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And then the vet laughed at his ear hair


Jack got beat up again this weekend. He came in with blood on his legs, but the wounds were small, he wasn’t limping and he didn’t seem distressed. I didn’t think much of it. Boy stuff.

An hour later, he gets up from his nap and drags his broken body across the floor like he’d been run over by a Buick. Which is now what I thought had happened. Internal bleeding, whispers the displaced maternal instinct.

We took him to the vet, who decided it was cat bites (and no internal bleeding), gave him a shot for antibiotic and a shot for pain and then, to add insult to injury, laughed at his ear hair.

To be fair, he is the Ed Asner of ear hair.

There ensued a discussion where I swore I was going to scoop up the neighborhood’s intact tom, Ginge — who has now cost me a lot of money — and get him deballed. The vet thought the owner might object to that, and there followed a discussion of the ownership of cats.

In Rhode Island, I know, you cannot own cats in law. They own themselves. You can own dogs, but not felis. Which suits their sense of self, but means you can kill a cat without legal drama (I have to assume this doesn’t apply to pedigree cats and animal cruelty is still an offense). I used to follow the blog of a cat rescuer who routinely snuck up on unspayed cats and spayed them without telling the owner. Not on the spot, of course.

Anyway, Jack has been an absolute bastard ever since. He won’t go outside, bounces off the walls and beats up Charlotte to make himself feel better. I’m’a buy him a tiny wifebeater for Christmas.


Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: November 28, 2017, 10:36 pm

Too bad you folks can’t get so much as an air rifle with a night scope attached over in Ye Merrye Olde. If you could, that ginger would be reluctant to pass your boundary, once the rooftop “observer” spot had been employed. The English Countryside invented cold-weather country-life gear.
Yep. Air rifle:

Comment from bikeboy
Time: November 28, 2017, 10:47 pm

Until recently, we had a vulnerable old cat that couldn’t go outdoors without being bullied by neighbor cats. On more than one occasion, I stung the offender with a .177 air pistol. (If I was outside the city limits, I’d be less hesitant to give it a few more pumps, to lethal velocity.)

“If you have a dog – he thinks you’re family.
If you have a cat – he thinks you’re staff.”
– Paul Harvey

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: November 28, 2017, 11:12 pm

Oh yes we can, ExpressoBold, and I have that very thing – a nasty brute of a .22. Quite legal.

OTOH, my religious beliefs prevent me from harming cats, even if I were tempted (which I am not) even little feral bastards like ginger-and-white.

Jack’s luxurious ear hair, BTW, is because he is part lynx. Stoatie doesn’t believe me but Jack and I are quite certain of it.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: November 28, 2017, 11:27 pm

@Uncle Badger – I respect and mostly agree with your principles (I’d have no second thoughts about putting down a rabid anything). Would you consider it “harming” to give a troublesome cat a nasty surprise and fright? Cats really, really, reallyreally don’t like sudden loud noises.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: November 28, 2017, 11:47 pm

My neighbor’s cat (a huge white long-haired tom) loved to do his daily business in my Four O’clocks. It took three training sessions, but I discouraged him with a Daisy BB gun. I didn’t aim directly at the cat, but a BB whizzing beside his ear was a powerful motivator. He stayed away after that.

I love the idea that Jack could be part lynx. I am quite partial to small wild cats.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: November 29, 2017, 12:42 am

Welllll, I’za reckonin’ that a fellah has a right to protect hissun or herrun Chicken Run with a live-trap. I hear that raccoons love cat treats.

I am also quite the believer in practical scientific experiments. I have heard anecdotal evidence that a cat shipped to Scotland and released could easily find its way home to southern England albeit the cat might take several years to do it…. I don’t believe that this has been empirically tested….and by golly I think it should be.

If one was to find a stray cat, say in his chicken-run live-trap, an opportunity might just arise to test the hypothesis.

Just thinkin’ aloud here…

Comment from BJM
Time: November 29, 2017, 2:24 am

Isn’t there a way to exert a little peer pressure on Ginge’s owner? Put word about the village that sweet ole Charlotte is taking a battering too, and that you’d pay for the neutering to protect both your cats. Then if he refused the owner would look a right prat.

Comment from dissent555
Time: November 29, 2017, 5:34 am

“To be fair, he is the Ed Asner of ear hair.”

I knew Jack and I would have at least one thing in common.

Comment from catnip
Time: November 29, 2017, 5:35 am

You have a thorny problem. One thing cat behaviorists suggest to scare marauding cats away is a motion detector sprinkler. This may not be an option for you just now, with winter on its way.
Having Ginge neutered may not stop him from attacking other cats, but talking to his owner is worth a try, especially if you have copies of your vet receipts to show him.
If Jack is afraid to go outside, and if you can bear the thought, now might be a good time to turn him into an indoor cat with outdoor privileges when you’re outside to supervise. A short blast from an air horn will send any cat flying to its safest space, including Jack. You might have to let Charlotte occupy one room in the house that Jack’s physically prevented from entering. An alternative would be to ask the vet if there’s a pheromone you can spray in the house to lessen his aggressive behavior. We’ve just been through a similar rehab involving a 16 year-old indoor cat in late- stage kindney failure and an ultra-exuberant 2 year-old Doxiehuahua rescue. It was an inconvenient process, to say the least, but we’re all thoroughly enjoying the happy ending.
I know you’ll do what’s kindest. Good luck!

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: November 29, 2017, 2:40 pm

Uncle B wrote, “Jack’s luxurious ear hair, BTW, is because he is part lynx. Stoatie doesn’t believe me but Jack and I are quite certain of it.”

My late part-Maine Coon Arizona was a big blazing red tabby with white who also sported luxurious ear tufts like Jack’s. You could see them even when he was trotting away from you. My mother, who admired Arizona enormously, admitted the tufts looked something like horns. Look here: http://acecomments.mu.nu/?post=372193 and scroll down to the penultimate picture. The tufts are not as obvious in this shot, taken when he was about 8 years old.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: November 29, 2017, 5:30 pm

Okay, non-lethal but likely to sting and scare – how about Airsoft weaponry – is that permitted in Merry Old?

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: November 29, 2017, 6:47 pm

Off topic—something for Uncle Badger:

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: November 29, 2017, 10:52 pm

Oh, it’s just cats, Uncle Al. I’d shoot rats or snakes, no problem. Some of the two legged kind as well, come to that…

Happy to scare a cat that was attacking Jack or Charlotte as well but I’d just never deliberately physically harm one.

Some Veg – during WWII my grandfather moved out of central London for a short while but hated it so much, he quickly moved back again. His cat of the time somehow got separated and made its way back about 20 miles across Blitz-stricken London, a journey it had only made once, and then in a van. Either he was a bloody good map reader or cats have onboard GPS.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 29, 2017, 11:10 pm

Ginge’s owner is a farmer, I’m afraid, who went out and deliberately got an intact feral male “to keep the rats down”. So he doesn’t feed the poor beast. I doubt that boy goes within a mile of those rats; he scrounges our garbage.

I’d feed him, but it would bring him around more. And it’s Ginge’s powerful territorial marking, as much as the beatings, that upset Jack. Poor boy is always trying to overwrite Ginge’s marks.

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: November 30, 2017, 2:10 am

So, is it really true you can’t buy a BB gun in England?

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: November 30, 2017, 7:55 am

It’s completely untrue, Tom – we have several. You can also buy standard pellet firing air guns, some of which are quite powerful.

Things are bad here, but not quite as bad as is sometimes said. Not yet, anyway.

Comment from Mrs Compton
Time: November 30, 2017, 11:31 pm

Could the nasty cat… kind of move… like several miles away?

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: December 1, 2017, 1:50 am

Sounds to me like youse guys need to hire 1 or 2 teenagers, hand them the BB gun, and pay for hits on that killer cat! One has to protect their own. And the mean cat will get the “point” PDQ!

In my neck of the woods we don’t have mean house cats, we have coyotes. Being in Kali, our city won’t do a thing even as people’s pets either disappear or are found in pieces by a kid in the backyard. BB’s won’t work on coyotes.

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