Sunday, May 08, 2005

Slower Than A Dead Slug

There’s no trick question here. This time I’m talking about myself. I’ve spent the whole weekend geeking out on the computer and watching the boob tube. My cat has spent the past week sleeping on a box left over from a recent EBay acquisition. It is the new sleep spot. I check for a pulse every other day to make sure he’s still alive. It has been very slow around here lately.

I also seem to have some lower intestinal thang. I will spare you the details but I think it has something to with my steady diet of frozen dinners and take out food because I HAVE NO KITCHEN!! If that weren’t bad enough I had a little run-in with one of the tenants yesterday. I’m not big on confrontation so it sort of put me a bad mood.

They’re nice people and mean well. They are a 20-something couple I’ve rented to for nearly 3 years. Shortly after they moved in they got a kitten. Apparently, a few months ago their little cat decided to start peeing on a bedspread or something. Now, this cat has lived 99.9% of it’s life in their apartment. Last year they made an attempt at getting it acclimated to outdoor life but it didn’t go well. Last weekend the woman decided the cat would now be an outdoor cat. I talked to the man about it and he said it was supposed to be punishment for the pee thing.

This young cat is totally freaked about suddenly being outside 24/7. It spends most of its time under the platform for the garbage cans. There is maybe a 6 inch clearance under there. The woman keeps food and water on the front porch of the apartments but the cat is so freaked out I doubt it is eating much.

I didn’t say anything for the first week because I figured they would take it back inside soon, but on Wednesday I was woken up about 5:00 AM by the cat because it was meowing under their window. It had rained all night and the poor cat was soaking wet and wanted in. It rained on Thursday and on Friday as well. The cat had been living under the garbage cans for more than a week now and it wasn’t doing any better. I talked with the woman in the afternoon on Friday and told her that the cat needs a home. Toss it outside during the day but it needs go inside sometimes. It wasn’t well suited to this new life she had decided for it.

Friday evening I went to throw out some garbage. There was the cat soaking wet cowering under the garbage cans again. I went inside and called them. I got the man and said the cat needs to go inside. It can’t live under the garbage cans and I don’t want the food on the porch all the time because it invites more strays. He took the cat in and the next day the woman came to my door and said, “We are both adults and you have no right telling us how to discipline our cat.” We went back and forth for a bit and I basically said this is my property and if I think you are mistreating your cat it becomes my business.

The discussion was surprisingly heated. I was really in no mood for it. This is not the country side where a cat can live in the barn, nor is this a cat that that has been outside for more than an hour or so. You just don’t toss it outside in the rain. She said she would take the cat back in but that we would just have to agree to disagree as to whether she was mistreating her pet. I never agreed to anything. Take care of your stupid pet or don’t have one.


Trissa said...

You're more patient than I may have been. I think the cat would have been inside with me after the first drenching in the rain!

Nick said...

Heh, my position is "Take care of your stupid pet or I'll call animal control or the humane society..." Worse are dog owners who dont have time or space for a dog.

Jocelyn said...

I think that's cruel to do to the cat. I have to admit having dealt with peeing problems w/ a cat of mine in the past though- and it is really hard to control a cat. I find dogs much easier to train and motivate to do what you need them to do. I am NOT excusing what they are doing though and I agree with you.

Hang in there on the kitchen- maybe get a grill? We used a grill all last summer and at least you can have burgers w salads, brats, even veggies on the grill. I know it's hard after doing all the work, to then prepare food though.

Gary said...

Ummmm. I understand that grilled cat burgers could become a specialty in Eureka this year!

Kasmira said...

I'm disgusted with your tenants. I get very frustrated with people that behave as if animals can reason. How in the world could the cat "know" that being abandoned outside was punishment for peeing in the house? Even a child could not draw that connection. Those people do not deserve to be pet owners.

Jess said...

Kudos, for going above and beyond landlord duty. If it were me, I would have changed their policy to no pets and kept the cat myself. 95% of the time, it's human error, not animal error in behavioral issues.

Anonymous said...

It sounds to me as if they just no longer want the cat and their way of getting around 'abandoning' it is to say they were punishing it for peeing inside.

Having a couple cats of my own I can tell you they don't normally pee on anything if you keep the catbox with fresh litter. The only time either of mine have peed is when the catbox is stinky or when I am gone for a couple of days and they miss me or are worried about being left and get even by peeing on something.

I'm glad you said something to them. I feel sorry for the unwanted cat.