Ruminations of a Red Dirt Hussy

April 21, 2012

I brake for cats

Filed under: General — Vadasmaker @ 5:34 pm

I brake for squirrels. Seriously. And turtles. And dogs. And groundhogs. And yes, we do have some groundhogs around here. I would probably brake for gophers and moles if the loathsome little creeps were anywhere but under my lawn. I wouldn’t brake for a snake. I’m sorry. I just wouldn’t. I wouldn’t try to run over one, either.

Something I not only brake for but will stop and retrieve from the roadside is a cat. That’s how three of my five came to live with me. You know why I do that? Because if there’s an underdog (or undercat), I’m taking up for it.

Somebody—okay, I’ll just say it—a preacher, pastor, minister, whatever you want to call him—once told an entire room full of people that one of his favorite things to do as a teenager was to spotlight cats. If you’re moderately civilized you may not know what that means. I don’t claim to be civilized, so I’ll tell you: That’s when you drive around on a country road and shine a spotlight on various critters. When said critter freezes like the proverbial “deer in the headlights,” you shoot it. How manly is that?

The same people who do that may own dogs they treasure more than their wives and children (which in my estimation isn’t saying a whole lot). Those dogs are generally beagles, black and tan coonhounds, and the like. They spend their lives in pens situated either out behind the doublewide or in the pickup bed. They aren’t much better off than a spot-lit cat.

City people sometimes aren’t much better than the good old boys we ridicule. We have dogs, too. And we just hate to see one neglected. We’ll adopt one from a shelter, or we’ll form rescue groups for various breeds. We’ll take them home and keep them in our big backyards.

But a cat? Forget it. Shelters are overflowing. Unaltered cats roam almost any neighborhood you can name, reproducing at random. Even people who say they love cats allow theirs outdoors, at the mercy of nature, man, and other predators.

Cats aren’t people. They need to be protected. Even if you do have them vaccinated and spayed or neutered, letting them roam the neighborhood is irresponsible. You know why? Because not everybody likes cats. You know why?

A recent stray.

Because they’re cats. Cats are annoying. I have five. They’re all annoying. Mine happen to be annoying in an inside-cat way.

Casey, who’s 17 this year, does little other than eat, crap, shed, and throw up. If you don’t pet him when he noses your arm, he bites your arm. Blinken, who’s 15, does everything Casey does, AND throws yowling, hissing, spitting fits when things don’t go his way. You know, like when another cat looks sideways at him.

Baxter and Barney are beautiful little Burmese boys, and their worst habit is playing too hard, but this can result in broken, expensive pottery and electronica. If they’re chasing each other through the house and you’re lying on the couch, you’re just asking for your face to be run over.

Then there’s Clancy, the real problem cat, he of the anxiety disorder, who expresses it by peeing on MY stuff, like it’s my fault. People have said more than once, “I wouldn’t put up with that crap. That wouldn’t happen twice.” Yadda yadda yadda. There are chemicals that will eradicate the smell. There’s nothing that makes killing an animal for your convenience moral.

So they’re all annoying, but I don’t throw them outside because they get on my nerves. If I even allowed them outside, which I don’t, they wouldn’t survive. Most cats don’t. Since we’ve lived here, five years, six or eight cats have wandered into our yard, and yes, we feed them. People say that just perpetuates the problem of over population of cats, but, if the cats hang around and we see that one’s going into heat, we have her spayed.  That ought to cut down on some of that overpopulation thing.

The point is, whatever your pet, be responsible. If you can’t be responsible, be pet-less.

I’m just saying.



  1. Amen to that. I do not know how any supposed cat lover could let their cat outside. We have four, all inside cats. i prefer for my cats to live their lives unflattened by a car.


    Comment by Rayne McDonald — April 22, 2012 @ 1:05 pm | Reply

  2. I’ll bet you’d brake for a corn snake. They’re just gorgeous, in bright colors like yellow or orange. Not only would you brake, you’d just stare in awe at how pretty they are. Though, they would compete with cats for mice. But at least they eat the mice. Our cats just toy with them, eventually kill them, and then bring us different body parts as love offerings. As much as I love the winter, that’s the down side of it. Mice find their way in from outside and we have the Godfather-like experience of finding a bloodied head on the bed.


    Comment by Audrey — April 23, 2012 @ 9:13 am | Reply

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