Lost Your Cat? Check The Back Of My Car

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 2:28 pm


If you live in my neighborhood and think it’s okay to let your cat wander freely, chances are decent that your kitty is on its way to the King County Animal Control Shelter in Kent.

It’s no secret that I’ve pretty much given up on people. If I can’t reasonably expect someone to keep their child from sucking on the spout of a ketchup bottle in my local diner (personal experience? Why yes, thanks for asking!), then I sure as hell shouldn’t be surprised that they keep little Frisky outside all day and night to shit in our garden and eat our wildlife—the wildlife that we invited onto our property, thank you very much.


Caught this little booger in a live trap this morning, shortly after he tripped the motion-capture on our driveway camera (yes, yes, yes, I’m the quintessential Besieged Suburban White Guy, I fully stipulate this. In fact, I’ve even blogged about it. Look for an upcoming review on my new day/night infrared network camera.)

Fortunately, I do not have to wait for the owners of these animals to grow, rent or otherwise acquire a sense of compassion and responsibility for their furry friends. Our municipal police department loans out live traps for just this sort of situation. Few people know (and probably fewer care) that letting your pet wander on to other people’s property is against the law in King County, so I am fully within my rights to humanely trap any univited guests and cart them off to the shelter. There they will stay until they are

  1. reunited with their owner, at a cost of $35.00 and a mandatory spay or neuter if the cat is intact (mega-kudos to KCAC for instituting this policy!)
  2. adopted out to another owner (heck, maybe the second time’s the charm. Not much chance of getting a worse one, IMHO) or
  3. determined to be unadoptable, in which case they will be euthanized.

Cruel? Um, no, actually. Cruel is leaving an animal to fend for itself against cars, dogs, FIV, FIP, Feline Leukemia, unwanted kittens and twelve-year-old apprentice sociopaths with BB guns or Bic lighters. We own two indoor-only cats; they are fifteen years old, one of them is undergoing chemotherapy, and they look younger and healthier than just about any outdoor cat I have ever met in my life, including the one I just caught.

Keeping farm cats outside is another matter entirely. While I would personally find it hard to do—not that I’m likely to be living on a farm any time soon—cats as rodent control in an agricultural setting is a time-honored tradition and makes practical sense. I dare any suburban homeowner to apply the same rationale to their eighth of an acre on the corner of Oak and Sycamore. What, are mice threatening the Stachybotrys harvest?

I have trouble believing that cat owners who let their animals roam free put any thought into it whatsoever, but if they do, I imagine their rationale would go something like, “but living outdoors is much more natural for a cat than living pent up all the time. We even tried keeping little Muffin inside, but she just cried and scratched at the door until we just had to let her out. She wants to be outside.” Oh, no doubt about it. And your kids want to eat only Snickers bars, so by all means let ’em have at; no point in restricting their behavior just because it’s good for them, right?

For that matter, human beings didn’t evolve in split-level ranch houses either, so our current living conditions aren’t any more “natural” than the cat’s. Maybe you should force your kids to sleep outside too. Hell, I’ll even vote to fund restocking the neighborhood with indigenous black bears, just to make it more “natural” for everyone.

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