If a none-too-bright cat is unhappy or freaked about some kind of unpleasant situation they’re stuck in, they will do anything they can to escape it, even at their own peril. Or they’ll take revenge upon the person they think is responsible for their discomfort.
Here are four feline incidents that happened to me, and one that happened to a friend:
(1) A woman I knew was driving with an anguished male cat on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The weather was cold, a mild snowstorm was blowing, and her car was surrounded by a fair amount of traffic. She was going around 75 mph, give or take. For some reason she rolled down the driver-side window and the cat immediately leapt out. At that speed he was almost certainly killed but who knows? She never saw him again.
(2) My ex-wife Maggie and I had a calico cat who was accustomed to outdoor access, and who became extremely upset when we moved into an 8th floor high-rise apartment. The first night we moved in the cat climbed onto a waist-high balcony fence that overlooked the eight-story drop. I put him inside the apartment as sitting atop the fence was obviously risky. But later that night he got out and committed suicide. We loved him, petted him, fed him, etc. But he hated that apartment and death was his solution.
(3) In the late 90s I was driving down Franklin Avenue with a cat who hated being in a moving car. Jett and Dylan were with me. The cat was howling and freaking out, and at one point jumped onto my shoulders and took a serious milkshake dump all over my neck and onto my blue workshirt. I groaned like a bear or a lion. I remember the smell filling the car and the kids screaming with laughter.
(4) My sister and I knew that our excitable cat hated water, so we decided to take him with us on a short rowboat trip to the middle of a pond. We waited until we were out in the middle and then let him go. He looked all around, assessed the situation and brilliantly jumped into the pond and swam ashore.
(5) A girlfriend and I were sharing an apartment on Boston’s Park Drive. Her male cat, Tom, was bunking with us. I love cats but Tom was extremely hostile to me — the only cat I’ve run into who was this negative. One night we came back from a restaurant and found that Tom had peed on my sleeping pillow on our conjugal bed. That was it. Over the next day or two we found someone who was willing to take him. Once urine becomes a weapon there’s no choice.