Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

That Cat Has GOT to Go…

This morning Other Daughter’s goddamn cat came over the wall and attacked DUCK. The dogs and I chased it off but DUCK is so terrorized she won’t come back to her nest. So presumably the eggs will die.

God DAMN that fucking cat. It came over the east wall where the vines are kind of thin. I’d hoped they’d be enough to stop the animal from jumping up there (some of them have grown over earlier layers of carpet tacks). But that was wrong.

I set the dogs loose on the damn thing.

Cassie of course will go after anything you sic her on. She shot off like a rocket. Ruby also went after the cat in the direction I was pointing — it went to ground under the Texas sage and cassia on the east end of the pool. But she was easily distracted and tried to chase DUCK, too. DUCK was  terrorized.

Interestingly, though, Ruby stood down when I told her NO, and despite all the hubbub, she even came right to call.

Eventually DUCK came back and landed on the cool decking, quacking piteously.

I went out to the sidewalk and began zip-tying and taping more carpet tack strips up, to fill in the areas and the slump-block support column caps that weren’t covered. That whole side of the yard was a bit neglected in the de-cattification scheme.

Eventually Sally came over to ask what on earth I was doing. When I told her what was up — cat, duck, and all that — she agreed that she ALSO hates Other Daughter’s damned cat, which jumps over the wall into her yard and poops in the GRAVEL landscaping.

She came over to see DUCK, who was still standing miserably on the cool deck. While we were ogling her, she flew off.

I figured she wouldn’t come back. They say if a duck is frightened off a nest, it’ll abandon the nest.

Here we thought that STUPID woman had decided to keep the cat in hand because she imagined a cat she found dead in the alley had been killed by coyotes.

But no. I guess she can’t maintain a train of thought in her batty little brain long enough to stick with any plan very long. Other Daughter is on disability for her mental illness. Her husband, now estranged (again, probably temporarily again) is also on disability — he’s schizophrenic. Did you realize that a parasitic disease carried by cats is believed to be a cause of schizophrenia?

It’s far from the only disease the little darlings carry.

Did you realize cats can carry MRSA?

Did you realize cats kill more than a billion birds every year in the US?

Did you realize Trap-Neuter-Release programs not only do not work, they harm cats as well as humans?

* * * 2 hours later * * *

DUCK is back on the nest, amazingly enough. I covered her eggs with debris, the way she does when she leaves to forage — you’re not supposed to mess with them, but apparently that didn’t disturb her enough to aggravate her fear any further.

Game and Fish says a nesting duck won’t come back if she’s scared off the nest, but there she is out there. That is ONE determined Duck.

My friends out in the sticks have a cat trap that they’ve used to deal with their cat problem. I’m going to pick it up in tomorrow.

They discovered that if you catch the cat in a trap and then soak it liberally with water from the hose, the cat will take off and never come back. At least, not to your backyard. This cat and the neighbor’s other collected stray cats continue to use my friend’s front yard and front porch as their toilet.

The other option is to get a motion-activated sprinkler. Trouble is, I’m not sure the cat came in over the east wall. That was how she got out, but it doesn’t mean she didn’t come in over the west wall. Those sprinklers are expensive, besides the fact that they tie up a hose bib. I can’t afford even one, much less enough to cover four long fence lines.

Damn it. I thought those carpet tacks were working.

Sally says she’ll shoot the cat with her BB gun the next time she sees it in her yard. Sally, despite being quite an old gal, is still a pretty good shot.

I can’t find the air rifle. Think SDXB has it. I may borrow it so I can zing the little monster. Problem is, I can hit a stationary target but have never tried to shoot at anything in motion. And it’s been a mighty long time since I’ve even shot at a target.

Author: funny

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11 Comments

  1. HAH! You might want to try the cat remedy an old Ukrainian neighbor used to use. You have to be stealthy, and await your opportunity. Take a lightweight plastic trash can. Place an open can of tuna inside. When the cat goes for the snack, pop the lid on the trash can. Apply a cup of laundry detergent and a hose. Pick up trash can and shake vigorously. Let the poor darling kitty out. Step out of the way of the wet, pleasantly scented furry rocket as it exits stage left with velocity.

  2. I think soaking the cat with the hose will be sufficient. I realize you are upset and I would be too, but shooting at it? It’s not the cat’s fault that it belongs to a mentally ill woman who can’t care for it properly.
    I’m glad to hear that Duck came back to her nest. I think she realizes that you are looking out for her. If she didn’t feel safe in your back yard, I don’t think she would have parked herself there in the first place.

    • Well, Duck is a wild animal. She may be partially acclimated to humans, being a City Duck. The Arizona Canal crosses town just a few blocks to the north; lots of ducks float around there, collecting handouts from amblers, hikers, and bicyclists. And there are a number of small park lakes within duck-flying distance, where humans dote on the critters. But nevertheless, she is wild and she has the instincts and habits of a wild bird.

      As for Other Daughter, I believe the mot juste is WON’T care for the cat properly. About 45% of the 80 million domestic cats in this country are kept as “outdoor cats” (http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/feral_cats/qa/feral_cat_FAQs.html). That is because, to a large degree, many cat-lovers believe their kitties are meant to run loose and predate on the local wildlife — they think Pussycat will not be happy if kept as an indoor cat. I’m also sure that many cats are allowed to roam free because their humans don’t want to have to clean out a stinky cat box every day. Forty-five percent of this country’s population (evidence gathered by driving on the city streets notwithstanding) can not be too crazy to care for a cat. The folks are not crazy; they’re irresponsible.

      Cats are more than just a nuisance. They cause serious harm to the environment, to wildlife, and on occasion to humans.

      It’s not a coyote’s fault that it lives in the city and that a small backyard dog is about the same size as a scrumptious rabbit and considerably slower. It’s not a two-legged coyote’s fault that he’s been so sociologically disadvantaged that he must break into other people’s homes and steal to support his drug habit. But you may be sure in either of those cases that the interloper is likely to get shot. I think the same reasoning should extend to roaming predators whose owners decline to care for them responsibly and set them loose on other animals and people.

      • “Cats are just a nuisance.” Sorry, but you need to rein it in here. And to even think about shooting one is beyond the pale.

      • @ Anne: People who love cats feel very strongly about them, and often mistakenly believe others should love their cats, too.

        In fact, cats are worse than a nuisance: they’re decimating native bird, reptile and mammal populations, they spread disease among other animals and humans, and they are filthy. Cats are now the main vector of rabies to humans; more than three times as many cats as dogs contract rabies.

      • Sorry…things were popping here and I didn’t give Anne’s comment a fair or well reasoned reply.

        Letting your cat roam loose is a form of animal abuse — not just against the wildlife populations that cats devastate but also against the cat itself. It is, in short, considerably more abusive than putting the cat down and ending its misery quickly.

        The number of folks commenting here who evidently are hostile to stray cats speaks to that fact: turning a cat out into an urban neighborhood puts your pet at enormous risk.

        I do not propose to shoot O.D.’s cat with a .45; I propose to zing it with a BB, which won’t harm it but will sting enough to discourage the pest from returning to my yard. Others indeed might shoot a cat with a real gun; one would hope not, but when people are driven to desperation, they’ll take desperate measures.

        But that is the very least of risks a roaming cat faces.

        Most cities in the US now are populated by urban coyotes (Google “urban coyote” if you don’t believe me). A coyote can easily catch a cat, and it cheerfully will. Coyotes regard cats as prey.

        So do dogs. If your cat jumps over a wall that encloses the home of a fast-moving, alert dog with a strong prey instinct — such as a greyhound or any other hunting breed — it’s likely to be caught and killed.

        Cats are regularly hit by cars and trucks. Whether your cat runs into a neighborhood street, a feeder street, or a main drag, it has a good chance of being run over.

        In 100-degree-plus heat, cats suffer considerable physical stress. If the animal can’t jump over someone’s wall to get at the watering system (for example, if the animal suffers a minor injury limiting its ability to jump six or eight feet), it can dehydrate and die quickly.

        Badgers are also common urban wildlife. We have a lot of them in this neighborhood, and you probably have some in yours. Badgers can easily catch and kill a cat, or inflict serious injury. Badgers, like coyotes, foxes, and other wild animals that live around cities, carry rabies. They can infect your cat, and the cat then can bring it home to you and your family.

        Cats fight each other over territory. A catfight can inflict very serious injuries on one’s pet. The vet bills aside, the risk to the cat’s long-term health and survival is significant.

        Cats pick up any number of parasites and infections from the wild birds and small mammals they kill. Not only does the cat bring these home to you, such infections and parasite infestations cause intense suffering to the cat.

        On average, the lifetime of a roaming pet cat is 1/3 the lifetime of a cat kept indoors.

        Ask your vet if he advises letting your cat roam loose in the neighborhood.

        WHY would anyone who loves cats subject their cat to such risk and suffering? Even if you just don’t CARE about your neighbors, if you love your cat, why would you do that to the cat?

        It’s very puzzling.

      • I’ve been a cat owner in my life, and my dog did learn to live with a cat for a while. HOWEVER, to your point about dogs chasing and injuring or killing cats, this same dog is CRAZY about keeping roaming cats away from her yard. (Interesting point about dogs that you learn when you train them: they do not generalize. If dog learns that cat A is OK, dog wil not learn that ALL cats are OK.)

        In my Chicago neighborhood, we didn’t have a lot of cats roaming around (thank goodness!) but my dog did once tussle with a cat that had entered our yard and didn’t get out fast enough. The cat got away, so I have no idea what sort of injuries it suffered. The dog had scratches all over her abdomen, so the cat definitely fought for its life.

        Here in my little Bay area town, I am surprised at the number of cats roaming around outside. There are a lot of them, and the dog viciously guards the yard against them. She sits at the front window watching for cats that cross the street and come anywhere near our property, then barks her head off at them. She chases and jumps at them as they scale the fence passing from yard to yard.

        I’m always looking for cats as I drive at night so I don’t hit them. Most seem to be pretty savvy about running across the street, but not all of them make it.

        My little kitty that I got when I finished college and had for 14 years was always kept indoors for her own safety. She had no desire to go outside, either.

      • @ Linda:

        Oh, dear. Poor little kitty! Poor fierce little dawg!

        A dog can be seriously injured by a cat, just as (duh!) a cat can be seriously injured by a dog, especially one that’s larger than Kitty. Cats, not being fools, will go for the eyes: a cat scratch across an eye (or both eyes, heaven forfend) can blind a dog…painfully.

        Back in the Day, I also was the kind of Cat Person who let her cats roam loose in the neighborhood. When neighbors complained, I figured that was THEIR problem: deal with it.

        Over time, with any luck, one grows…

        A cat whose coloring is dark — a black cat, obviously, but any kitty with mostly brownish or orangey shades of fur — is virtually invisible after dark. Of course you don’t want to hit a cat in the road…but sometimes missing it is not easy. If you can’t see the cat, you can’t avoid hitting the cat. If the cat is wandering around a main drag where people drive 50 mph (typical of Lovely Uptown Phoenix) or across a rural road where there’s no light, the cat is likely to get hit. Very probably by someone who would cry if she hit a cat.

        I have had dogs that would not chase any cats — because I said “kindly do not chase cats” to them in human/dog language. I also have had dogs — get this! — that would chase Other People’s Cats but would never offend their own cats. And I had a dog that would defend his (loose!) cat against all comers, and that once inflicted a fair amount of damage on another human’s dog, which dared to chase his cat.

        Humans are strange. Dogs are strange. Cats are not strange. Cats are cats.

  3. I hope you do succeed in keeping the cat out of the yard. It’s not as much of a threat to DUCK as it will be to the ducklings. A full grown duck or chicken can successfully fend off or protect itself from a cat, but a young duckling or chick is prime prey.

    • Yeah. My son is convinced the ducklings will all be eaten by the grackles and the cat. Those that don’t drown in the pool, that is. {sigh}

      DUCK was briefly trapped by the damn cat. Where she’s put her nest is in behind a decorative chime thing on a metal stake that the previous owner drove into the ground so deep it can’t be pulled out. She’s usually kinda comatose on the nest, and I think the cat crept up on her. She couldn’t easily get free of the stake and the vines.

      Too bad that once she did, she didn’t shove the damn cat into the drink…

  4. Sigh. I love cats but dammit! Poor Duck.