It was around 3 on Sunday afternoon when you knocked on my door. Okay, you made your point. You’re obviously very pissed off, but dude, it’s only a trailer house, and I like my doors better when they’re on hinges. I opened the door, with my eyebrow raised and said “Can I help you?” knowing full-well that there is nothing that can help you.
“Yeah, where’s my cat?”
Okay, since I’ve never seen you before I’m going to assume this is a trick question; “In your house?” I’m just guessing.
“No” you huff, “your daughter is trying to give it away on Facebook. Someone said they saw her posting about him on Friday.”
Now it’s starting to make sense. The pitifully dirty orange tabby kitten that had been climbing my screens and driving my cats insane for the last week wasn’t a stray after all. At this point I’m feeling an emotion that is somewhere between “Oh fuck” and irritated with a little bit of incredulity, and this bizarre desire to start giggling.
“I’m so sorry dude, someone came and got him yesterday. He went to a very good forever-home.”
“I want him back. Give me the guy’s name and number.”
Yeah, cause you seem like a totally reasonable guy – sarc.
“Don’t have it, and again, sincerely, I am so sorry. But I gotta say, he was clawing up my screens and driving my inside-cats insane. The little shit has been sleeping on a tarp outside my daughter’s bedroom window for solid week.”
“He hasn’t been gone that long. He got out when I was leaving for work the other morning. My kid has been crying for 2 days. And besides, cats explore for a while, then they come back. Everyone knows that.”
“Oh, well, that’s good news then! Because the kitten she gave away has been here for a week, like I said, so it obviously wasn’t your cat then. What a relief!” Big smile on my face now. I may be a heartless bitch, but I’m also good at math, telling time, and I’m certainly not a liar.
“Okay, maybe it was gone for a little longer. (No shit, Sherlock) What would you do if your cat got out and I gave it away? How would you like that?”
“That would never happen.”
“Well, what if it did?”
“Well, what if it did?”
“It wouldn’t. My cats can’t get close to the front door without being threatened with a water-bottle or being stuffed into a harness.” It really is a sad sight. Watching an 18-pound-cat stand there, his pride disappearing before your eyes, as he allows himself to be bound BDSM-style into a full body harness with a pathetic 6 ft leash. Just so he can walk 3 feet outside, lay down on the porch and refuse to go any further.
“Well, what if it did?” Okay, I’ll humor you.
“I would feel terrible knowing that I hadn’t taken the proper measures to prevent that situation. If I were responsible for my cat getting lost, I would be devastated but I certainly wouldn’t expect my neighbors to tolerate his presence for A FULL WEEK. It would be my fault.”
Turns out this guy lives 200 feet away from us on top of the hill. He would have seen the kitten plain as day if he had bothered to actually look for it.
“Well you gotta get him back. My kid hasn’t stopped crying and my girlfriend’s upset that her brand-new kitty is gone.”
“Oh, you’re poor baby. How long have you had him?”
“A couple weeks. We saw him running around in town and brought him home. He was obviously a stray, all dirty and shit.”
“Yeah, obviously. I don’t know what to tell you. I hope you understand that my daughter did what she did with a pure heart, she never would have intentionally given away someone’s pet. She posted his picture on our trailerhood Facebook page, the local pet page. It’s getting colder and strays cause a lot of damage to our houses in the winter. She was saving his life.”
“What am I supposed to tell my girlfriend?”
“Tell her what happened, and… and tell her that instead of a cat, your son has this cool new Tonka truck. Yeah?” I’m nodding my head ‘yes’, flashing a cheesy used-car-salesman grin as I pick up an old-school Tonka dump truck that my teenagers won’t miss. Rusty, dented, and 20-years old; “I can’t think of a single man-cub that wouldn’t be proud as hell to be sportin this bad-boy at the sandbox.”
Now, get off my porch and try not to get lost between here and home, dip-shit.
Finally, dear daughter, what did we learn?
1. That no good deed goes unpunished,
2. Kitty has much better odds at living a full life, and
3. It’s a bad idea to give away your neighbor’s cat on Facebook. Use Craigslist.