Sparky spent last Tuesday night in prison. He is home now, quite chastened, and demonstrating a deeper understanding of Johnny Cash‘s music. So far as I can tell, he did not get any cellblock tattoos.
The bad boy has, for quite some time and without my knowledge, been pooping and chasing birds in a yard half a block down the street. The neighbor didn’t know he was my cat (yes, yes, the boy does have a tag; I’ve since gotten him a bigger one), trapped him, and took him to the pound. There he was scanned with a microchip reader, I was identified as his owner and notified, and headed down to bail him out to the tune of $30. (A second offense is $50; subsequent offenses are $75 each. Let’s hope he’s learned his lesson.)
The pound folks told me he had been trapped, but weren’t allowed to say who had turned him in, so this weekend Melissa and I went door to door, introducing ourselves and giving neighbors pictures of Sparky with my contact information. At the houses where no-one was home, we left a photo and note. None of the folks we talked to had any complaints about the ladâ€”either they knew him and liked him or they hadn’t ever seen him.
Last night, I got a call from the guy “what brung ‘im in.” We talked and agreed that if Sparky starts coming over unannounced againâ€”he’s stayed out of the yard since the whole cage-slamming-shut-getting-driven-across-town-and-thrown-into-a-cell thingâ€”I will provide a trap, then come pick the bad boy up once he’s been caught in hopes of teaching him that this particular yard is best avoided. I’ve also agreed to buy a bell to add to his collar to help prevent his hunting birds. (To the best of my knowledge the boy has never caught a thing, but clearly he has a secret life I know little about.)
Prison does not seem to have hardened Sparky. In fact, he is more affectionate than ever. Let us hope we have no recidivism.