Right away, I could see these were no ordinary cats. They were aggressive, they worked together, and had the sun at their backs. Even with modern sensors, the age-old tactic still works, to a degree.
Against the sun, highly sensitive optical scanners calibrated for deep space still get fuzzed by the solar output and radar sees nothing but a giant energy spike across a half degree of sky. It took talent to run an intercept using that narrow blind spot, but it could be done. The other ships were down before I could even spot them; half a dozen giant bat wings, big as death, looming right out of the sun.
Thank god I had been busted to 'tail-end charlie' the day before. They hit the element leaders first. These, the cats reasoned, would have more combat experience and would therefore make more trouble. The initial pass was more successful than they'd imagined, downing 3 of 4 fighters. Now they had the lone survivor outnumbered and outgunned, and the kitties were going to play with their food.
I played back.