Yesterday, a rancher brought us "a passel o' cats," 18 to be exact. He had trapped them using a clever contraption involving chicken wire, bait food, and a long string that he used to trip a gate. I'm not sure how, but he had managed to get them all inside a giant plywood box that he had nailed shut. It took two of us to carry the crate inside, and as we tilted it on end to fit it through the door, we could hear 324 claws scrabbling around inside. Not a happy sound.
I and one of the other workers, Mark, took the crate into our "Cat Intake" room. Shutting the door, we pried out the nails holding the crate shut. I think we were both expecting the crate to spontaneiously explode, sending cats flying around the room like a shotgun full of bouncy-balls, but as the last nail was removed, the crate stayed ominously silent.
I opened the lid a crack, and saw 36 glowing eyes staring at me. Apparently they were just waiting for a sign that freedom was imminent, because they chose that moment to make their break for it.
Cats of all colors and sizes went zinging around the room, scrabbling up the walls, bouncing off the door, and ricocheting off the ceiling. Wielding our cloth pinchers, we tried to snag them mid-flight, but there were just too many! They were everywhere! All seemed lost! We were about to beat a desperate retreat when we noticed a curious phenomenon: we already had opened a few of the cages in the rooms, and the cats apparently saw them as safe places, foxholes so to speak, from which to launch new attacks. Quickly, we started slamming the full cages shut and opening new ones, which the still-loose cats also mistook for safe zones, climbing up the walls to get to them. Moments later, all the cats were ensconced in cages, and the battle was won.