“So I made up the whole crucifixion thing…sorry…but still, when you piss off this many weird cat ladies, it’s only a matter of time before they radicalize and come after you…”

For about a week now, I’ve been traveling with an automatic rifle in the front seat of my truck. At dawn and dusk, I find myself cruising the back roads of my neighborhood, searching, stalking, hunting. The beast doesn’t know I’m gunning for him…or maybe he does…maybe that’s why it’s so hard to find him. Or maybe I’m just no good at hunting tomcats.

imageI ought to be, that’s for sure. In the southern Appalachian mountains, far from stop lights, street lights, neon lights, any light beyond God’s great blanket of stars, shooting tomcats is somewhat of a tradition and it stretches back several generations, at least. My dad tells stories of growing up in the 1950s, riding around in the backs of pick up trucks, blasting stray tomcats to pieces with shotguns and .22 rifles. Pops is in his mid sixties now, a little worse for the wear, but still drilling stray male cats like it’s his fucking job.

It’s because it is and, in a way, always has been. In his youth, those heavily armed boys in trucks collected bounties for the cats they killed. Back in those days, see, bird hunting was the hot shit activity in these parts and the uniqueness of a man’s bird gun coupled with the prowess and intelligence of his dogs was a big part of how dudes back then measured off against one another. Of course, you had to have birds to shoot, so collectives of hunters went to great expense to propagate the existence of game birds, particularly quail and grouse, in the region. The thing about game birds is that they are ground nesters, the easiest pickens of all for a lazy assed tomcat, and stray cats were wreaking havoc on the baby birds. Hence the bounty on feral tomcats.

These days, Pops doesn’t bird hunt. We both have really awesome bird guns and the bird dog who lives with me is so damned smart we assign him chores, but no one shoots birds anymore. We do, however, still shoot feral tomcats. Pops just got one last week, as a matter of fact. He claims he nails a couple per month, and I don’t doubt it, but I don’t think these cats are as feral as they used to be, though their impact and behavior aren’t really affected by whether or not they have permanent homes. Free roaming male cats are nuisances…they always have been…and they always will be.

My folks have three barns and a little over a dozen horses. Having horses means hay and feed, which is to say my parents maintain a small army of female cats who help keep them from being overrun by rodents. They, and anyone who employs cats will tell you, to hire females because they stay close to home and hunt much more than the males do. At any given time, they employ between eight and twelve cats for this purpose, and employed is exactly what they are. Their cats have names, health plans, room and board. In exchange, they kill the fuck out of some rats. Part of their health plan, oddly enough, includes the armed protection of a retired Army Ranger when stray tomcats wander in and attack them.

Yes, that’s a real thing. And it’s fucking brutal.

A loose tomcat, feral or not, may range and, in fact, claim several square miles as its territory. Tomcat behaviors, on these prowls, more often than not include vicious attacks toward smaller cats. Throughout the spring, we’ve been waking in the night to the sounds of cat fighting outside. The first few times, it was easy enough to release the hounds into the night, to break up the cat fight and then return. Everyone goes back to sleep. Three months later, the dogs are staying in and I’m going out, at three a.m., in boxers and boots and eight rapid fire rounds of turkey shot, scanning a Surefire light for the trespassing brute but finding nothing.

Our cat, Bunny, a five pound calico female found in the street as a kitten, has enough bald spots and scratches and bites that she doesn’t really even want to be outside at night anymore. Instead of killing mice and rats and moles in her own yard, Bunny is spending her nights sleeping on her spot on the bookshelf, where it’s safe. And I don’t blame her. The fact is, I don’t really like being in the yard either. Besides brutalizing smaller cats, tomcats tend to engage in territorial marking, called spraying.

imageAlso a very real thing. And it’s really fucking nasty.

Ever wonder why your front porch suddenly smells like concentrated cat piss one morning? It could be a stray tomcat, homeless and hungry, but it could just as easily be someone’s “pet,” who has chosen a spot ON your home or IN your vehicle to point his furry little cat cock at and mist with urine, hot and sticky, and specifically for your personal enjoyment.

Think it’s not personal? I used to, till I got to know my ex’s cat. Patch was a big grey tomcat with a white spot and he fucking hated me. When he wasn’t out prowling, he was peeing on my stuff. He ruined MY couch by peeing on the headrest in MY spot…he ruined MY leather armchair…and he hit my laundry basked, repeatedly. Only my stuff. So one morning, after discovering a basket of clean and pissed laundry, I’d had enough. Patch got snatched, pitched and pinned in the bathtub. Then he got a dose of his own medicine. I don’t care what you say. That malicious bastard was hurtin’ for a squirtin’ and deserved every damned drop of it. Fair’s just fair and I’ll stoop to a cat’s level if I have to.

Which brings us back to my mountains in the present day, with my bleeding and battered little calico cat, my front porch reeking of piss, as does the inside of a vehicle after I forgot to put a window up one night…back to the rifle in the front seat of the same vehicle…back to the hunt at hand. A feral cat is my likely target, and I hope this is the case, because discovering that it is someone’s pet wouldn’t make much difference to me, other than the fact I’d be angry at one of my neighbors for being such an irresponsible pet owner as to allow their animal to become a nuisance. Make no mistake, this animal’s days are numbered.

I doubt, however, that I’ll post a picture on Facebook. Or maybe I will. It really depends. If it’s a headshot with an arrow like the one Kristen Lindsey posted, I totally will. What an awesome shot…Kristen, my hat’s off to you…to take with a bow and not document and subsequently share. Hunters kill things with sharp sticks all the time and the pictures get published in magazines, so what’s the difference? Killing game, such as a harmless little bunny rabbit, with an arrow is considered a feat of marksmanship and talent in the hunting community, but for Kristen, killing a loose tomcat by the same means is proving to be a costly error.

imageIf you haven’t read about it, last month (April 2015), Texas veterinarian Kristen Lindsey shot a tomcat in the head with her bow and arrow and then bragged about it on Facebook. It went viral, of course, and a backlash of social pressure cost Lindsay her job and prompted an official investigation. Thus far, the D.A. isn’t moving forward. Facebook is enraged and circulating petitions not only for her criminal prosecution, but for the revocation of her license to practice veterinary medicine. Seems a bit much, to me, especially over a creature whose behavior could easily be considered antisocial to begin with.

Sorry cat owners, but that tomcat who is so sweet and cuddly at home is very likely causing problems when you let him roam, even if you’ve had him neutered. Which really sort of means that YOU are actually the problem and that is this particular tomcat, later identified as Tiger, the pet of an “elderly couple,” was not so much the problem as were his owners. Maybe Kristen should have shot them in the head with arrows…or maybe not…but either way, they were long gone. As in moved. As in moved and left the cat. As in abandoned. According to their former pet sitter, “Amy,” who has created a page telling Tiger’s story and ultimately soliciting donations, Tiger’s owners made some sort of arrangement with a neighbor to care for Tiger so he could continue doing what was most important to him, roaming the countryside and sleeping all day in a “barn.” One day, Tiger disappeared. That is, he didn’t show up to eat food and sleep before leaving again.

I’m not kidding. Read it here.

After a week or so, Tiger’s disappearance was solved when he appeared on social media, speared on an arrow like a shish-kabob by a college educated chick with a compound bow and a hell of an eye. A lot of people are really mad about it. The Bryson, TX news station KBTX, who has been most closely covering the story, actually had to disable the comments on their online news articles due to “repeated death threats being made against the veterinarian.” Small protests of weird cat ladies have gathered outside the Austin County courthouse demanding “Justice for Tiger” and the identically named Facebook fan page has garnered in excess of 50,000 followers, all squealing and wallowing in self righteous anger, seeking to destroy a human life they actually seem to place less value on than a damned pissing old tomcat.image

I don’t give a shit if he did have a name. More power to him. Now his name is mud. How you like them apples, weird cat ladies?

Apparently, you don’t like ’em at all, because like the KBTX news website, Tiger’s Facebook fan page has to specifically ask users not to contribute death threats to the comment threads. That’s right, even more death threats made by even more people who are even more concerned by the rights of a tomcat to prowl freely than a working, tax paying, American citizen’s right to due process and more importantly, her right to protect private property from untagged and unleashed “domestic” animals known for engaging in destructive and antisocial behavior. Remember now, Tiger wasn’t killed in his own yard and I have a solid understanding of how wandering male cats treat the property of others. image

These crazy old bags of shit are even invoking the great and powerful Federal Bureau of Investigation in their hopes that someone else is something close to being just as sinfully stupid and silly as they are. Since the FBI is apparently maintaining statistics regarding animal cruelty, it only seems logical that they’ll be dispatching the Behavioral Analysis Unit from Quantico any moment…that Hotch and Penelope Garcia and Dr. Spencer Reid from TV’s Criminal Minds will be Leer jetting down to Texas to solve the great mystery of the impaled tomcat before framing the events with a relevant quotation like:

“A man has to work so hard so that something of his personality stays alive,” said Albert Einstein. “A tomcat has it so easy, he has only to spray and his presence is there for years on rainy days.”

Something tells me that the FBI doesn’t really give and shit and isn’t coming, but I certainly hope that all of Kristen Lindsey’s haters are holding their breath for it. After all, every time an ignorant piss-faced fart knocker chooses not to breathe, someone much more deserving of oxygen gets a chance to. And I like that idea. I also seem to like the idea of having a forum where I can rail against people like this…maybe a little too much…so before I go too far, I’ll just bring up one more teeny tiny eensie weensie little thing…

image

“Dead Cat Protest…or…The Society of Heifers in Sweats?”

Of the 50,000+ people who support the persecution, prosecution and/or execution of Kristen Lindsey for “cruelly” killing a tomcat, how many of these same people choose to purchase poultry and meat from corporate American factory-farmed sources? From the looks of the asses and bellies of the protesters, I’d say a good portion of the McDonald’s customer base is represented here. Some of these folks are people who couldn’t give a shit less about the treatment of the chicken or cow that ultimately provides sustenance for their worthless little life and don’t hesitate to contribute a few bucks here and a few bucks there to a system which has actually institutionalized real-life animal cruelty.

Maybe ganging up on lone archers like Kristen Lindsey makes them feel less like the mush-filled douche bags that they are. Or maybe they actually think they’re doing a good thing.

It doesn’t really matter, in the end, unless you’re the human being whose life is being ruined by a bunch of stupid assed cat ladies. If you’re a roaming tomcat anywhere in rural America however, you should know that someone, somewhere, likely has your number and your days of terrorizing sweet little calicoes and squirting piss wherever you see fit will result in exactly the sort of “Justice” that old Tiger received.

Weird old cat ladies who befriend and “claim” wandering tomcats would also do well to remember this.

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Comments
  1. Dogs can’t walk around the town doing as they wish so why can cats? Feral cats are mean and dangerous, one walks on my property, it would must certainly be shot. I find myself wanting to compare this to certain current events, but I fear I’d start a comment war on your page….

    Like

    • What events do you mean? Summer’s starting to ripen up here in the Apps and I’ve been a little distracted from the outside world.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No specific event, just thinking of the controversy over gun control and shooting when a person enters your private property. I suppose, much like the person coming onto your private property, if the cat had not made one fear for their safety or the safety of their loved ones (in your case, the female cats) then they probably wouldn’t have been shot.

        Liked by 1 person

      • No doubt. In a lot of rural areas, services like animal control simply aren’t available and, as I’ve blogged previously, the sheriff will tell you to deal with it the best way you see fit when you call.

        What really bugged me about this whole thing was the overall reaction I saw on social media. One lady even agreed with the title and joked that crucifixion would be a suitable punishment. People got really bad about the whole thing, especially when considering no one has heard her side of the story.

        People are so hard to understand sometimes.

        Liked by 1 person

      • People seem to overreact to so many situations. The picture about one life being worth more than another killed me. To think that someone truly believes a human life should be taken over an animals is beyond comprehension. I wonder how many of those people would be singing the same tune had this cat bit them and gave them some incurable disease.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’d imagine a lot of those people can relate to the feeling of having a pet not return home, especially when they choose to keep the sort of pet people might deem a nuisance and get rid of one day. It’s got to induce a bit of anger to think someone might have shot your pet in the head with an arrow…or worse…but it doesn’t change anything. It’s still just 50,000 angry goofballs rallying around a dead cat whose owners have yet to even claim him.

        Like

  2. iamteresah says:

    First off we are building and expanding more of our houses and stores on wild animals habitats and then call them a nuisance? Humans are a nuisance, and if an animal destroys something we built on their habitat/territory then that’s what we get! Hunting is not a game or a sport, our property is fixable and replaceable. It does not give us the right to kill animals! If a pet is untagged then that is the owners mistake, but animals should be allowed to roam and follow their instincts, and if they behave in a way we don’t like, then maybe we should be changing what could be causing it, but killing never solves anything!

    Like

    • Actually Theresa, out in the country, or in the mountains, where I live, a person absolutely has the right to shoot a troublesome animal, especially when it is on their property. I share living space with the coyotes, bears and mountain lions. Aside from burning a coyotes ass up with a warning shot of birdshot, I’ve never had issues with them. But opossums and weasels and foxes and coons…they steal chickens. And when a wild animal decides to repeatedly help itself to my pantry, I’m gonna kill it. That’s just nature and all God’s creatures do it. So on the same token, when a stray cat deems my porch as its pisshole and my cat as its punching bag, I’m gonna drill a hole in it with a .22 rifle. The same goes for a dog. Or an orangutan. Or a person, for that matter. Or maybe, like you say, I should just get used to smelling piss and prepare to bury my own cat when the stray eventually kills her.

      I’ve pointed out that this sort of thing has been going on for a very very long time. It’s part of the reality of living in rural areas and it’s hard for city folk to understand I think. That’s why the people’s reaction to Dr. Lindsey upset me so much. While her photo did seem callous and remorseless, no one has heard her version of what happened or given any consideration to what her side of the story may be. I read a Facebook comment suggesting she actually be crucified…over a damned stray cat…

      I recently fixed some electrical wiring for a couple of hippies. According to the hippies, mice and hornets need a place to live to, so they neglected to engage in pest control. It wasn’t until I showed them a picture of their mouse chewed wiring and the scorched insulation around it, a precursor to a fire. According to you, maybe the hippies should rip out their walls and replace their wiring with rigid conduit so the mice can live in their attic and not burn the house down. The hippies decided to set mouse traps.

      Your ideas are warm and caring, at least in theory Theresa, and I applaud you for them. They are, however, unrealistic.

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      • iamteresah says:

        My name is spelled Teresa not Theresa. And humans shooting animals shouldn’t be allowed even if we say they are troublesome while we live on their land.

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      • iamteresah says:

        And they don’t ‘steal’ they hunt prey that they eat. It’s what is on their food chain.

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      • Pardon my spelling Teresa.

        So are you saying the earth belongs to the animals and the needs of humans are secondary? That a fox in my henhouse is not stealing, but in fact only hunting? Or possibly that a stray tomcat is entitled to attack my cat, piss on everything in sight and then eat his fill of food I’ve paid for?

        Bless your little heart, but you’re kidding me, right?

        Like

      • iamteresah says:

        I’m not saying that animals are more important than humans, as humans are animals too! I know we don’t like animals attacking our pets and destroying our property but that still doesn’t give us the right to just kill them. As our pets were domesticated from wild animals. Our cats come from wild cats (not lions or tigers but cats such as the lynx I believe was the wild cat or African Wildcat (Felis Silvestris Lybica). As for dogs they were descended from wolves all because of how we had them breed over the course of many years. But hunting for fun and for an animals fur or teeth or any part of their body is just plain wrong! And no I’m not kidding you!

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      • iamteresah says:

        Also it’s not ‘natural’ for us to shoot and kill animals, do you see lions, bears and any other animal using knives and guns to kill? No they only kill other animals when they need food. As for humans who create all this stuff for what? To destroy every animal and make us the only living thing on the planet? People fail to realize that every plant and every animal they are killing is not only becoming extinct but also plays an important role in the survival of humanity as well as our planet. We had a tremendous helping hand in causing Global Warming, yeah other animals and plants contribute to that especially cows. But our winters are getting colder, our summers are getting hotter. The NorthEast coast of America two winters ago had that Polar Vortex. The ocean levels throughout the entire planet are rising drastically as the poles are melting too quickly and are taking forever to refreeze, making it very difficult for polar bears and possibly penguins to survive and find food. Not to mention that during that winter it was warmer in Antarctica than it was up here near Pennsylvania. I know half of what I just said had nothing to do with your post and the comments but we humans are not really that bright as we think we are, we create so much chaos and limit ourselves while other animals eat, sleep, reproduce and so on, without making technology and such. So in reality life of other animals are much more simpler and better than ours, minus the struggle of losing all their habitat and stuff due to humanity

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      • iamteresah says:

        Just because I’ve lived in the city for a few years doesn’t mean I haven’t lived out in the countryside and practically the middle of nowhere either. However I’m throwing out facts not just theories and in fact are not unrealistic.

        Like

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