Tales from the Morgue: In this arena the lion was sacrificed too

2012-07-04T00:00:00Z 2014-03-20T16:04:06Z Tales from the Morgue: In this arena the lion was sacrificed tooJohanna Eubank, Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 04, 2012 12:00 am  • 

We've all heard of the havoc wreaked by a fox in the hen house, but this time it was a cat who got to the baby chicks after closing time. They fought back, but it just wasn't much of a fight. In the end, it was the cat's last meal.

From the Arizona Daily Star, July 23, 1915:

Helpless Crowd Sees Massacre of Baby Chickens

Plate Glass Held Back Sympathetic Onlookers While Feline Feasted

The plight of a crowd of early Christian martyrs in an arena with a hungry lion was experienced yesterday evening when 200 baby chicks in the window of the Tucson Seed store in East Congress street faced death for an hour at the hands of a white cat as a throng of sympathetic but helpless spectators looked on, while Watchman Phil Sheridan searched frantically for someone who could unlock either the front or back door.

The chicks, which were electrically hatched in California a few days ago, are kept in the front window, and for several days have been objects of much interest and admiration to the store cat.

Cat Effects Entrance.

Yesterday evening about 9:30 o'clock the persistent feline managed to effect an entrance through the screening at the back of the window space and jumped in among the chickens, which were just bedding down to rest.

The wicked cat immediately proceeded to select a nice juicy looking chick to play with, and began to toss it up in the air and paw it about, just as if it were nothing but an ordinary mouse and not a blue-blooded White Leghorn chick worth 15 cents.

After the blood thirsty feline had had sufficient sport out of the unfortunate chicken, it proceeded to make a meal out of the infant fowl.

Chicks Peck Feline.

In the meantime a crowd of chicks surrounded the cat and courageously began to peck at it, as if they expected to effect a rescue of the chick. This did bother the cat a bit, and when it had finished the first victim, it proceeded to select another from the mob of excited chicks, treating it in exactly the same way as the first.

A crowd gathered, quite horrified by the unusual sight, but entirely helpless to do anything to aid the chicks except to give advice that could not be carried out. Watchman Sheridan had arrived on the scene and when he found what was the matter began to try by telephone to get someone to the store who could unlock a door.

Rescue Finally Comes.

In an hour he finally succeeded in getting the door unlocked. In the meantime, however, the cat had made a meal of four chicks and had maimed several more that had joined in the attack. In order to satisfy justice the murderous cat was immediately lynched.

The Morgue Lady has great sympathy for the poor chickens, but feels compelled to point out that the cat was just being true to its nature. The store owner, however, should have known better than to leave a cat to mind the chicken coop.

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About this blog

"Tales from the Morgue" is a way for the Star to share stories from the treasure trove of information held in its old files.

Johanna Eubank, aka the Morgue Lady, was a research assistant in the Star Library — also known as News and Research Services — for 18 years before becoming an online content producer. She has had her share of sneezing fits after digging into dusty old files, so she's sure to find a few old stories to re-examine.

If you have suggestions, comments or questions about this blog, e-mail jeubank@tucson.com