Thursday, July 17, 2008

Repeat After Me, I DO NOT hate cats. At least not yet

For years, folks have accused me of being a cat hater. Not so. I like cats, as long as they are some one Else's. I personally have no desire to have a cat, but do enjoy the attentions of others cats and the opportunity to spend time with cats, as long as they don't live with me.
The day before yesterday, all the dogs seemed to gravitate out behind Bobby's shop, and became excitedly interested in a spot that was underneath a wooden door frame w/ the door attached. It created about a 7 inch hollow spot under the door. At first the pups were sniffing around it cautiously, so I just watched. Then the big dogs decided it was worth investigating and soon all 7 were sniffing around it. So, I left my place of observation to see what all the excitement was about. Turns out, I couldn't see a thing, but still they knew some thing was under there. Cain, being the strongest, got his nose under a spot, and started to lift the frame up off the ground, and we all heard a noise which I was hard pressed to imitate in order to tell Bobby what we had heard. Needless to say, when what ever it was, made its distaste of its hiding spot being so diligently and thoroughly inspected by 7 dogs and a human known, we all jumped back in horror. I was immediately put into gotta do some thing about this mode, as there have been several cases of rabid coon and fox reported in the state recently. I called all the dogs and put them in their kennels and went and got Bobby. He, as I surmised he would, got the shot gun, and headed out to the spot where we suspected there was a rabid critter hiding.
Just as we here heading back out there, our neighbors Joy and Lewis drove up. Oh great, Joy the tree hugger see's the shot gun, and of course asks, "what cha doin'?" Me,"uh, er, umm."
But Bobby, having the shot gun in hand, was already in hunter mode, and not realizing the delicate situation with Joy standing by, explains that there is some thing under the door frame, and he aims to shoot it. Joy, tenses at this, and quietly stands back to watch the developments. Lewis, gets a pry bar and sticks it under the frame to pry it up so Bobby, with gun shouldered, can shoot whatever comes out.
I had my suspicions of what was under there, but was reluctant to say, until it was actually discovered/determined. Sure enough, as soon as Lewis pryed open a side of the frame, a cat shoots out. Bobby, again, in hunter mode, put a bead on the escaping cat and readys himself to pull the trigger. All the sudden, Joy comes to life and I swear I never heard a person yell/scream so loudly and so shrilly in all my days! "BOBBY DON'T YOU DARE SHOOT THAT CAAAAAAAAAATTTT!!!!! The sheer volume of her shriek shocked us all, and I'm sure shocked Joy herself. Need less to say, the cat ran off. While Lewis still had the space pryed open, I took it upon myself to look into the space to see what exactly she was doing under there. I suspected she had kittens under there. But couldn't see anything, so figured she was planning to have kittens under there and that hopefully the scare we'd just put in her was enough to goad her into changing her mind and to find another safer spot to have them.
Fast forward to yesterday. Again, the dogs were pretty interested in the site underneath the door frame. At first I again just watched, as I figured that they were just going back over the place, as it has caused so much excitement the day before. But again, their interest escalated, to a point where I felt a need to take another look. I had Bobby get back out the pry bar, and took another look. He pryed it up further than Lewis had the day before, and I was able to get a better look under there as it allowed more light in. What I found was a very small kitten. Judging from the looks of it, I couldn't reach it, it "looked" to be dead. As there was only one kitten in there, I figured she (the mother cat) had moved her kittens to a safer spot and left that one. So, Bobby dropped the frame and we left it. If it wasn't dead, she'd probably be back for it, and if it was, it would be fine and out of reach of the dogs left under there.
Hank, had watched the entire proceedings and was as curious as ever now, about what exactly was under there. I called all the dogs back away from there and instigated a game of fetch to take their minds off it. All came and played, except one sneaky pup decided to leave the game early and apparently go back to the frame. The next thing I know, here comes Hank, with some thing in his mouth trotting triumphantly towards me. I met him halfway, only to find that he had dug a hole under the frame and had snatched the remaining kitten. Problem was, it wasn't dead. Looked to be about 1 maybe 2 days old, and was quite weak and cold to the touch. Hank, was not very happy that I had taken his prize that he had obviously worked so hard to retrieve.
About the time I take the kitten from him, my cell phone rings and it is Deb, an old friend in SC.
She is devastated, and telling me about her 12 year old Rottie Magnum, who I have known since he was a pup and became after his mother passed away, Deb's heart dog. Magnum has just been diagnosed with intestinal cancer. I am trying to be the supportive and a sympathetic friend, but I now have 7 dogs that know I have some thing in my hand, and are surrounding me and wanting to "see?" it, as well as Hank climbing my legs with his sharp puppy claws ( and I have shorts on) wanting his treasure back, and of course, Rose wants it now too. I'm trying to hold a sincere conversation, while holding a kitten up in the air over my head, and trying to escape from the dogs and trying to figure out what to do with it, and it was all just to much. Deb, has now been appraised of the situation and is telling me to run to the store for KMR and a bottle, yaddy yada, ( I love her, but she is a prime candidate for PETA ) So, with the promise to call her back later in the evening, I ended the conversation with Deb, and walked into the shop with the kitten to show Bobby what Hank had (thankyouveryNOTmuch) found.
The kitten upon further inspection, had not exactly come out of Hanks mouth unscathed. Not sure of the actual amount of damage done internally to the kitten, we can tell its not going to last long. Bobby, the always humane, decides to take the kitten out back and put it out of its misery. I have learned in my short time in the south, that men from this region have but one way to put some thing out of its misery, and that is to shoot them. Handing him the kitten, I call all the dogs away so that he can do what needs to be done. He was a bit quick to pull the trigger, and I hadn't gotten the dogs as far from him as I wanted to, when bang, the deed was done. It didn't seem to bother any one dog in particular, Bobby is a gunsmith and shooting guns around the house is a regular occurrence, so they are use to it. Except for Stella. She has recently started to show signs of noise sensitivity, and that was a bit more than she could handle. I was shocked at how quickly she grabbed another gear, and shot away like a rocket through the woods towards the neighbors chicken houses. I knew calling her wasn't going to stop her, so I put the other dogs up in their kennels which was where I was heading to when my trigger happy husband shot the ailing kitten, and hopped in my truck and went out to look for her. After alerting the neighbors, (Joy and Lewis) who incidentally heard the shot and were now less concerned about my lost dog and more concerned (Joy was anyway) about the reasons for the gun being fired, I continued my search. After an hour into the search, I became more and more concerned that I wasn't going to find Stella. Bobby stayed at home in case she came back and Kyle and I were scouring the neighborhood and surrounding woods calling and whistling to no avail. Two hours goes by and at this point I am a wreck. Its starting to get dark. So I jump back in the truck, and start down the road again. Low and behold, I finally see Stella, coming down the road looking like she has been through hell and back. She was soaking wet, and covered in sand spurs and briarers. I opened the truck door and she leaped in and home we go. Phew. It took me about an hour to get everything out of her coat, and my fingers suffered from the sand spurs, but she is feeling better and happy to be back home.
Needless to say, at this point I think its time to have a heart to heart talk with my next door neighbor, as he is the reason there was a wild cat having kittens in my yard.
What started out over there as one stray cat, has turned into over the course of the last two years, to be like a gazillion wild cats running around. Of course, they don't stay in Bill's yard, and especially enjoy using my yard as their personal litter box. I have been battling fleas and tape worm from these cats pooping in my yard, as the dogs love to eat the cat shit for neigh on 2 years now and I am quite frankly getting tired of having to spend the money to keep my dogs worm free because he wont do anything about all these cats! He cant catch them, ( nor has he ever tried) so they are unvaccinated, un spayed and neutered, no flea preventative, nothing! I have tried to be nice, and neighbourly in talking to him about the obvious needs of the cats as well as tried to convey my dislike of them using my yard as their personal litter box, and all he had to say about that was "please don't shoot the cats" He obviously knows my husbands southern ways of eradicating problem critters. So, now I have to get tough and firm. Some thing needs to be done, or I am going to unleash the southern mentality husband and his shot gun on the lot of them. Enough is enough. I'm pissed. I damn near lost my dog yesterday, because he wont do anything about his wild cat population, and yes, I do blame it all on him. I have other neighbors who have cats, and I never see their cats in my yard. They are well fed and not getting into the trash and constantly littering my yard with it. They are spayed and neutered and not having kittens in my yard, they are vaccinated and not giving me cause to have to worry about bringing disease around here. And, they have a their own yards to use as their personal litter boxes. Oh, and calling animal control?? That's just a joke. They wont do squat. Been there, done that. So, I reckon me and Old Bill will be coming to a meeting of the minds here real soon, or Id better go pick out a spot out back and start digging a big hole. Its not the cats I dislike, nor do I like the idea of having to dispose of them ( though I do dislike them in my yard, on my truck, in my trash, pooping under my front porch, which incidentally smells of cat urine under there and I don't even own a cat!! ) its the stupid people that allow this kind of over population and lack of care and concern for their animals. If he doesn't care, then that just sets me to feeling as if I can begin to be less and less concerned about their well being myself. Am I a confirmed cat hater? Not as of yet, but this situation could very well put me over the edge.

No comments: