We had been having issues with a cat periodically that hanging out under my racecar and/or trailer in the backyard, which drove the doggos nuts when we go out for them to do their business. The last couple of days, it had been around more. I’m guessing the colder temperatures had something to do with it. This morning, it was under the trailer and got up on top the ramps (stored underneath) where the dogs couldn’t get to it. I couldn’t flush it out, and it caused a big hassle with the dogs before work. Knowing that the situation was untenable, I talked to the county animal control folks to see about getting some traps when I got home from work. I learned that animal control officers are 9-5 type folks, and that someone might call me back tomorrow. Maybe.
Come this evening, I let the dogs out after poking around and not finding any obvious signs of cat. As soon as the dogs clear the door, they bolt for the racecar and are trying to get under the front of the car. Knowing that I was wrong about my initial feline assessment, I corral one dog at time and get them back inside. Going back to the racecar (1st gen integra), I open the hood and find two surprised and scruffy looking cats under there.
Despite my best efforts, I could not get either of them out from under the hood. They didn’t spook, the horn only seems to embolden them, and trying to flush them out with a broom handle only sends them calmly into crevices I can’t get them out from, yet I can still see them. Multiple, and probably feral cats, nesting down in my yard isn’t going work (and the dogs haven’t done their business all day), so I realized things have come to a head. I know I don’t want to get scratched or bitten by these things (especially not the night before a vacation). I spotlight them and I consider my carry piece that is inside my waist band. I then reconsider, because squeezing off a couple of 9mm rounds in the backyard is going to be noticed by the entire neighborhood and I have a strict policy of only talking to people with badges and guns on my terms and not theirs. I also didn’t really want to kill them, I just wanted them gone.
I decide that if I can’t flush the cats from the racecar, I’ll move the entire car so that the dogs can at least do their business tonight and tomorrow morning. I hook up the trailer to the escalade and pull it out to the front yard. As I pull out, I see the two cats scurry out from under the racecar and back into the side yard. I shoo them out of the yard, secure the gate and then let the dogs out. In the 30 or so seconds between shooing them away and letting the dogs out, the two cats inexplicably came back into the yard. The dogs bolted around the corner into the side yard, and one cat took off over the wall. The second cat did not make it over the wall. When I got around to the side, that cat was pinned up in the corner against the house and gate with the its torso in the lab-pitbull mix’s jaws and its head in the jaws of our Head of Security. Its legs were flailing and it was making awful sounds. I knew it wasn’t going to make it by the way the dogs had it, and I also realized that I hadn’t planned for this scenario. The only only implement nearby was as that old, hollow broom handle, and it struck me as probably not the right tool for the job. I had the small folding knife that is always in my pocket, but again, I knew that wasn’t the tool for the job. I ran inside can grabbed my old baseball bat. When I got back to scene in the side yard, the dogs still had the cat in their jaws, but it wasn’t moving anymore. I told them to leave it, and to my slight surprise, both dogs let go and stepped back. It was almost like they were presenting me with their kill.
I applied the coup de grace and threw the remains over the wall to the front yard. The dogs calmed down after a few minuets and finally did their business while I went around to the front with some gloves and garbage bags to deal with the remains of the cat. Ever since we came back inside this evening, both doggos have been sitting or laying in very close proximity to each other. This is unusual for the girls. I guess good group-cat kill turns out to be a doggo bonding exercise. I also going to hope that the second cat got the message and decides not to return.