Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Fluffy Goes to Boot Camp
Mom: Don't read this. You'll hate it.
Yesterday evening I went for my walk and got to pat any number of excellent dogs. On my way back to the house, I heard a horrible caterwauling, the sound of a cat in mortal terror. It was coming from an open garage across the street. I went to see what in the world was going on -- was the cat trapped under a car somehow? -- and saw a couple standing, smiling, in the garage. The wife, hugely pregnant, was holding the screaming cat.
"Are you trying to put your cat in a carrying case?" I asked, wondering why in the world anyone would try to do that with the garage door open.
"Oh, no," the woman said brightly, still smiling. "She's just scared of being outside."
"Ah," I said. We all stood there for a minute, as the cat continued her piteous wailing. Then I said, cautiously, "So, um, why is she outside?"
"Oh," the woman answered in that same cheery tone, "we're just trying to get her used to the garage, so she'll know it's safe."
With the garage door open? Huh?
"She hates going outside," the husband chimed in now, with that same Stepford affect. "She'll only go out on our balcony."
"Please don't let her out," I said, alarmed. "There are coyotes around here." Not to mention dogs and cars. "We lost one of our cats to a coyote. It isn't safe to let them out."
The couple nodded, looking suitably sympathetic, and then the woman held the cat up facing the street, and said, "See, sweetie? The cars are far away!" The cat didn't seem reassured by this (let me add that she was well fed and looked very healthy; she was just scared out of her furry little wits).
I stood there, staring at them, until finally the wife said, "Well, we'd better get inside now!"
Yes, please. And let the poor cat stay there!
What are these people thinking? Do they care about their cat's emotional and physical health? Do they even like their cat? Do they have a psychotic veterinarian who recommended traffic-desensitization therapy? Do they just enjoy tormenting animals? What the hay is going on here?
And is anyone else deeply worried about how they're going to raise their child?