Cats, in their various iterations and sizes, are fierce predators. They are, pound for pound, about the most efficient killing machine ever. Rabbits are gentle, soft little prey animals…but not always.
Back in my youth, I lived for a time in a little house that backed up to a slope, topped by woods. I tried my hand at gardening for a while, setting out various vegetable plants in a small plot in the backyard, but soon realized that 1) I wasn’t a very good gardener, and 2) I enjoyed watching the critters from the woods, especially the rabbits, eating the produce far more than I liked weeding the plot and harvesting it myself.
I was standing on the little covered brick patio one day, watching as a mother rabbit was enjoying the morning sun with her little brood of baby bunnies, tiny replicas of Mom just big enough now to be roaming around a bit on their own. Mom was in the grass, a few feet away from the group of kits, when I saw something moving in the tall grass just off to my left. The neighbor’s cat, a large black and white “tuxedo” female, was working her way toward the little rabbits with a morning snack on her mind.
She should have figured Mom into the equation.
As I watched the cat approach, just before I was going to scare it off, Mom suddenly exploded out of the grass and bounded down to meet the cat. There was a moment of furious activity, almost cartoon-like as first one furry body shot up in the air and then the next. Mom pummeled the surprised feline with her huge back feet until the cat, tuxedo thoroughly rumpled, literally staggered back down the hill toward the safety of home.
Mom sat there for a moment, sides heaving, and then turned quickly and hopped back to her brood.
Don’t mess with a mom.