A few weeks ago when I was out taking the girls to school, we had some visitors by the name of Animal Control drop by to pay Christian, who was working from home, a visit. Turns out our sweet, gentle TigerCat had taken a snip at one of the neighbors.*
*By “sweet and gentle” I mean old and crotchety. And by “snip” I mean he darn near gnawed off her hand.
Apparently what happened was that Tiger got into a skirmish with another cat, and the neighbor tried to break it up. With her bare hands. Now I can think of tons of ways to break up a cat fight, and none of them involve stick my delicate lady fingers into a cloud of fur, teeth, and claws. A better idea would have been to
- spray them with a hose
- throw a shoe at them
- throw a brick at them
- throw a small child at them
- play Ted Nugent’s Cat Scratch Fever (more for soundtrack than for ending the fight though. Cats like to rock out too.)
Animal Control was all, “We’re taking your cat to jail. Where is he?” and Christian was all, “Uhhhh…no idea.” And Animal Control was all, “Well, you need to get him quarantined by this date and time or we’ll be back with tanks and guns and stuff,” or something of the like, because let’s face it, my husband is not really the one you want to talk to if you have an important message to deliver.
So we went on with our day and kinda forgot about the whole quarantine thing until the next morning when I started calling around to area vet offices and shelters, who conveniently didn’t open until 11 or 12. I went down the list of places the Animal Control office had given me, only to find out that it was a list of lies! and none of those places would take my cat, save the one vets office that was going to charge me boarding fees and exam fees and vaccination fees totaling to a mere $400! So then I wondered what the fine would be for not taking him at all, because dude.
I was running out of time. Tiger had to be behind kitty bars by noon, but we had a prior commitment that was making me rush and causing me to sweat bullets.
It was a birthday party, okay? But I really wanted to see my friends. Don’t judge me.
I called the Animal Control office and explained my predicament that I was having trouble finding a kitty jail that wasn’t going to cost me more than I would spend on my cats in a year (ok, decade), and that I had a prior commitment that was hindering my ability to get him somewhere in time (ix-nay on the arty-pay).
Finally, FINALLY, I got a hold of someone at the county shelter who explained that they could take him for a much more reasonable cost of $150. After the party I drove him out practically to the middle of nowhere, waited around for like 2 hours while someone who clearly loved her job conducted much sighing and rolling of eyes and telling me that no, she could not possibly fax the verification from the fax machine that was mere steps away from her, but oh now I need to go into that room for something, so I guess I’ll do it. GAWD.
Oh, and then there was, “Do you want the cat back?”
Uh, yeah. And isn’t it sad that they have to ask that?
ANYWAY, he’s back and apparently back to his a-hole kitty ways (but with fresh vaccinations!), because last week I got a visit from the neighbor across the street, who explained that it was his daughter that Tiger bit, and she had to go to the hospital, and something about a kitten, and he’s terrorizing them and making their lives hell. And I was all, “I know what you mean, man. He scratches at the door in the middle of the night, and when I go to let him in, he runs away. Jerk wants me to take food to him!”
I don’t think he saw the two situations as being quite so similar, but all in all he was very nice, and thank you kind sir for not suing us for medical bills.
But then! A few minutes later I got another knock on the door, and there was a young woman standing on my porch, holding a kitten that tried to claw its way down her back, because not only do I have 2 a-hole cats, I also have a lunatic dog who loves to jump on whomever comes to the door. You really don’t ever expect to answer your door to someone holding a kitten.
She came at me kinda fiery and such, showing me her scars on her hand (seriously, Tiger…damn) and a new bite on her poor little kitten, and basically told me that she could not have my cat on her property, sassy head roll and snapping and all.
Now I’m a pretty sympathetic person, and I hate confrontation (and the prospect of getting sued), so I just wanted to smooth this over as nicely as possible. Luckily, thanks to years of management training that I have just been dying to use in real life, I didn’t return her sass, and I was able to calm her down and convince her that I was not a terrible person, despite the fact that my lawn hasn’t been mowed in a month, and my cat is not a terrible cat, despite the fact that he’s bitten just about everyone we know, including me (hooray for tetanus shots!). I smoothed it over with lots of “I understand,” a few doses of “I’m sorry,” (she was really very sweet with her sass mask off) and a short term solution to just spray the hell out of my cat with a garden hose if you see him on your property, because I know that guy, and indoors he will not be contained. I can’t control where he goes, but I guess I can try to keep him in during the day when her kitty is out?
If anyone suggests electric fences or shock collars or whatnot, see above where I talk about really not being willing to spend any money on these cats. He’s old, but we’ve got a ways to go with this one. The dude is 13, but the vet said he looked like he was 2. So with our luck he’ll be the cat that lives to be 25.
Hide yo’ kittehz!