Special to the Mirror by Daniel W. Taylor
All Cape Charles is relieved that Sadie is back. Cats are part of the character of the town and of our lives. We were early “come heres”, ignorant of the local cat culture. We were astonished by the sheer number of cats roaming freely. No one thought it unusual that our next-door neighbor kept perhaps 10 in her house and 30 more in cages in her yard. She also fed many more, leaving food on sidewalks around town.
I was curious why some neighborhoods had more cats roaming around than others. Finally, I recognized that we had a unique special breed of cat that I call the Cape Charles Super Cat. The breed consists of only a few young, huge, strong, fast males. They are fiercely territorial and are rarely seen. One would appear as if from nowhere to swiftly run down a passing female. They appear to glide over the ground, their legs a blur. I saw this only a few times, owing to their extreme wariness. If one saw me it was likely to break off the chase. I was never able to get a picture of one. I saw one hold its ground and stare down an attacking dog. Another cleared an eight-foot fence, scrambling over with ease.
I tried to find where these special cats lived. There was no pattern to occasional sightings, except time of day, just after sundown. One I recognized was leaving the old King’s Creek dock where the shedder crab trays were. I followed him down as far as the country club golf course before he disappeared.
There used to be a path along the south side of Bayshore Concrete that went to the beach. Some summer nights, if the bugs weren’t bad, we walked to Old Plantation Creek, watching the sunset, looking for the green flash. Once I happened to be on the path at noon and saw the workers sitting around in the sun, eating their lunches. They were also feeding left-overs to a large group of cats. I came back at dusk, waited quietly, and saw two that had to be Super Cats, judging by their size, setting off on their nightly prowl.
Back then, probably no more than three or four of this special breed was responsible for the town’s entire feral cat population. So, if they are still around, keep your domestic kitties close by. These cats mean business.