Orange Cat Bad

First, a confession. I have a cat, to the extent a cat can be had. It’s an outdoor cat, a mouser, and it works to survive. It’s been here for more than 14 years now, always outdoors. Its name is “cat,” not because it was named that but because it wasn’t.

Cat, vigilantly guarding Casa de SJ

But over time, cat has become a fixture at Casa de SJ. I know, but I couldn’t help myself. So when the young, male, un-neutered, orange cat showed up, he terrorized cat. He ate his meager food. He drank (and usually soiled) his water. He chased cat into hiding. Orange cat wasn’t just feral, but vicious. There was no way to get near him as he would run away, but he would return as soon as the coast was clear.

The initial hope was that orange cat would go away, after a small stone found its way close to its head, but between my poor aim and its speed, the hope went unfulfilled. He remained, day after day, until we finally had enough. So we set a trap, a “havahart” trap that would merely confine him without crushing his rather large head. We put some cat food into a small ramekin in the back of the trap.

It didn’t work. It seemed the orange cat could reach the food without tripping the cage door, and feasted like an orange cat king at our expense. It took a few days, but eventually we found the right spot, deep in the back of the cage with just a small amount of food so as to force the orange cat to commit. And the trap sprung, the orange cat was caught.

It was not happy about it. It meowed up a storm. I was unmoved.

Cat didn’t buy that orange cat could be contained, and refused to go anywhere near the trap. Cat didn’t survive outside for 14 years without learning a thing or two about survival.

After lining the trunk of the Prius and putting a sheet over the cage, I put orange cat in the car for a road trip. He didn’t care much for the ride, and I harbored a concern that if he somehow broke free of the cage, he would attack the back of my head and rip it to shreds. Nonetheless, I braved the outing and took him to the local animal shelter.

I entered and said, “I’ve got a cat for you. It’s orange.” A woman inquired about the nature of the orange cat, to which I informed her it was feral, terrorizing my cat and had to be removed.

“We don’t take feral cats,” the woman told me. “So what am I supposed to do,” I responded. “Are you telling me to kill the cat?” A man at a desk in the back overheard me, and piped in by informing that would be unacceptable, and probably a crime. I reminded him, in somewhat colorful language, that if he didn’t like it, he could take the orange cat himself or shut up. He shut up.

I drove away with the orange cat still in the back of the Prius, now making sounds suggesting anyone in relatively close proximity to him would die. At a parking lot closer to the animal shelter than Casa de SJ, I pulled over, fully intending to open the trap and let the orange cat roam free. But when I opened the back of the Prius, saw his claws sticking out of the trap bars and desperately seeking flesh, I decided that this might be a risky endeavor. I closed the trunk.

Orange cat returned back to Casa de SJ with me. On the way up the drive, I stopped the car and removed it from the trunk. Not sure what my next move would be, it seemed wise to leave orange cat behind a bush down by the mulch pile, where the infernal meowing wouldn’t bother anyone.

I then sought some expertise about ridding oneself of an orange cat in the most humane and expeditious manner possible. I received the information needed, but, and I hesitate to say this, I just couldn’t bring myself to home-euthanize orange cat. I hated it. I wanted to be rid of it. But kill it? I couldn’t. And so orange cat remained in the havahart cage behind the bush down by the mulch pile overnight as I pondered my guilt and next move.

In the morning, I walked down to see orange cat. The cage was open. The cage was empty.

For the next few days, orange cat was nowhere to be found. Cat enjoyed life, his meager food, his water, unmolested. What became of orange cat was unknown, but he wasn’t bothering cat and I hadn’t killed him. It was all good.

Last night, I heard a scuffle outside and saw cat cowering near his favorite window. Orange cat was back. Orange cat was still vicious. Orange cat was going to screw with cat, make his life miserable, steal his food, terrorize him, and he now knew I lacked the fortitude to put him out of my misery. I really hate that orange cat.

60 thoughts on “Orange Cat Bad

  1. L. Phillips

    Sometimes a man’s gotta’ do what a man’s gotta’ do.

    Without comment to anyone.

    And bury the mess in the garden where it will do some good.

      1. that david from Oz

        imagine me hitting the nonexistent “like” button while simultaneously blowing coffee out my nose . . . curse you, admiral!

  2. wilbur

    It just shows to go ya. A lotta things are easier said than done.

    One thing’s for sure. He ain’t going near that cage again.

  3. Hunting Guy

    Robert Heinlein.

    “When the need arises – and it does – you must be able to shoot your own dog. Don’t farm it out — that doesn’t make it nicer, it makes it worse.”

    1. CLS

      And that’s the thing about shelter/veterinary semantics.

      You could use the term “community cat” like the shelter folks are supposed to. The word “feral” is frowned upon these days due to the negative connotations.

      But they know, and the use the “f” word when no one else is watching or listening. Doesn’t make much of a difference either way.

  4. Guitardave

    I grew up on a small farm, we had 15+ kitties at one point, all of them like your cat…we put some food out now and then, but they mostly ate the rats and mice out of the grainary …they were all “related”, had Manx blood, so no tails, stub tails, half tails,etc. My mom had a friend that had a “problem” cat (like your orange friend) and said, not thinking, “we’ll take it, we got lots of cats…”. It was truly a psycho kitty. I was about 15. The barn kitties were my friends, having handled and played with them when they were tiny. As soon as PK showed up i started hearing fights. i knew the problem had to be dealt with, and no one else cared enough to deal with it.
    My first plan was to catch it, burlap bag it, and take it 20 miles away to the most remote area i knew and let it go to fend for itself.(Too many good kitties to use a trap) I cornered it, slow and calm, had leather gloves on…got it by the scruff, and it went fucking ballistic…twisted around and planted a fang deep in my ring finger. Cleaned it up, but 2 days later i had a red streak moving up my hand from the wound. One major course of antibiotics later, with the nightly fights still going on, I’d made up my mind…PK had to go. So I got my little Armalite AR-7, with a 30 round clip full of .22 cal hollow points and hunted it down. I DO NOT RECOMMEND DOING THIS. I fucking traumatized myself, and I’m reliving it right now, just writing this. I had done some hunting before that, so i knew about what was involved, but i was NOT prepared for gunning down a cat in the corner of a stable. That nine lives shit is not a joke…10 shots in and it was still….enough…To this day I’ve not shot another living thing.
    I recommend some fentynal in a meatball or something along those lines. Trap and quarantine your good kitty first, of course. Good luck…keep your mind on your good kitty as you do what you must.
    Sorry bout the long “personal anecdote”.

    1. SHG Post author

      I’ve been thinking for a while that a BB gun might come in handy, but more to shoot it in the butt and scare it away than anything else.

      1. Kathleen Casey

        I held off figuring someone would comment on the solution and it was you😏. Trap him again in the havahart, aim the BB at his head, and blow him away. Quick and not messy. Unless as GD mentioned nine lives is no joke but this way you won’t risk your only one. Hopefully. Anyway it works with vermin. Squirrels that is. Think of cat. Havahart for him.

        Just a suggestion. Though you might have ruined feral. He may be too smart to go for your ramekin now. (A ramekin? WT… Was it Limoges? Paper. Or styrofoam. A paper towel. This is vermin, figuratively.)

        1. Guitardave

          Ms. Casey, A BB gun ain’t gonna do it. That would just be cruel. if it stays still(and you can stay still) a .22 would…. point blank, between the eyes…but a 30-30 or bigger would be quicker. If you can’t steel yourself, like stone psycho cold, DON’T do the gun thing…and its messy too. High powered opiate…no pain, permanent sleepy time…if i was faced with the problem again it’s the only thing i could do, and i ain’t a “wuss”. Regards, GD

          1. SHG Post author

            A client once dropped a kilo of horse on my desk as a thank you gift, which I immediately told him to get the hell out of my office with that stuff. Where is it when you need it?

            1. Guitardave

              The language of appreciation doesn’t always translate. Don’t tell me you ain’t got a “little black book”….cough, cough.
              I’m sure Dr.SJ can get a big long hypo…

            1. Guitardave

              My experience with BB guns is old school. i did a bit of googling last nite and saw some new stuff with way more power, so i’m likely wrong about there ability to get the job done with as little suffering as possible. Old experience is like old information. I’ll head back to the tar pit now.

      2. Jeff Gamso

        Back in the day (a phrase that serves to remind you that I’m considerably older and therefore, er, older than you), we rented a house in Pittsburgh that came with a pet pig. The landlords had intended to give the pig to friends of theirs who would, they hoped, provide lots of bacon,, but it didn’t work out (nor is that relevant even to this digression from your post I’m spinning out here).

        Anyway, the landlords had trained the pig (a female named Hamlet, black in color with “FUCK WAR” on its side in green paint) to go out of the house by shooting it in the ass with a BB gun and shouting “Pig, get out of the house.” They left us the BB gun, but we discovered that the pig had learned his lesson. All we had to do was kick it in the ass and should “Pig, get out of the house,” and it would.

        The neighbors – did I mention this was in the city of Pittsburgh where street pigs weren’t what you’d expect to find around – were routinely pissed off at the pig getting into their trash. (It was a pig, for godssake; what’d they expect?)

        We made the landlords come and retrieve the pig.

        So (I’m trying to make this relevant to the post and not just to the idea of using BB guns on animals), you might try shooting the orange feline in the ass and hoping it will learn its lesson and go harass some other dude’s cat.

        1. SHG Post author

          The things you learn here at SJ, that you were once a pig herder. Who knew? I would expect the cat to have a smaller target than the pig, but luckily, I’m an decent shot.

      1. Buncy

        Go for it, Scott. Just watch how Dr. Jan Pol on the teevy does it and you’ll know how to snip his balls off. It’s easy. Then you spray him down with a little hydrogen peroxide and all is well. Of course you must have first darted him with a couple of CCs of propofol.

      1. Patrick Maupin

        Maybe you could borrow a dog.

        I had such a conundrum in the past. But my wife’s dog fixed it for me when I, erm, accidentally, maybe, dropped the leash. The other cat was OK, but was traumatized enough to stop coming around.

        1. SHG Post author

          Around here, they all have pure breds, so coddled it will make your stomach turn. Nobody is loaning out their lap dog.

    1. SHG Post author

      If it wasn’t clear, how to accomplish the task wasn’t really the problem. There was a way but not enough will.

  5. MGould

    Having caught and relocated many squirrels and a few feral cats in Havahart traps, I can assure you that the thought of releasing them is much more scary than the reality. When you hold open that door, the animal departs your vicinity in a huge hurry, paying you no mind. I think catch and release somewhere far away is your best option. Rural Connecticut, perhaps?

    1. SHG Post author

      So you understand. I believe you and I’m sure you’re right about the release, but damn he was angry.

      1. wilbur

        He needs to go to timeout. Permanent timeout.

        Wilbur recommends calling a pest removal service. Not too expensive, and they’ll solve your problem. They got enough will for the both of you.

          1. Kathleen Casey

            SPCA might versus a local shelter. They have made humane removals in estate situations I know of, one of which I had. Non-adoptable one-person cats pulled out from underneath furniture with big gloves and a lasso. Yowling and vicious cat lady cats. Euthanized asap.

    2. pml

      Tie a rope to the cage handle, go to nearest stream or pond, chuck it in. Wait 5 minutes and your problem is solved.

  6. Allen

    I would assume the person who gave you the necessary information on euthanizing cats had some experience in the matter. Offer them a fee to take care of it for you. Once you trap it again that is. It could be worse it could be a bear hanging around, you’d need to dig a much bigger hole.

  7. Dave Owens

    The simplest solution is to bring cat inside for a week or two. Removing the food from outside will cause orange cat to find another source somewhere else. Add in the fact that cat is 14 and seems to have done his job at least satisfactorily over the years might mean an indoor retirement is due. It is also possible that orange cat will then take over the job. Whether he stays or goes, your problem is solved.

  8. L. Phillips

    I’m still back on the Prius. Good lord man, buy a pickup and run over the fool cat. Two problems solved.

    1. SHG Post author

      The Prius was my daughter’s car, shitlord. Do you think I was going to put that feral beast into either of my cars?

  9. kemn

    Having euthanized (okay, i took them to the vet and let them do it) several pets due to illness/age, I feel your pain about killing an animal, even a pest.

    The fact that the shelter “won’t take ferals” is messed up, but I understand their position, too.

    All around, this sucks, especially since “cat” is now afraid to get near your house. Good luck with your cat problem. I don’t have a squirrel problem because my dogs chase them away (thank goodness they haven’t caught one yet. One of them caught a baby bird and though he had the best squeaky toy ever – I had to clean that mess up, and was traumatized)

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