Another night while roaming the streets with our “famed archery set”, one of the Marines saw a slithering kitty cat on somebody’s front porch. Instantly we all went into chase mode as the cat ran for its life.
As it got away we could hear the residents yelling at us through the windows. We had reached a point where we didn’t care. Then about five minutes latter a half a dozen French made cars quietly drove by and parked down the street and turned their car lights off. Then like clock work all the car doors opened and men in trench coats stepped out.
My perception was pretty good as I concluded it was the police! I called out to the Marines in front of us that it was the “police” to which we all ran.
They pursued us in cars and on foot and we managed to out run them to the end of the street which was dug up and under construction. I recall jumping down into a trench and ran for about a block undetected, then all the sudden I was staring at a deeper hole at which I almost slipped into the city sewer!. I quickly clawed at the trench walls to avoid slipping into a flowing river of stench in a large black hole in the middle of the night.
I finally climbed out of the trench and continued to run from the police. I finally reached the Marine house and jumped over the fence and laid down for about an hour. Then I herd one of the Marines (Perez) call out to me from the bushes that all was clear.
We slipped into the Marine house undetected. Perez and I laughed our heads off. Then he told me that he caught a cat while hiding and it bit him on the hand. He knew of the risk so the next day he began rabies shots to which he was in pain for fourteen days.
By the time we left Tunisia we had bagged 34 cats. Even though we were out of line, I look back on the incident without remorse. When I was transferred to Vietnam I never saw a cat and maybe one stray mangy dog, they ate them and served them in the restaurants!