The Cat Nazi ruined my day today. Allow me a few moments of your time while I rant about the current situation at Chez Hoffman Cat Sanctuary for All Unwanted Cats in the Tri-State Area.
I have lived on this beautiful, pond front area of land for 26 years. It is a farmette, and I look back and laugh at myself because, being from Philadelphia, I was afraid of things out in the country. Mice-((FFUCKKKKKKK)), Rats ((Whole story about the impromptu picnic we had one night at the pond in which we discovered that we had rats, they were running up and down the walls of our dog’s pen.)) My poor boyfriend was cooking steaks three feet away and our many guests that evening ran shrieking to shelter in the barn. I think I fainted AND threw up in my mouth. Yeah, pretty sure. Spiders the size of my face would come up from the drain. It was like living in a torture chamber. I remember entertaining a friend on a beautiful, lazy Sunday. We sat on the front porch admiring the countryside when my pointer Jesse jumped up with a baby rabbit in his mouth. Alive. I screamed so loud the words vibrated in my head:
“Dwainnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dwainnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!”I repeatedly and hysterically yelled at the top of my lungs. Why isn’t he running to my rescue? I said to my friend. I finally had to run at warp speed to the back yard, Jesse and the bunny close behind, and found him shooting archery not 12 feet away. “What the HELL man? I’ve been screaming my head off for you!!!!!!!!” was greeted with “I don’t even run anymore because I know it’s something stupid. I just ignore it.” I don’t need to get into any specifics, but let’s just say, if I yelled for him right now, he’d hear me from work and come like the white night I taught him to be.
Anyway. when I moved here I had to force my then boyfriend, now husband to let us take in one cat. He couldn’t handle even the mention of it, and I later learned it was due to his ex-wife’s proclivity to obtain animals (horses, goats, dogs) and proceed to ignore if not abuse them. So, we bring home our first cat, Tajia. He was on third shift in a steel foundry at the time. His step daughter Karen and I had just returned from the Humane Society and we tip toed up the steps to see if he was awake. He wasn’t thrilled, and I had assumed he didn’t like animals. I was dead wrong. He loved them so much that he was afraid I wouldn’t tend to them, and he was working 60 hour weeks.
For the first year all was copasetic. We acquired Jesse and were one big, happy family. Until the morning I walked outside and found a yellow cat in our yard. I knew nothing of cat colonies, let alone how one can start-I fed the poor little guy. 26 years later we have a cat colony of extremely healthy and loving feral cats. Each year we have more kittens, drop offs and unfortunate accidents and heartaches that come with loving anything, really. Today I have 15 outdoor cats. My stupid heart has allowed seven of these cats to live inside. I wish I could do better, but they have food, water and shelter. And of course we treat infections or mishaps with our vet. We have had more at one time, I think 21 was the highest. Our financial situation over the years has been one of struggle, angst and has recently suffered a blow from my PTSD, as I cannot even work a part-time job. He has risen to the occasion by working hard for a company that stands out in its field. My husband understands this and has been my source of comfort (next to Jesus) for the last twelve months. We could never afford to have these cats fixed, or vaccinated for that matter. I want to take this moment to profusely thank the amazing volunteers at Nobody’s Cat in Harrisburg for providing a service that meets these particular needs. I had given up and now I can see the light again.
I was given the number of a local woman who devotes all of her time and effort trapping cats for the Nobody’s Cat Organization. I have had her information for almost a year, and finally got up the nerve to call and arrange what I could. She interviewed me and told me she would put me on a waiting list. This was two Mondays ago. The very next day, she called and offered to come and trap. I was all for it. (She had tried to fire me early on, saying I was too difficult to get a hold of. I was so paranoid I took my cell phone to the bathroom after that.) I had text her not ten minutes before she decided I was not worthy of her services, being the lame brain, irresponsible thug that I am. So that set the tone for the initial visit. I will preface this by saying I am not easily intimidated. My friends and family will tell you I speak my mind and take no crapola, and they would be correct.
She is sitting in her car, glaring at me. I see she has a sting set up, so I close the door and go back to my writing. “Could you come out?” She barked that I had a travesty of justice for cats on my hands. She spit her words, in perfect English grammar. It became so bad I would dread the next visit. I’m the kind of girl that needs things to go slowly. Cat Nazi would say she would see me in a week, ((JOY!!)) only to show up the next day with a two minute notice. Yesterday, she asked me to trap both cats. I would rather have had my head shaved. I was once fired by a vet who told me I freaked him out when holding the cat for a sedative. He would have me hold the cat, while he jammed a needle in their ass and then look at me in wonder as the feline had her way with me and my face, hair and clothing. Sorry, there are kinder ways of sedation, but he was right, I was a wreck. I would emerge from the OR bleeding like a Bloody Mary, his wife (the receptionist) would tend to my wounds and say kind things because she knew I had to get up the next day and do it again.
I digress. Today she comes over and I can see clearly that we’re gonna rumble. Pissed because my dog Jesse “knocked her string over,” she demanded to know where all of the cats were. Now, she has been coming to my house almost every day for two weeks. She has captured 13 cats. They see her pull in to the driveway and set up a humongous cage and put out tuna. She will catch many of their near and dear and this will frighten the bejesus out of them. Seriously?
“I don’t know, the last two haven’t been around in days.” (Why do you think I had to cage my two yesterday? It was like Mission Impossible because they have been running , screaming and hair afire, from cages for half of a month now. “I will understand if you don’t want to waste your time.”
“THAT IS THE SECOND TIME YOU SAID YOU UNDERSTAND,” she spewed, drooling and I kid you not. “NO YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND, SISTER. OR YOU WOULDN’T HAVE THIS PROBLEM TO BEGIN WITH.”
With that I collected my dog and drove out of the driveway. It only hit me later in the day that she had pissed me off, but she had also hurt my feelings. So, do me a favor? If you see an orange low rider, smelling of cat pee and driven by a bi-polar freak of nature with a really mean look on her face? Would you thank her kindly? Her maltreatment of me has precipitated a truly bad day. It set the tone, believe me. For the first time in a long time I craved a drink, and that can’t happen. People need to be kinder to one another. For crying out loud. So, thanks Cat Nazi, for earning me a day in bed with a Bob Newheart marathon ((the really good ones, with Suzanne Pleshette) and my blankly.