A neighbor and I have been feeding two very sweet feral cats. Mother and son, and they are simply darling. Mom purrs and loves to be held, and her son loves to play. Hey, he’s a kitten, what would you expect.
They have been living under an empty and dilapidated old house that is just outside of the development in which my own home is located. The developer has been quite intent on “getting rid of” all of the feral cats in the area. And, by “getting rid of” I mean killing. Although we have a shelter that refers to itself as “no kill” ... they routinely euthanize the feral animals that are brought in there. So, those of us who love cats and dogs make certain that any feral cats or dogs are sent to a local organization that spays, neuters, and finds homes for them.
Yesterday, which was a cold and windy day to say the least, I took Harriet and Winston their lunches (yeah ... that’s what my next door neighbor - a wonderful woman - named them), and I found them in traps, no food or water and exposed to the full brunt of the wind. They were scared and very uncomfortable.
So, I picked up both cages, brought them home, gave them their lunch, and called someone to come get them so they wouldn’t end up getting the death sentence just for being alive.
This morning, as I was out walking my dogs, the foreman who works for the evil developer saw me and asked if I had their traps. I said that I did, and I could either drop them back over at the empty house or he could come pick them up. Which ever was most convenient for him. He said that he’d be by in a half an hour or so to pick them up. So, I stuck them out in my driveway for him.
An hour or more passed, and still the traps sat out in my driveway. The phone rang. It was the Llano County Sheriff’s Department calling to tell me that the evil developer (henceforth referred to as "ED") was “pressing charges against me” for “theft” of his traps. My response as you can imagine was “WTF”?? I explained to the deputy that I was waiting for the foreman to come get the traps and that I had absolutely no intent of stealing ED’s precious cages.
So, the deputy said he’d be coming out in about 5 minutes. I called the foreman to ask why he didn’t come and pick up the stupid things. His reply was that he called his boss (ED) who told him not to bother picking up the cages, that he would do it himself. Of course, he did no such thing ... he just called the sheriff’s department instead. Sure ... that’s the intelligent thing to do. That was three hours ago. No deputy ... no foreman ... no ED.
I walked the cages back over to the empty house and dumped them there. From my perspective I did absolutely nothing wrong. I firmly believe that those sweet cats have the right to live and to be left alone. They were doing nothing more than enjoying life. Since my neighbor and I were feeding them regularly, I doubt they were even doing much hunting. All I did was deprive ED the fun of killing them or turning them over to people who would do the dirty work for him.
Sometimes, I suppose in order to do the “right thing” you have to be willing to go the extra step. While I fundamentally disagree with those who are willing to cross that line even at the expense of human life or massive property damage (and yes, abortion clinic bombers, and ELF activists, I’m talking about you), I apparently have no problem with borrowing a trap just long enough to liberate its unwilling occupants.
I should add that the Llano County Sheriff's Office has been really nice throughout this whole episode. They understood that my intent was only to make certain the cats went to a good and safe home, and not to steal ED's traps. I mean really .... I'd be a pretty awful thief if the first thing I was going to do was tell the first person who asked that ... "yes, I have the traps, would you like to come get them?"
So .... I just got off the phone with one of the deputies. He explained to me that since there was no intent on my part to deprive ED of his property, ED would not be able to press charges against me for theft. Ah, gee .... I was so hoping to get dragged off in handcuffs. However, there will be an incident report about this. Which is a good thing. When I'm found murdered in my home, at least they'll have some idea about who to question first.
Note, originally I had actually named "ED," since what he did to me was a matter of record and my comments about him personally are my opinion. The last time I checked, I am entitled to my opinion. However, I understand that ED's attorney is making noises about taking me to court for telling the truth and voicing my opinion about his client. So, I've redacted ED's real name from this post.
I do hope that when people ask me directly about my personal opinion of ED (and they do ... all the time), that I am at least able to voice it then. People do ask me what I think about living in a development that is essentially controlled by this man, and I will not look them in the face and lie to them. That would be wrong and I won't lie simply because someone is willing to pay an attorney to threaten me.