This was the first piece of satire I ever wrote, and it’s still my favorite.
Residents of towns across Texas, including Abilene, reported sightings of cats acting strange during the storms that swept much of West Texas Sunday evening. The behavior seemed to take place across the majority of the state, but especially where storms were the heaviest.
Witnesses claim to have seen cats walking on their hind legs and making strange, moaning noises. Felicia Edwards, of Baird, says that she was even chased by a cat on its hind legs.
“It was horrifying,” said Edwards. “I was taking out the trash last night during the storm. It was dark, so I couldn’t see much. There was a crash of thunder, and more lightning. When the sky lit up, I saw a huge black cat on its back legs coming toward me. I was freaking out. I ran in and couldn’t quit shaking for an hour.”
The cause of the behavior is unknown, though some attribute the happenings to the storm itself. Meteorologist Kitty Franklin says that in older times, people believed that thunder in November caused a phenomenon known as the “night of the walking cats.”
“The night of the walking cats was basically just a night when cats did really creepy things,” said Franklin. “Of course, most people these days don’t believe in the night of the walking cats.” When reporters asked Franklin what she thought, she replied, “Who knows? Cats are creepy, right?”
Jamie Blackhawk, an animal behavior expert, assures residents that there’s nothing to worry about. “This night of the walking cats business is just a bunch of garbage,” she said. “Anyone who owns a cat knows that they are always creeping around and moaning. There’s nothing unusual about that.”
But others across the Big Country aren’t so sure. Mark Nutters of Clyde is taking his family to stay with their grandparents in Oklahoma for the rest of the week. “There’s another big storm coming, and it’s supposed to thunder,” said Nutters. “Who wants to be around when all these demon cats are lurking around? My neighbor has lots of cats, and they’re creepy even when it’s sunny. We’re getting out of here.”
A spokesperson for the Abilene police department says there’s nothing to worry about. But, he says, in light of the expected storms, residents should not let any outside cats in their house, especially ones they don’t know.