usually get up and feeds the little rug-rats.




  1. That’s why I love cats. They just don’t give a fuck about where you live, what you look like, if you’re wearing cool shoes. As long as you feed them, they’re your best buds. But when they really get to you know you and decide you’re okay, they’re the best friend ever. I miss my bruiser, Grover!

    Comment by Another Mary — July 30, 2012 @ 1:36 pm | Reply

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