Friday, July 27, 2007

More kitties gone.

It occurred to me this morning when I was in the garage collecting my post-hole digger and my carpet scrap (to pile the dirt on) that I've reduced burying cats to a science. I'm lamenting the fact that I've had to do this so often that it seems almost routine. This morning as I was leaving for work, I found Z-Cat in the side yard. It was pretty obvious that he was killed by a dog. Then, when Laura and I went to the backyard to bury him, we found Tosca dead as well, also the victim of a dog attack. And two more of the outside cats who usually hang out on our back porch are missing as well. The optimist in me assumes that they were just scared away by the dogs last night, and that they'll be back eventually; I'm hoping I see them tonight when I get home.

Tosca and Z were two of Laura's three favorite outside cats. Tosca was an inside cat for a while this past winter, and he always escorted Laura from her Jeep to the house every time she came home. Z-Cat, the zen cat with the Zorro mask, was absolutely the most inoffensive cat in the world; he never fought with any of the other cats, and he usually lived on our front porch on the little shelf under our white wicker plant table. He was the runt of his litter, and was almost a year old. He was just getting friendly enough that he would eat from our hands. Laura was inconsolable when she found out they were dead.

Me? I'm more angry. We and other neighbors have called the city dozens of times about the pack of wild dogs that lives in Brookside Park. The city apparently hasn't done anything about it; I can tell, because the dogs are still there. It's not an idle concern; stray cats keep the rat population down, but stray dogs can kill people. And I accept that dogs and cats fighting is part of the natural order. But I'm not happy that it happened in our fenced-in back yard. We're nervous about letting our inside cats out for the night now; if one of them were attacked by a dog in our yard, I'd be tempted to violence. For now, we're just keeping an eye on the cats and making sure we lock the gate. The bigger dogs can jump our fence, though, so I don't know how to really keep them out.

UPDATE: Pouncer and Cooper were hanging around this morning. Whew!

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