I have been in the market for a dog for a few weeks now, and going to the pound I see all of the cats looking for a home of their own. Before I had my horse fascination, I was a cat person through and through. I loved cats, I had a cat that put up with me named Kaita as a kid that I absolutely adored. She was an outside mouser, and she was a good one. Seeing as I was such an enormous animal lover, when it was time for Kaita to be put down, my parents were worried I wouldn't be able to handle it. I went through a very severe depression at nine years old when our dog Brandy got hit by a truck. I think it was my first real encounter with death.
Eventually I got older and more mature, and although I consider myself still an animal lover, I've become a little more practical about my love of furry creatures. Right now I have three chickens, three horses, and three (sort of) cats. I want to get a dog, which I mentioned earlier, but that is for another post. This post is about my current assortment of critters.
I'm still a bit of a cat person I admit, but I have a few specifications for any kitty that wants to consider me their person. One, they are strictly outdoor barn cats. due to family allergies, and the hair issue, i just discovered that I don't do indoor cats. Two, they can't be insane. I know, I know, I'm talking about cats here. By their nature cats are insane. And after tonight, I would be inclined to agree with this assessment.
This is Tim, trying to help me sell my truck
What I mean about a cat being sane, is that it serves its purpose by catching mice (because having a barn, cats are a necessity) and being somewhat friendly to their humans. My two cats, Tim and Bob, by and large fall under this description. Yes, Tim doesn't like to be held for long periods, he mostly likes a quick scratch behind the ears, once you understand that Tim isn't a cuddly holding type cat, then you'll do just fine with him. He is overall approachable, a little shy with strangers, and just comes up for a quick pet and perhaps a chance to come inside (which he is promptly shooed back out).
Bob, the resident furball, is a fluffy fat kitten that is quickly approaching cat size. He has instapurr mode and is quite content with being in your lap. Of course, he's a cat, and therefore content to be independent as well, but he definitely still has a kitten mode and his favorite game is to torment Tim. I call him Bob because of his tufted ears that remind me of a bob cat.
Stewie was a cat that originally came with Tim. She was quite a love of a cat too, but when Bob was introduced, she made her displeasure known and then disappeared for a few days, reappeared, disappeared again, and did this game for a few weeks before she disappeared altogether. I haven't seen her since about September. She either got eaten, or found a new home.
A few weeks ago, I met Justin while hauling a horse for a girl. He was super friendly, i reached down and gave him a pat and he looked like all he wanted was a little love. I picked him up and he was just content to purr in my arms. The lady who owned him asked me 'do you want him?' Apparently, he was a barn cat with two full sisters, and being barn cats, they have a tendency to not get fixed. To prevent inbreeding, I went ahead and took him home. He was just as calm as he could be in the car, purring and perched on the back seat. He really did like people.
Of course, being the new cat, Bob and Tim appeared to have other ideas, and the cats didn't seem to get along at first. Justin liked people alright, but he didn't like the other cats. He stuck around for about four days, and then one day I didn't see him anymore. I was disappointed, he was a cool looking and quite lovable barn cat. But I guess two male barn cats was to much, and Stewie got chased away by the other two (I think Bob and Tim are gay.)
Did I mention cats are insane? Well, they are.
The last few nights I've been hearing a cat meowing, a really strange meow. I thought it might be Justin, but I wasn't so sure. Then this afternoon, I see him out in the yard, he looks nice and fluffy and fat, and it is unmistakeably him. I call for him, he looks a little skittish and fluffs his back, goes under the car. That seems odd, he came right up to you before, so I call to him again, seeing if he'll come. He doesn't.
I go feed the horses and come back and find him now under the horse trailer, meowing his strange meow. I have a piece of bailing twine, thinking I just need to calm him down and let him feel nice and at ease again. I call for him and try to use the bailing twine to get him to come out (it certainly worked with Bob when he first arrived) Justin just hides behind the tire of the trailer and meows at me, I'm about three feet from him, trying to get him to come toward me when before I know it, he lunges at me. All fur and claws and teeth, and tears me a new one.
My first instinct is to kill the cat. This is why.
I actually posted this picture on Facebook (I am a facebook junkie, the website is evil) with the caption: "Remember Justin, the 'huggable' barn cat I told you about? Well, he's got a bounty on his head, which will have a .22 round through it. And the carcass will be taken to animal control and tested for rabies. How quickly can a cat go feral?"
I got quite a few comments, most of which were in league with me saying 'Yes, Kill it!' because let's be realistic. Would you keep a cat that did this to your face? Of course, I had several people commenting 'what are you doing, go to the doctor NOW' (and yes, I did, four stitches and ten days of antibiotics coupled with a tetanus shot and they don't like to stitch cat bites because of infections).
But then one commenter, a friend of a friend, seemed horrified by the prospect of everyone gunning for this poor cat's life. Others were suggesting perhaps a more humane way to go is to have it euthanized, while Animal Control straight up told me to trap it and bring it in so they could quarantine it for ten days. Back to the cruel inhumane treatment of threatening to shoot a cat, hell, I had my .22 locked and loaded but alas, the cat ran into the neighbor's property and it was getting dark. Yes, my first thought was vengeance, on cat, shoot it and have it's brain tested for rabies. Because how this cat acted now versus how it acted when I first brought it home, it was like two totally different cats! One that was all 'give me love!' and the other all 'murder death destroy!'
Let's face facts here, whether it's by lethal injection or lead injection, this cat is most likely going to meet its fate on hell's side of the rainbow bridge. I am an animal lover, but the last thing we need is to waste time on a cat that acts like a lunatic. People were trying to make excuses for this beast, 'oh, why do you have to immediately resort to killing it?' kind of mentality, that all we have to do is understand the cat's motives and then come to an understanding.
Here's my understanding, cat. You're a barn cat, your job is to eat mice. I will provide a little extra food for you so if mousing is limited, you have something to eat. You have a barn you can make yourself at home in. All I ask, is that you don't go apeshit insane and attack me. I have no use for a cat that attacks me and forces me to get stitches and antibiotics for a catbite. Most cats, if they didn't want to be messed with, would have ran off. Not sit there meowing at me before lunging with tooth and claw. I have no use for crazy cats, there are thousands of other nice sensible cats that want a loving home, I am not going to steal the chance at one of them getting a place to live to rehome this cat, I'm not going to even bother wasting another person's time. Once a cat does something like this, they are done. Would you trust a cat that did this with your kids? What are the cat's motives? Does a cat even need a motive to be crazy? Or is it sick? Even better reason to put it down with a bullet.
I usually like cats, a lot. I really love having a cuddly cat in my arms that will let me pet and love on it as they purr in contentment. Bob (and Stewie) are like this, and Justin used to be. Well, not anymore. Crazy cat is going down!
My goal is still to catch the feline and hand it over to animal control, unless they charge me for turning the cat in, which is when I'll take matters into my own hands and make sure it doesn't get the opportunity to lash out at another human being. Which brings me to another question. exactly how long does it take to turn an extremely friendly cat into a feral nutcase?
Whatever, tuna in the live trap, let's hope that I can catch a cat.