Coffee heat rising

Other people’s pets

How much do you figure your neighbor’s dog (cat, parrot, boa constrictor, tame alligator) costs you? LOL! I have to say, I expect my own pets to be destructive and figure the repair bills to be part of the cost of doing business. But one thing we tend not to budget for is the depredations of other people’s critters.

While M’hijito’s roommate was in Singapore visiting his relatives and hustling for a job, he left his brand-new Infiniti parked in the driveway (Roommate is the scion of a ridiculously wealthy family).

Quick backstory: Some time back, Roommate became enamored of a cat belonging to the old guy who lives in the house behind M’hijito’s place. He took to feeding and watering the beast, much to M’hijito’s disgust (it uses the vegetable garden as its litterbox), and he has thought of it as “his” cat. In his absence, the cat has taken up residence on top of the Infiniti, where it sleeps at night, out of reach of hunting coyotes and stray pit bulls.

So the other day as M’hijito was headed out to work, he noticed a couple of brown mounds on top of the Infiniti. On closer inspection…oops! Cat mounds!

The cat had deposited two large piles of cat poop on the brand-new silver Infiniti’s roof. Unknown how long they’d been there, but in 115-degree heat, it doesn’t take long for such a substance to bake to perfection. With Roommate due to surface yesterday, M’hijito drove the car to a commercial car wash. This removed the mound, but…well, the paint beneath it was etched and permanently stained.

So, that brand-new car is going to need a paint job. Hope Roommate’s insurance will cover it. Meow!

As I write this, Inez and Carlos the Knife‘s demented dog is running loose in their front yard, once again threatening to eviscerate all comers. I see their new next-door neighbors, the present and blessed occupants of the former Dave’s Used Car Lot, Marina, and Weed Arboretum, managed to dodge inside the house before the dog could catch them between their car and their front door.

Carlos, who is coming onto 90, has a little senility problem. Whenever Inez, who still has all her marbles, turns her back, Carlos sneaks over to the front door and lets the dog out. Once free, it lurks around their front yard but refuses to be caught—reasonably so, since Carlos is given to whacking it with his belt. From the front yard, it chases young children, bicyclists, and postal carriers up and down the street. Fortunately, the mail came before this afternoon’s fugue.

This antic, too, has its expenses. In addition to the potential for medical bills and lawsuits, the last time the hound got out, the post office declared our entire block terra incognita. They refused to deliver the mail to anyone until the dog was locked up or hauled off to the pound (whence it came). And they challenged us all to call the county animal control officers. It took about a week to get our mail delivery restarted, by which time my AMEX bill was running late. I had to pay American Express for the privilege of paying my bill electronically, something that made me stabby, very stabby.

But maybe I have no sense of humor.

One of my students suffered permanent injuries when an idiot’s dog, allowed to run free by the idiot, attacked her as she was jogging down the street in front of her house. She managed to fight it off with several hard, well-aimed kicks (she was a tall, athletic young woman), but it ripped a tendon in her leg and damaged a nerve, which never healed properly.  And neighbor Al carries a shillelagh around with him when he walks his little dog, after the moron 125-pound lady who owns three pit bulls and a retrieveroid had one of her “pets” dig out from under her fence and attack him and his little pooch. She paid the vet bill occasioned by sewing the small dog’s throat back together. Generous of her, eh? Same cur gives Cassie the evil eye every time we encounter the woman and her Iditarod team dragging her down the road.

Sometimes I wonder what possesses people who think their animals are their kiddies, and who imagine the rest of us don’t mind dodging their free-roaming dogs and having their cats defecate and urinate all over our homes (and cars!).

How much has your neighbor’s pet cost you? Can you beat a new automotive paint job?

Annoyed cat, Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez, Wikipedia Commons
Trained attack dog in action, US Air Force, public domain,
Wikipedia Commons

5 thoughts on “Other people’s pets”

  1. Don’t get me started. Let’s see–son terrorized by rich person’s dog on way to school (we called police on that one). 3 y.o. Daughter and I trapped by dog on walk . A 15 minute standoff till dog got distracted. My daughter remembers me saying–“Stand behind me so it will bite me.” (We called police on that one too. Dog owned by 90 y.o. bedridden woman…) Then there was a child of my acquaintance who dropped a piece of fried chicken in her backyard and bent to pick it up. Meanwhile a dog from the next yard–going after the chicken– had leaped over the fence and tore most of the little girl’s face off . Many surgeries and years later…scars of all kinds still there. DH has hit a few dogs that leaped unexpectedly into the street. Scary stuff.

    At least the paint job will only cost money!

    Of course, we semi-adopted out neighbor’s neglected cat. We loved Coconut. Only bad thing was when she ran into the house and threw up on the bed. A small price to pay for years of love. She disappeared and we inquired of the owners if she was OK–“Oh yeah, now that you mention it, we haven’t seen her for a while.”

  2. Every now and again, we have incidents of people’s dogs jumping a fence into someone’s yard and going after the someone. Usually children are involved, but not too long ago it was an adult woman who was minding her own business in her backyard when her neighbor’s pit bull went after her.

    Around here, the perps are usually pit bulls or pit bull mixes. That may be a function of the number of pit bulls that inhabit lower-income neighborhoods: the gangs keep them as status symbols and to use in dogfighting, and so the dog pound nearest to us, where Cassie the Corgi came from, is mostly populated with pit bull types. They get into middle-class neighborhoods when softies — like that moron woman with the Iditarod team — adopt them from the pound. People just don’t understand how dangerous a dog that’s been mistreated can be.

    What a shame about that poor child. I hope her parents sued that neighbor to within an inch of his financial life.

  3. I had neigbor’s dogs get into our yard and almost attack me and my 2 small children; luckily we were able to get back into our house. At the same house, i also had neighbor’s dogs come INTO our house (thankfully these other dogs were just annoying and did not want to attack us).

    We have had neighbor’s dogs come under our gate and into our yard here as well, and even into our house (dog nails on wood floor and cratching up our door–not nice).

    Thankfully, we have not been attacked.

    I chased my neighbor’s cat out of my yard today. Pregnant women are not supposed to clean up after cats, and if this one goes in my vegetable garden, it could be a serious problem. I keep chasing it out of my yard.

    • @ Prudent Homemaker: Wow! I hope you called the cops about that first incident. If your area has a leash law, at least the neighbors could have been cited for failing to keep their animals under control. If those folks are still around and their dogs are still out of control, I’d take myself to the nearest German shepherd rescue group and get myself a fine, full-grown Ger-shep known to be gentle with kids. That will bring a quick end to the incursions from the neighbors’ animals. It’ll be worth the vet bills….

      Seriously. Try to find one with exclusively German breeding, because their health and temperament are somewhat better than what you now find in American lines.

Comments are closed.