Saturday, July 28, 2007

Cats make people crazy

As some of you already know, I have a surplus of semi-feral kitties who come to my front porch for their meals and occasional other treats (such as getting brushed, or having patches of gummy pine resin removed without pain or balding).

Well, less than two blocks from my kittified property, there is a war going on between two houses, over a single pet kitten. I fear it may come to blows.

About two weeks ago, a mutual neighbor brought home a little black kitten from the humane shelter. The kitten had, according to the vet, suffered a dog attack, among other things, and had been stitched up before she was released into this adoptive home. It remained unafraid of other critters -- in fact, it often sought out battles with other cats and dogs.

The adoptive family shortly thereafter discovered they could not keep the kitten. Rather than return it to the shelter (which would have been my first choice, under normal circumstances), where its aggressive behavior might keep it from being placed again, the initial adoptive family gave it to the family next door to my folks.

Now, this family can not be described as a quiet, unassuming little household -- they have five kids under twelve under the roof, and teen-aged girl on the weekends. They also have two dogs -- a Brittany Spaniel and a nasty little mini Schnauzer with a tendency to bark and snap at moving air. In other words, the sort of kitten they needed would be one which could tolerate a great din, and not be intimidated by irritating canine critters.

This kitten was a perfect fit.

Unfortunately, the family's habit was to let the kitten roam the neighborhood. I'd seen it menacing my own across-the-street neighbor's little dustmop doggie (it's a Shih Tzu, I think, although I haven't gone over to examine it closely) on at least one occasion, and it was wont to climb onto Mom's porch and steal the kibble Mom set out for

This is an older pic of (counter-clockwise from left)
AyeAye, Furfur, Shy Sister (Sissy), &, in background, Piers

Shy Sister, Furfur, and AyeAye (they've come to Mom since Maus and Ole took over Frontporchistan). The kitten hissed and chased them away, until I started taking the kitten back to its home as soon as kibble went out onto Mom's porch.

Then, the other day, the folks across the street announced that he kitten was theirs, and they locked it in their house.

Now, they have a girl, about 10 years old, and it's fairly obvious she is enamored of animals in general...

But this across-the-street family is claiming that the kitten is theirs, and they say they've even called the Humane Society to tell them that they had seen the first family's mom hit the kitten with a golf club -- a complete fiction, I should not have to add. They accuse the mob of kids of theft, and even of breaking and entering to steal the kitten (they don't add the accurate "back" to "stealing it"). Twice they've threatened to call the police on the kids, because of this little bĂȘte noire. The kids' mom has asked me to vouch for the kids, if the cops come around... I don't really want to get in the middle of a turf war, but if asked, I'll tell the ossifers just what I've seen and heard.

All along, I've told these kids that, if they really wanted a kitten or a cat, if it was okay with both the parents and the cat, they could have one of the Frontporchistanis. After all, they're looking for an outside pet, not a housecat. But they wanted this one. Not that I think they're wrong for wanting what's theirs, but I still think this could be settled amicably, if only....

Something about kids and critters makes people nuts!

It's a good thing it can't drive me there...

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