Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Meow, hiss!

"Well, then," the Cat went on, "you see, a dog growls when it's angry, and wags its tail when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore I'm mad." -- Cheshire Cat, from Alice in Wonderland

There are some times when one looks at a situation and sees that despite the appearance of seriousness, it's utterly ridiculous.  We have been threatened by our neighbours, over a cat.

We live in a rented row-house, and one of the terms in the lease states that tenants can't have pets.  That doesn't stop many of the people who live in the adjacent houses from having dogs or cats - because despite the no-pets clause, it's not enforced - and people let their animals roam free.  So there are at least three cats that we have witnessed coming into our yard and using it as their toilet.  Fences or barriers don't stop them, they can slip through any opening they find.

Our daughter likes to play outside in the summer months, and the last thing we need is cat excrement in the yard.  I comb the grass almost every morning but there's always the possibility of missing something.  So we have taken to spraying water at any cat that we happen to see coming into the yard, just enough to send the message for it to leave.  The animal is not harmed in any way.

However our neighbours once happened to witness me scaring a cat out of the yard.  They took me to task and said that I had no business doing such a thing.  I replied that particular cat wasn't theirs (I know which cat belongs to them), so they had no right to complain.  Then I attempted to explain that my actions were just to keep the cat out of the yard.  They run a daycare so they should understand the importance of keeping poop away from kids.  But they didn't accept this and stated that if they saw me "terrorizing" another cat, they would call the cops.  I was furious as well as intimidated, but I didn't want to escalate the situation and so went back inside.

I love dogs and cats, but there is a proper place for them.  Don't force me to pick up your animal's mess.  By the way, we have a cat - she used to belong to a neighbour but ran away after that family got a big dog. She's kept indoors and cared for, and she's happy.

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