I know, I know; I completely missed Love Thursday this week. In my defense, I spent most of yesterday trying to figure out how the heck I sprained my ankle doing nothing. (What can I say? I’m unbelievably
klutzy fragile talented.) You can read about that and my general hatred of everything fitness related this week over in my weekly post at Five Full Plates, but here is the summary: WAH WAH WAH THIS SUCKS.
One spot of good news, though, is that Dr. Fancypants came through and supposedly a contact lens prescription has been faxed to our local place for Chickadee. Is it true? I have no idea. I’m headed over there this afternoon to see if we can actually get her some contacts. I’m hopeful, while still poised for crushing frustration, you understand.
The other thing I’ve been busy with this week is a proliferation of cats. And I know, “a proliferation of cats” sounds like a bit of linguistic exaggeration, a turn of a phrase for effect, but believe me when I tell you that this phrase, in this particular instance, is 100% hyperbole-free. (Now with less melodrama!) The fact of the matter is that we are being overrun by cats.
Let me back up and set the scene: We have some neighbors who are “animal lovers.” I put that in quotation marks because feeding every feral animal which comes your way without 1) having them neutered and 2) seeing to their medical care is not, in my mind, love. In fact, there’s an argument to be made that it’s an unintentional cruelty, because all it does is keep them healthy enough for long enough to procreate and make more feral animals. Hooray! What a FANFUCKINGTASTIC idea!
And before you get all “You must just hate animals” on me, I’m willing to confess that I’m not overly fond of cats, it’s true. I happen to be allergic, for one thing, and for another I don’t see the point of a pet who both hates you AND poops in a box which it then expects you to clean. I just don’t get it. I’ve known a few nice cats, but the majority (TO ME) seem to just be eating, pooping, judgmental people haters. So yeah, not a cat fan.
HOWEVER—my general dislike of cats aside—these neighbors I’m talking about, they’re not just feeding a couple stray kitties. They leave their garage open and fill it with industrial-size trays of kibble. At any given time their yard holds at least a dozen cats, and while yeah, I sort of feel like all they need is a rusted-out truck up on blocks to complete the look, it’s their yard. Whatever.
At last, that’s how I felt until this week.
Because this week, apparently Critical Kitty Mass at the neighbors’ was exceeded, and now MY yard is full of cats. Specifically, my PORCH is full of cats, and my DECK is full of cats, and there are cats hiding under my car and there are cats sunning on my pool cover and THERE ARE CATS YOWLING AND HUMPING UNDER MY WINDOW AT 3:00 IN THE MORNING.
The poor dog has all but lost her mind, and I can’t say that Otto and I are too far behind her, what with the constant clash of feline wills that so often seems to need to happen in the middle of the night, as close to our heads as possible.
I mean, I stepped outside one morning and there were tufts of fur as far as the eye could see. I realize it was probably a territory squabble (or maybe I just don’t understand that kitty love is a lot more rough than I think it is), but all I could think, as I beheld the carnage, was “Muppet massacre.” It really looked as though a couple of Sesame Street’s finest had stepped on a land mine right there on the porch. It was something.
Anyway, I would love to tell you that we called Animal Control and they came and took all the extra cats away, but when I called them Animal Control basically laughed in my face and told me that they don’t handle cats anymore. Apparently we can submit a complaint, at which point we’ll be subpoenaed to testify against the neighbors, and they’ll be fined. This would 1) piss the neighbors off (just guessing, here), 2) take up a bunch of our time, and 3) not ultimately result in the removal of the cats, so I’m thinking it doesn’t solve the problem so much as make the current one suck even worse. So.
Anyone have any ideas on how to keep the cats off our property? I don’t want to HURT them, obviously, but I would also like them to go away. Forever.
Licorice is valiantly attempting to assert her dominion, but given that she’s approximately the same size as most of these cats, they are not too bothered by her. Oh, she barks and runs after them and then they run away a little and then stop and sit down and look at her like, “I see you’re on a leash, there. I am not. I am just going to sit here and smirk at you.” Licorice now spends a lot of time being VERY WORRIED about the cats, and I’m a little afraid she’s going to have a nervous breakdown.
After a couple of days of us all trying to STOP her from chasing the cats, I leashed her up one day with the long retractable leash and handed her off to Chickadee. “Run like the wind!” I said. “Let her do all the barking and chasing she wants! Maybe it’ll scare the cats away.”
Wishful thinking, I know.
Well. After she’d cleared the yard of cats, she very much wanted Chickadee to KEEP RUNNING after one particular cat, so they went jogging along for a while until they ended up down by the pond. As Chickadee looked around, trying to figure out where the cat had gone, Licorice spotted a couple of geese in the middle of the pond. And although Little Miss Timid spent her early days with us quite content to circle the edge of the pond and perhaps daintily lap at its edges, all the pent up rage and frustration about the recent Catsplosion imbued her with superdoggy strength, determination, and stupidity—she went flying INTO the pond, where the poor geese were understandably startled, and Licorice demonstrated that yes, Virginia, she can swim.
My daughter took this as a rare opportunity to practice her skills at utilizing understatement; she appeared at the back door and called, “I need you to get a towel, Licorice’s feet might be wet.” I grabbed a towel and opened the door to discover a sodden, mud-covered pooch doing an excellent impersonation of a drowned rat. And I probably would’ve been mad if I could’ve stopped laughing long enough.
The whole time Licorice was suffering through the ensuing bath you could just TELL she was working on her plan to get back at those rotten cats.