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Mariah's avatar

What might have happened? Should I do something?

Asked by Mariah (25876points) March 17th, 2016

This question is going to be ridiculous, fair warning. I realize no one may be able to provide an answer based on the limited information I have.

At around 5 this morning Matt and I were both awoken by a cat yowling and we both thought we’d dreamed it until we realized we’d both heard it. It was so loud. Like, I’m a heavy sleeper, and we don’t even live on the ground floor, and it woke me up. It sounded like a cat was getting murdered, or at least was in very severe pain. It yowled twice and then silence.

We had both been a little too sleepy to tell which direction it had come from. We figured it had come from outside and not from within the apartment, but I still found myself wondering…...what would I even do if some psychopath was in my apartment right now? The closest thing I had to a weapon in my bedroom was a rock.

It was too dark outside when we woke up for us to see anything out our window, but once it was light we didn’t see a corpse out there or anything.

Anyways….I would love to think maybe it was just a couple of feral cats doing the deed, or fighting even, but the thing that worries me is we only ever heard one cat. I just can’t shake the worry that some crazy person was outside harming a cat. Also, all the paranoid thoughts I had (Matt was having them too) when we weren’t certain whether the sound hadn’t come from inside the apartment made me realize that I probably should have some means to protect myself in that situation.

I really, really don’t want a gun. What’s the next best thing for protecting against a home invader? A baseball bat?

What, if anything, should I do to react to this situation? I’m worried for the kitty.

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23 Answers

marinelife's avatar

1. The cat. Probably a cat in heat yowling, which is tremendously loud.

2. Protection. Pepper Spray will temporarily disable an opponent. Once you have sprayed it (make sure the nozzle is facing out) into the opponent’s face, you need to run.

Mariah's avatar

Oh goodness that’s comforting, thanks.

I do have pepper spray already! I couldn’t find it this morning though. I need to locate it and make sure I always know where it is. It’s no good to me if I can’t find it or if it’s not in my room with me. Thanks.

JLeslie's avatar

I also thought it might be a car in heat, but I also would be worried the cat was harmed. That would haunt me a little.

My way of protecting myself is lock everything, an alarm on at night, phone nearby. Not the most optimum plan, but that’s what I do.

Mariah's avatar

Okay I feel like a lunatic for having “cat in heat” in my youtube search history now but I needed to see. The sound this morning was so much worse than anything I’ve found on youtube so far. Like, this one time (and I regret this greatly) I watched a video where some asshole poured boiling water on a feral cat that was “bothering him” and the cat made this hellish noise, and that’s the closest thing I’ve ever heard to what I heard this morning.

chyna's avatar

@jleslie. I think you mean a cat in heat, not a car? Lol.
I have a phone by my bed, a billy club, pepper spray and a stun gun. Hopefully I will never need any of them.
I do think you heard a cat, too. I hope it wasn’t being hurt.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I think you’re overreacting to this incident. Regardless of whatever predicament befell the the cat, use the logic you’ve spent the greater portion of your life honing for analysis and obtaining solutions. Cats get in trouble! There are a lot of them, and those in the field at night are BUSY. And yes there are people who abuse animals! But it’s too soon to panic or fear for your life from a single incident of gut wrenching howling. Talk to the neighbors, because you & Matt are almost certainly not alone in having heard the shrieking. I’m frankly surprised that you’re so alarmed once you determined that nothing had occurred within your apartment.

Mariah's avatar

I mean, it made me realize that I have no way of defending myself if something does happen. I don’t think realizing that I should be more prepared is an overreaction.

JLeslie's avatar

Cat. Ugh. The OP knew what I meant. The Q is about a cat. (I wrote, or it autocorrected to, car, both times in this answer and had to fix both.

JLeslie's avatar

@Mariah Take a self defense class. It’s very helpful. One of those half day courses.

Mariah's avatar

I took an awesome self-defense class in college. It was so awesome that I took it twice. I do know some moves. I also know though that one panics and forgets everything when it comes down to it, plus I’m so itty bitty so there isn’t a lot of strength behind anything I do, even if I’m using proper technique. At the end of the course, there was a practical test where we and the cops who taught it got all dressed up in pads and they actually attacked us (within reason). It was so hard to keep a level head! I just started flailing. That’s why I took it the second time, to try and reinforce the techniques.

ragingloli's avatar

Cats defend their territory at night. Probably fought against a challenger encroaching upon its domain

ucme's avatar

Sudden random noises during the dead of night are really weird, I never hear loud shit but if a mouse trods on a pebble 200yds away…“wha…wait stop…what the fuck was that!?!”
One time a police helicopter apparently hovered right over our house for a good 15mins or so, I heard nowt, slept right through it, which was upsetting because I love helicopters.

JLeslie's avatar

@Mariah I understand. When I was “mugged” I froze first. I was surprised at my reaction. I think it was partly disbelief what was happening. Almost confusion.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Mariah Being a man, I know I sound flippant, but realistically, what is the the threat? I mean have there been break ins occurring in the building or neighborhood? The fact that you have a man in the house is usually deterrent enough for stalkers, even the crazy ones. Are pets “disappearing” locally? I’m not suggesting that you not be prepared. What’s Matt’s reaction to this event?

Mariah's avatar

Matt is 5’4” with a prosthetic leg. I have a better shot fighting someone off than he has, probably, since I at least have a bit of training.

It’s a big city. Someone I know who’s on a ground floor apartment nearby has had their house burgled twice in as many years.

Buttonstc's avatar

You picked the wrong YouTube videos. Its likely not a cat in heat but a cat mating. Its very painful for the female cat since the male cat penis has about a hundred or so barbs (made of keratin) on it so its like torture when he withdraws.

Female cats ovulate after mating and its those barbs which stimulate ovulation.

Nat. Geo describes it with charming illustrations and a British accent here: Enjoy

And the first time I heard it I too thought a cat was being murdered. I was also living in the city at the time. I think it must sound louder in the city as opposed to more rural because of the sound in a confined space echoing off the walls in enclosed alleyways and the like. That’s my theory anyway.

Buttonstc's avatar

Or you can read about here from the “knowledge nuts” website. .

Mariah's avatar

So you think it’s plausible that only the female would make noise during sex? I did wonder about this, knew about the barbed penises (lol) but thought I’d’ve heard the male too if it was sex. Poor lady cats!!!

Love_my_doggie's avatar

It could have been a fox. Foxes have extensive vocabularies, and their cries can be very shrill.

Even if you live in a city, there might be foxes nearby. As mankind continues to invade natural habitats, causing animals to seek food and shelter among us, it’s not unusual for foxes, raccoons, coyotes, and all sorts of creatures to wander through urban areas.

JLeslie's avatar

WTH?! This would be another example of when I would say “nature” sucks. Why do girl cats have to go through torture to reproduce? Why does nature make human labor and delivery such a painful process for most women? Ugh.

Coloma's avatar

Gosh…hopefully nobody was doing a little St. Pattys Day cat torture in the alley. Cats don’t yowl like they are in pain for no reason, maybe some pussy sex action but I’d investigate around the general vicinity if it were me. Look in and behind dumpsters, under cars, look for any blood stains, I’d go all forensic myself. Poor kitty!

Do any of your neighbors have cats? Maybe ask around, maybe someone stepped on their poor cat in the dark or something.

imrainmaker's avatar

How about having a dog in your house if you’re animal lover?

Brian1946's avatar

Yikes- poor mother cats!

They should get special mentions in the next Mother’s Day thread.

Here are some props for my feline roomate!

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