Monday, September 28, 2009


Dear readers, I eat lunch at home some days when I don't get the dog sitter. This is mainly to allow my dog to relieve herself. I mean, I know the feeling of being trapped in a car when nature calls. A cage must be worse.

Anyhow, on Friday, when I came home for lunch, I had a postcard to mail and as I was walking out to the mailbox I saw the mailman driving up. Perfect timing.

In more ways than one. Had I not been out there right then, I doubt I would have discovered (at least for another few days) the Siamese cat that was under one of my bushes. I wondered what was making all the rustling noise and I walk over to see this poor thing camping out under a shrub.

Important side note: I am allergic to cats. I don't mean the dander makes me sneeze. I mean cats make my head explode into a drippy, teary mess. Some years ago, a friend's cat fell out of her arms and the cat, desperately trying to arrest its fall, grabbed onto the closest thing it could... my thigh. Where claws punctured my skin, I immediately developed painful, itchy blotches, much like you would get in an allergy test (which, incidentally is exactly what happened when I was allergy tested).

So, with all that in mind:

  • I see this cat and I want to help it
  • I absolutely do not want to touch it
At first, I figured I'd be rational. We have a "cat lady" down the street. My next door neighbors once told me "she owns, like, 50 cats." This may well be true. Her cats litter (no pun intended) the cul de sac. Some says, turning your car around is like running one of those courses in car ads where the car has to swerve to avoid stuff...

Anyhow, I walk over yesterday morning to say hello and "Oh, by the way, do you happen to have a Siamese?"

She said, sadly, no. But... and maybe this means I should be nice to cat ladies... she goes "I've seen that cat around the neighborhood, but it sure doesn't seem to have a home."

Essentially, the cat lady has a catalog of neighborhood cats. This is a good resource.

OK, so... a few casual conversations with neighbors later, no one knows whose cat this is. Least of all the cat lady who would most assuredly know all of her neighbors' cats.

So, I email the humane society. This, after a call to some of the no-kill shelters reveals that no one, apparently, is accepting cats at the moment. Awe. Some.

The humane society emails me back first thing this morning and it was encouraging. Basically, they cannot take any cats either unless I have proof the thing has all its shots. This cat, right here in my front yard, has no form of ID on hand (or collar). So that's out.

So she recommends I call kill-em-all-if-not-picked-up-in-72-hours Animal Control... BUT then she says that as soon as Animal Control picks up my cat, to give her the reference number because "she has a soft spot for Siamese cats."

Hooray! Guaranteed rescue!

See, I don't like cats in particular. But I do like animals and I would much prefer not to send any cat to kitty Auschwitz. This, seemed to be a winning plan.

I call Animal Control, feeling good about things. I do not reveal that someone is going to swoop in and take this cat. I just want it picked up. No prob. They'll be by tonight. And then I hear the words "Please confine the cat."

"Umm... I'm allergic to cats."

"Well, figure out a way to get it in your bathroom because our guys will not chase a cat."


I must have looked like a fine fool grabbing my work gloves from the garage, scooping up this cat, carrying it at arms length into my house and into the guest bathroom. I put a little dish of milk in there to be nice.

You would think - hope even - that this animal that was using my shrubs as a poor shelter to weather a couple inches of Friday and Saturday night rain would be grateful to be indoors with some minor form of sustenance. You, my friend, would be wrong.

Cat tried to make a bee-line for the living room. Umm... NO. Do not push the limits of my generosity, cat. I have gone far-and-away to make sure your little life goes on past Thursday. You can sit in bathroom. Thankyouverymuch.

Anyhow, I now sit and wait for Animal Control. Updates to come...


Erin said...

You are a better person than I am, Jay! I am not a cat lover either. Though I don't know what I would do in a situation like yours it seems unlikely that I would take the time to make calls, send emails, figure out a way to carry a known allergen into my home, and wait for someone to come get it. Good man! And, good luck!

Calliope said...

Jay, on behalf of crazy cat ladies everywhere, I commend you for going the extra mile, especially at the risk of your health. Rufus also thanks you for helping to save his species. I'm looking forward to more updates.

Sarie said...

Update time! The cat has a home?!