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Hello, kitties

Lezlie Lowe is on the city kitty committee.

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When will I stop digging holes in backyard gardens? When will you find the last turd of mine beside your tomato plant or nestled up against those petunias you grew from seed?

When you catch me and staple my furry butthole closed, you moron, that's when. I'm an outdoor cat. It's in my nature.

See, I heard on the radio, when I popped inside for a minute for some food the other afternoon, that Halifax Regional Council wants to adopt a bylaw to license HRM's 200,000 cats. Frankly, I've had my suspicions about you fleshy buggers since the morning I first saw you standing in the tub under that torrent of water and seeming to enjoy it. Now it's official. You're loopy.

I mean, can we talk about dogs briefly? Those beasts are already required to be licensed, but I hear only 10 per- cent are. And, uh, people? Newsflash: Cats are not dogs. Loose dogs bite people and frighten children. They terrorize neighbourhoods. Loose cats lightheartedly follow you down the sidewalk looking for a little rub behind the ear. They slink into your yard and chew on some grass. OK, maybe sometimes they throw up, pee on a tree, whatevs. When's the last time a cat tried to hump your leg? I'm just sayin'.

So, those fur-less fools inside the house that buy my food and fill my bowl with water (Why do they do it? They can see I only ever drink from the scuzzy puddle in the plant pot.) can license me, sure. But I don't see the good in it. Cats are, in the words of Garrison Keillor, "the wandering kind." Anyone who doesn't think so might as well get in league with those vegans who think cats can live on textured vegetable protein and soy sauce (Dear vegans: Your cats HATE you).

True, some of my feline friends don't go out. And, yeah, they generally live longer. Some of my feline bros have had wicked-bad experiences with cars, others with dogs, some get tired of the outside game in their old age. Others—and I don't like to talk about this much—live with humans who won't let them outside. It chills me to imagine hearing the incessant twitter of birds without ever getting the chance to swipe at a feather, to never dig your incisors into the terrified, twitching flanks of a live mouse, to live only for the thrill of the odd housefly whizzing in through a hole in the screen.

Those discontented comrades will have to be tagged, too, if Halifax Regional Council gets its screwball cat-licensing comedy past the public meeting planned for August. For those with a little more fight left, well, just try to tag me. You'll have to catch me, sedate me and tattoo that licence number onto my groin, because there is no collar that can hold me. I can weasel out of anything you put around my neck.

And don't even think of keeping me inside. Because you know—you know—my resolve is stronger than yours and if I have to follow at your feet and meow 23 hours a day, I will. You'll have to close all the windows and call in sick for work, too, because if any exit to the outside opens a crack I am, like, so through it. A flash of fur. You won't even know what happened.

Perhaps I'll saunter down to City Hall and leave a symbol of my displeasure on the steps.

Let the fur fly. Email: lezliel@thecoast.ca

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