Wednesday, May 18, 2011

An open letter to the cats in our neighborhood

Dear cats,

Look, I used to be a cat person. Really. I had a cat for as long as I can remember, a big, fluffy cuddly cat named Domino. He'd follow me around and cuddle with me at night and he was the greatest cat in the world. He liked to eat dryer sheets, hang out in the dryer and howled so tortuously when we gave him a bath that one time that it sounded like he was screeching "OWWWWWW!"

But Domino died, sadly. And there will never be a cat as cool as him. Sure, there was that one cat that used to hang out on our front porch when Pat and I first moved in together. We affectionately called him Porchy and would feed him and pet him and treat him like he was our own. Except our roommate already had a cat (who may or may not be evil, but that's another story) and she didn't like Porchy very much, so he wasn't allowed inside. And one day, he disappeared.

So I don't know. Maybe Porchy told you of this wonderful house where they feed you and pet you and treat you as their porch-dwelling cat, but things have changed, cats. We can't keep this up.

See, we have a dog now. A wonderful dog that we love very much, despite the fact that she can be a jerk sometimes. And despite the fact that she likes to eat cat poop.

I'm sure you can see where this is going, cats. Look, I think you're cool and all, especially when you see me come home from work and run over for some attention. When I sit down to pet you, you climb into my lap and purr. But then it gets kinda creepy, you see. I try to pull you off my lap, but you immediately climb back up before I even have a chance to get up. This will go on for a while, and I'm almost positive you think it's a game to see how long you can keep me sitting down before I finally have to pee so badly that I have no choice but to be stern with you.

And then can you guess what happens? I'm sure you can because this is a part of your game. I'm on to you, cat. I try to open the door and you rush between me and the door, trying desperately to get inside. I have to shut the door in your face. Then I feel bad about it and my guilt causes me to pet you some more. This is becoming a vicious cycle, cat, and it can't go on.

You see, my heart belongs to another. My puppy is large and has never had a real face-to-face encounter with a cat. I'm sure you don't want to be her first. I know you've met her before as you calmly chill on our front lawn while she practically tears down the house barking, whining and trying to get through that blasted piece of glass stopping her from chasing you all the way to Norway. This was funny at first, cat. I admired your ballsy-ness and laughed at my poor dog's desperate roo-ing. And then she started to break things when you came around. It's not funny anymore.

And then there's the poop issue. Really, cats? Really?! You just have to poop in our backyard, don't you? You leave your little presents where we can't find them, no matter how hard we look. But Luna can. I'm not sure what you've been eating, but whatever it must have been soooo delicious that it's apparently still good after it comes out of your ass. And let me tell you, you jerk on four legs, smelling cat poop dog breath is not a pleasant experience. I'm not amused, cats. Now we have to take our poor dog out on a leash in her own backyard so she doesn't find any more of your illusive, but apparently irresistible, droppings.

And then there were those few times when she actually saw you in our backyard. Before I even knew what was going on, she dashed toward you, practically pulling my fragile little arm out of its socket (because, as I'd hate to admit, and would hate even more to tell her, my dog is much stronger than I) and giving me rope burn from the leash. And ever since then, she strains against the leash to check out the last place you were spotted.

Listen, cats, I'm not amused. You're making our life physically and mentally painful. We've tried our best to accomodate you because we don't know what else to do, but this can't keep up. Do you know what happens when our dog tells the other dogs at the park that she has to go potty in her own backyard on a leash?! Why, she's the laughingstock of the whole dog park! Now, I don't want my dog to be shunned because of our little problem here, cats, and if those dogs start bullying her because of it...well, we may have to do something drastic.

So here's the deal: You can hang out in our backyard, front yard, porch...where ever you feel like sleeping. But just stop the crap (literally) in our yard and make yourself scarce before our pup comes out for her bathroom breaks. If you do this, I will let you taunt her in the front yard all you want...I won't even scare you anymore by letting her out into our gated front porch and ending your cruel game. I'll stop and pet you when I see you, but just please, I'm begging of you cat, do these things for me. I just want us all to get along.


The girl whose backyard you use as a bed and a litter box

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