Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Murderers In Our Midst

I had sworn off arguing with people about politics on the social media, just to give myself a break. But after a few days my pulse rate had gone logy and I was sleeping through the night. Who knows what I might be missing in those hours previously devoted to lying awake wishing people were smarter? Is it wise? Shit isn't going to worry about itself.

So just to get a life-affirming dose of venomous hatred, I wandered into a thread on the neighborhood vine about outdoor cats.

I'm gingerly about that sort of thing these days. Something I might have thought was a simple offer of information turns out to be a highly obnoxious invasion of other people's private business and a threat to their God-given freedoms. Offense is liable to be taken. Epithets are liable to be flung. I edge up to the subject like I'm putting my neck on a slab.

"Oh hi," I begin. "You know, that's exactly how I used to feel about letting a cat out myself! LOL! But then I did some reading, and I decided I would always keep my kitty indoors. I LOVE KITTIES! I just had no idea what a huge impact they had on our native wildlife. And I had no idea they are an invasive species. I just figured they'd always been around and they always ate birds and everything was in balance. Nope! In fact..."

Typical liberal, always so sure you should decide what's best for other people to do. You want to take my car away next? Fortunately this is still a free country.

But did you know that cats are responsible for decimating populations of birds and...

[Ed. note: Did you know your hair can be singed off by being too close to a cat thread on the internet?]

I like my cat better than your stupid birds. Mind your own business. People like you make me sick.

...Speaking of sick, there's a special problem with cat shit too, because it carries a parasite that can infect a...

You know so much more than the rest of us and we're all SO grateful for your input. BTW, birds poop all over your garden too, you know. Maybe we should all stay indoors?

I just thought that if...hey. Aren't you the same person who was just on this site last week all huffy about people who don't pick up their dog's poop?

Dog poop is disgusting. You have to pick it up. It's the law.

Aww, Petunia. Bless your heart. Maybe we do now. You know how it used to be? I'll tell you how it used to be.

We grew up rolling around on the lawn with the chiggers and the dog poop. Our mothers put the hose on us at the back door and made us strip down before we came in. Dog poop was everywhere. Desiccated white turds and giant smeary piles. People let their dogs out in the morning and they were expected to gang up and terrorize little kids until they were brought back inside for the night. They weren't precious little purse pups either, the kind ladies pluck out of their pocketbook to pop a poop like a Pez. They weren't going to dent you in the ankle socks. They were going to come at you pointy end first and bowl you into next week. They were named King and Duke and Bruno and they'd use your little four-year-old legs for dental floss. You didn't know how fast you could pedal a bicycle until the pack came around the corner and showed you a gear you didn't know you had.

Tater takes down a wooden chicken
Nobody wanted to pick up poop or walk a dog three times a day then either. They wanted their dogs and their kids happy and worn-out, and that's what they got. But things changed. Most of us think they changed for the better. Maybe not the kids.

One of these days people are going to feel differently about the toxoplasmosis land mines in their tomato patches and the songbird massacres and things are going to change again. In the meantime I have a jet spray setting on my hose and a great fondness for urban coyotes.

OK, Boomer, touch a hair on my cat and I'm coming after you.

Go ahead and try it, Junior. I can pedal a bike real fast. You've got allergies and asthma and you can't read a map.

33 comments:

  1. I would like to know why these cat people think that dogs should be on leashes and not allowed to roam to do what they do and their killer cats can be let free. Makes no sense to me.

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    1. By all means, pop onto any social media platform and ask! You'll be pleasantly surprised at the civility!

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    2. Not all cat people feel that way, Lisa. When I was on the city council of our town in the 1970s, we enacted a leash law that included cats. As owners of three cats, you can bet that my family observed that law! (Of course, the opossums ate us out of house and home with their nocturnal raids of the cat food that was kept inside the dog run with the cats.)

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  2. Fortunately, we no longer have much of a cat problem around here as we used to. Part of it is, no doubt, because a neighbor who used to feed strays hobbles along on a walker now, so she can no longer do it. But I also think that, among cats, we have a "reputation":

    "Don't go into THAT yard, Muffin! O know there are lots of birds, but Tinkerbelle disappeared there last week. Ebony was giving birth to her litter under their woodpile last summer, and... they all just disappeared"

    What we did was get a Havahart trap and bait it with cat food. I'm sure that occasionally we'd get someone's pet, but hey -- we have a stockade fence around our yard. Anything that comes in is now OUR property. Yes, I'm exactly like that SNL character with the neighbor kid's balls landing in her yard. They'd go to the Humane Society, where who knows? Maybe they were put down. Don't know, don't care. If people value their cats, they had better keep them the fuck outta my yard.

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    1. I'd like to do that, but I know I won't. On the other hand, if one feather on Studley Windowson's head gets ruffled by a cat, I will find and kill that cat.

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    2. See, that's why I don't complain to the actual neighbors first; when you let them know you're more interested in the birds than their cats, you're the prime suspect in their disappearance. If you stay mum... hey, it coulda been a hit by a car.

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    3. Okay, I had a nice neighbor who knew very well how I felt about her cat being in my yard, and she was sincerely apologetic but not planning to change anything. And at a block party I teased her about it. A couple days later I found out from another neighbor that her cat had been trapped and taken to the pound and she'd had to bail it out. I have a REALLY good guess who did it, but it wasn't me--but I'll bet she thought it was!

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    4. You take kids balls to the Humane Society? Now that's harsh.

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    5. Mimimanderly you and I are related, I'm pretty sure. I've tried warning my neighbors that I have a live trap for, uh, raccoons and such and hardly ever check it so they better keep their f*&$#!ing bird-killing poop factories in their own g*#$!dam#!ed yards or gosh, something bad might happen, purely by accident (I lied) (about rarely checking). I have bad eyesight too (also lying) so you never know but what someone's f*&$#!ing bird-killing poop factory might not escape the fate of some worse critter in the trap. Although I always let raccoons, possums, weasels, foxes and even skunks (now there's a great story) go.

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    6. That was a very enjoyable comment. Thank you.

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  3. Saw our feral cat the other day. He/she is in beautiful color and being fed by a neighbor.

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    1. I just saw a new one waltzing along the fence top a few feet away from our bird feeder. Grrr.

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  4. Mom always taught us that dogs & cats were okay on the farm, where each had an assigned task; but, once we moved to the city....

    Now, there are more dogs than humans in our neighborhood. The two dogs on one side of us wake me each morning ('way too early - and I sleep on the far side of the house) and keep me awake at night, and bark at me all the while I am working in our back yard or woods. The dentist who owns them had promised, when he got them, that they would quit barking after they became used to me. I find that, the more I try to befriend them, the more they bark. They are not alone.

    I won't go into the pollution problem from all the dog feces in the back yards which are situated on a lake that feeds into a stream....

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    1. Ah -- but think of the foxes, deer, bunnies, chipmunks,squirrels, snakes, turtles, and caterpillars that also poop on the land near a lake that feeds a stream. Don't laugh -- caterpillars eat and poop like crazy by the gazillions. And the fish who pee AND poop -- in the water!! Gadzooks, why must any of us have poops anyhow? Can't we find the zen balance of eating food that is 100% digestible? Just think -- no more panic buying of toilet paper.

      Well, I'm becoming fatalistic. If the corona virus kills off humanity, a new species will evolve to take our place. They are bound to be better creatures than us.

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    2. Call the cops. Or animal control. It's what we do when there is noise (whether constantly barking dogs or parties at 3am. Yes, we are crotchety.) I once had the cops on speed-dial because of a neighbor's all-night parties. And when I called animal control about a dog that was being kept outside on a short leash, in winter weather, with no doghouse, so OF COURSE he was barking! I would, too! They actually showed up and GAVE the guy a doghouse, and -- I would assume -- some info about the proper care for dogs. Don't just take this nonsense.

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    3. Dogs are cool, but barking is one of the worst sounds ever. I wish they'd just howl.

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  5. you boomers are shutting down the entire economy because you're afraid of a flu. Seriously, can you boomers kill yourselves? You are the most selfish generation to ever exist. You don't give a shit about climate change, why should we young people give a shit if you get sick and die of some virus? I HOPE the virus gets much stronger and kills you all.

    Do you boomers realize how universally hated you are? There is not one single demographic that does not hate you- white people, black people, asians, mexicans, indians, chinese, millennials, GenX, GenZ. Something tells me that you boomers are not going to have a very comfortable or easy retirement, especially once you end up in the retirement homes.

    Can you baby boomers hurry up and fucking drop dead? Enjoy your retirement homes cause we younger people will not take care of you even if we wanted to, due to the shitty economy you boomers created. Do you boomers realize that the younger generation is simply waiting for you to fucking drop dead?

    You are all going to end up in retirement homes and we all know that the elderly gets treated pretty badly in retirement homes. Well, that's what you get for ruining your own children's lives. Even if your children WANTED to take care of you, they couldn't, due to you boomers destroying the economy. So I hope you enjoy the retirement homes, boomer scum!

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    1. Aren’t you the asshole.

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    2. Nah. He's just like the crotchety old man who spits and repeats himself all the time. Maybe vitamins would help.

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    3. What a sad excuse for a human you are.

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    4. “...and we all know the elderly gets treated badly in retirement homes.”

      I’m sure your generation would be treated better. You can take my slot.

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    5. What say I delete our little friend so he doesn't get in our little pea brains? Next post I will.

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    6. He/she/it posts the same dreary post over and over on every blog where comments are not moderated before they are posted. Every time I see it I am reminded of a quote from Buddhist Monk Thích Nhất Hạnh, “Some people live as though they are already dead. [They are] consumed by their past, terrified of their future, and stuck in their anger and jealousy. They are not alive; they are just walking corpses.” Pitiful little soul.

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    7. Deb, I'll go ahead and delete him from now on. I don't want to cause people to waste their time on him!

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  6. LOL! Did you try all caps? That usually lets them know you mean business!! LOL again :)

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  7. Next thing you know is you libruls gonna take away my god given Howitzer!
    I love dogs, cats, horses, goats, birds and most things that don't want to eat me, but I don't want my cats eating the very entertainment they watch out the window when they aren't sleeping. It would be foolish. Damned herring gull just pooped on my car, but the next rain will take care of it.

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    1. Maybe...I park under a power line next to a pole, and the starboard side of my car is dang crusty. And we've GOT rain.

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  8. My Lola lives inside, as do most of the other cats around here. I do have one neighbour with two kitties that are probably a year old by now, they roam around freely and often sit by his door meowing to be let in which is hard for me to listen to, because he just doesn't open the door until he is ready. I think he only lets them in to feed, probably doesn't want to have to deal with a litter box. There are no fences here, so I'll probably see one of them squished on the road one day.

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    1. I suspect a number of people are motivated by a distaste for the litter box routine! My sainted sister Margaret was one of them. Everyone needs at least ONE flaw.

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  9. I think the "nasty old man" is a bot. Hit my blog too. Apropos to nothing. Deleted before it hit the airwaves. Or electrowaves. One of the posts on my blog that went viral and continues to rise like Glenn Close every spring was titled "Happy National Feral Cat Day!" Yes, there IS one. No, I don't celebrate it, other than to donate to American Bird conservancy, which has THE most effective Cats Indoors campaign ever, and won a landmark case in NY concerning a cat colony being maintained at a piping plover nesting site. PS You just can't reason with people with toxoplasmosis, poor dears.

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    1. Yup, definitely a bot...I was letting him roam free for the last few posts but I hate to see my friends waste time on the poor dear, so I'll start evicting him. I don't screen them before they hit the pixels (is that a thing?) so I'll just have to wait until I wake up, which is way after my commenters do.

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  10. I have a Mini Farm and a Working Cat and she keeps the Scorpions and Roof Rats under control and leaves the Wild Birds alone even tho' they're abundant here. She does have scorn for Pigeons, I guess she's heard they're Sky Rats, not sure? She comes inside about half the time, due to Predatory Indigenous Animals and Birds of Prey that would make her a buffet option, she came to us as a Stray and is Street Wise. I laughed at your Fun you had on the Community Vine... they trifle so much that they're always good for a giggle. No telling what offends people, but it can be good Sport.

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