This is the story about my involvement in a cat burglary. Literally.
I feel obligated to preface this confession with the announcement that my mother is in no way affiliated with nor an advocate of felonious activity. Usually.
And also I’d like to say that I finally feel free to tell this story because the offended party is dead and I’m pretty sure her kids can’t read this anyway. That being said…
It was a hot and balmy evening in Texas when my mother called and alerted me to the fact that her neighbor had a cat tied to a tree in the backyard. The rope was so short that the cat couldn’t even lay down, and it had no food or water. My mother had contacted the police but they never did anything about it. I don’t know if you’re familiar with summer in Texas, but we were looking at a very small window of time before the cat bit the dust.
Someone, maybe my sister, suggested we go steal the cat and get it to a vet ASAP, and we were all good with that idea. I called up my boyfriend at the time, who I was pretty sure would be down with some duplicitous behavior. And he was.
So there we all were, my mother, my sister, and my boyfriend plotting a heist. There were definite obstacles, like the fence we had to cross and the dog that was also in the backyard.
My sister recommended that we get a pack of weenies, throw them to the dog so he’d eat and not bark, and while the dog was busy my boyfriend would jump the fence, cut the cat loose from the tree, and then hand it over to my sister who would be waiting on the other side. Genius!
I was chosen to be the lookout because I’ve never been hardcore enough to run with the cool kids. Besides, I can’t be trusted on the front lines. If you’ve ever seen me with a spider you know this.
We waited until dark and took our positions. My sister had the weenies ready, my boyfriend prepared for his acrobatic rescue attempt, I posted up at the front of the driveway as the lookout, and my mother sat inside and feigned ignorance in case we all got busted.
It was go time, and as soon as I gave the signal, my sister threw the first weenie to the dog, which prior to that had only been mildly curious about what we were doing out there. However, once she did, the dog went into a frenzied state and began barking violently.
My boyfriend decided fuck it, it was now or never, so he jumped the fence anyway and took off running toward the cat. Meanwhile, my sister was hurling a rapid fire of weenies at the dog, but he never took notice that it was food.
At this point, I was just hoping the neighbor’s usual lazy life strategy would work in our favor and she’d be none the wiser.
By now the dog was in hot pursuit of the boyfriend, adding a stressor that we hadn’t anticipated. Rather than untying the cat as planned, nestling it up to his chest and peacefully walking back with it, the boyfriend instinctively just cut the rope with a knife and took off running back with the cat swinging wildly by it’s neck, the dog barking at his heels.
As the boyfriend approached the fence, as if in slo mo, he launched the cat and rope high into the air for my sister to catch.
Let’s just have a moment of silence and reflection about that.
My sister didn’t so much catch the cat as the cat affixed to her, resulting in an interesting river dance-type series of movements to the back porch, as well as suppressed cries of agony.
By the time we all reached the back door, we noticed the barking had ceased and then observed the loud smacking noises of a dog seriously enjoying some weenies. Jackass.
Once inside the house, we realized that cat, sister, and boyfriend were all injured pretty good. The rope around the cat’s neck had grown into it’s skin, requiring surgery, and it had been starved to almost nothing.
If the neighbor did, indeed, suspect us, and she happened to call the police, and my sister or boyfriend happened to answer the door…well let’s just say the evidence was pretty clear.
They say the odds of solving a case drop drastically if no evidence is found within the first 48 hours. We were determined to make that a reality.
The neighbor did come asking about her cat that evening. My mother claimed ignorance about what had happened, but the woman didn’t believe her. By then we were long gone with a cat named Happy, who later went on to live with an adoptive family and became a twenty pound, prize winning show cat. No shit.
A couple months later my mom went into the back yard and discovered the neighbor’s dog lying there dead. We realized…maybe he wasn’t barking at us at all; maybe he was just asking to go too. I’ll always regret not trying.
The rest of us, though, went on to live happily ever after.
Oh, well except for that neighbor, who as I mentioned, DIED. YOUNG. AND ALONE.
But that I didn’t have anything to do with.