Home / Essays / 2015 / May / The tooth and claw

The tooth and claw

Ginger cat with tooth and claw.

My wife and I looked after this cat for a few months. Ginger by name, nature and colouring, he was a good natured old thing.

“Ginge” loved to hang out near the pool where he was generally a placid friendly animal. Except when he was off hunting. Then he turned into the thing that this picture captures, a bit of a killing machine.

Look at Ginger’s eyes, his claws, his perfectly adapted trim body. Ginge could focus on a victim for hours at a time, patiently waiting till some poor native marsupial let down its guard, to become the trophy of this barely domesticated wild hunter.

He kills for sport not food, because we fed him daily. My friend – who “owns” Ginger – often wondered what mercy the cat would show us, if the size ratios between cat and human were reversed.

Not much . . . so my friend thinks.

Look at those claws and imagine them 10 times the size. Actually. No I won’t. I still have to feed Ginger occasionally.

I don’t want that particular thought in my head.