Thursday, March 22, 2012
A MONSTER AMONG US
Tom is eating, Daisy waits her turn. They always SHARE.
When you listen to or read the news of the past couple weeks, there are certainly monstrous crimes being committed around the world. For example, the Afghan shooting of women and children, or the shooting of an unarmed teenage boy in Florida, or the various school shootings of late.
Those events evoke responses from the general public from sadness to outrage when reported on numerous times by the media.
But what about the monsters who live among us, in a small town, on a short street where everyone supposedly knows everyone else? What do you do if a monster lives next door or right across the street?
I have witnessed a neighbor kick a cat, and turn his water hose on a cat to chase it from his yard. The man hates cats. Another neighbor also hates cats, but loves dogs. Dogs and cats are loveable, loyal pets. No one should abuse them, yet it has been happening.
Tom knows where he lives, he knows where he gets fed, and he is a loveable cat who knows his name. Tom has been around here for at least two or three years and has been blessed with “shared custody.” I call “Tom” and he would “meow” his acknowledgment at me that he is on his way across the street, slowly. Tom has a limp in his back leg due to being kicked or hurt about a year ago on our street. Tom spends his time at my house and at my friend's house across the street. She fills his food bowl every morning on her porch, and I fill his food dish on my porch every afternoon. He is well fed. Tom either sleeps on the chair on my porch, or under my porch which is sheltered from wind and rain, or on my friend's porch where she has a dog box filled with straw where he can hide for the night.
Daisy loves attention.
About a year ago, Tom took a mate, even though he was “fixed.” We named her Daisy. Where Tom was - Daisy was close beside. Daisy was even more loveable than Tom. She begs for attention. She would get petted, then lie down to get her belly scratched. She loved attention and being talked to; and she knew her name after a while. I would call to her and she'd come running to check out the food dish (with water).
Free spirits, but inseparable. My camera just missed them nose-to-nose kissing.
Being free-spirits, they wandered through about six yards near my house and my friend's house. But they were never far away. Tom and Daisy were present daily for many months, even weathering the snow we've experienced in the last couple years. Until recently.
My neighbor next door owns a trap cage and used to trap skunks that wandered into his yard from the wooded area nearby. About two weeks ago, I saw the same size and type of cage placed next to the side of a garage across the street. I knew we had not seen, nor smelled, any skunks yet. I kept an eye on that cage daily to make sure Tom and Daisy stayed away from it. Being well fed, I guessed that the lure of canned food would turn up their noses. Daisy refused to eat wet canned cat food so I only used dry food.
About 10 days ago, Tom came to eat, but Daisy was missing. I didn't start to worry until the second day. She never missed her “attention-time” from me. After the third day, my friend and I were really worried that somehow she had been trapped, hurt, or killed. Daisy had been missing for about 7 days and we noticed Tom was slow and listless. Tom was in depression, missing his girlfriend; but he was still showing up and we tried to comfort him with attention. The cage was still visible, and two days later, it was gone. The cage – and Tom.
We called for him, we put out food for him, but he didn't come home. Tom was also missing, just a short time after Daisy went missing. I have not seen the cage since.
I found out from The Fayette County Humane Society that trapping someone's cat and dropping it off somewhere, is a crime called abandonment. The violator can be charged and prosecuted. I went to see the Humane officer to report the incident, since it is very strange that both Daisy and Tom would disappear from their homes within a week from each other. They were creatures of habit and knew where to get food and attention. My friend and I loved them and we miss them. We can't believe we have such a potential monster living among us.