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People & Their Pets

July 2nd, 2009

Sometimes I don’t understand people.

A few weeks ago a lady from one of the townhomes across our courtyard was outside looking around calling, “kitty kitty kitty”. It wasn’t until she went back inside that I saw a cat come out from under a huge pine tree. I slowly approached the cat and he seemed friendly enough, but he didn’t have a collar on so I had nothing to grab and I didn’t want to try picking him up and chance freaking him out, so I left him and approached the woman’s patio door. It was open, but as I peered inside her home, I couldn’t see anyone, so I walked around to her front door (also open) and peered through the screen, but again, no one was in sight.

I rang the doorbell. After a minute or so, she came downstairs with a baby in her arm. I asked her if she lost her cat and she replied, “is he fat?” Well, I didn’t think so, but I described him to her and mentioned his lack of collar, to which she replied, “yea, he always takes them off” and just stood there. I asked her if she wanted me to show her where he was. Finally she came outside and followed me to the tree where he was still sitting, chewing on some grass. As soon as he saw her he ran back to the home and then she thanked me as an afterthought as I started walking back to my place.

This woman also owns an older dog who is very well-behaved. In fact, up until two weeks ago I had never heard him bark. She doesn’t leash him when she lets him outside to do his business and he doesn’t stray away from their patio, but the one day she let him out and forgot about him and eventually he got impatient and starting barking through their screen door to be let back in. After 5-10 minutes of him barking, her husband came outside to let him in.

Two days ago while eating dinner we spotted a small grey dog running around the courtyard but there weren’t any people in sight. He ran off toward the street but reappeared a few minutes later. I went out on the patio and he came running over, barking furiously at me, but keeping his distance. I noted he had a harness on – the type you’d clip a leash to – but no collar.

Eventually he began to calm down, so of course that’s when our next door neighbor decides to let her dog out, which prompts this strange dog to go into a frenzy and start barking in the other dog’s face. The neighbor’s dog barks at everything under the sun but for some reason didn’t bark at the little dog with the Napoleon complex. What I found bizarre is that our neighbor watched this for a moment, then turned around and went back inside, leaving her tied up dog to fend for himself. How did she know that the strange dog wasn’t going to bite her dog? Stupid.

Eventually some guy with a toddler started walking our way across the courtyard, but when he spotted the grey dog, he picked up the toddler and started walking back the way he came. The dog spotted him, however, ran past him, and they disappeared behind some trees. I still don’t know whether that guy was the dog’s owner or not. If so, he didn’t seem too terribly concerned about the whereabouts of his dog.

I don’t understand such behavior. Perhaps it’s because I can’t have the cat I’ve always wanted that I cannot relate to the indifference some of these people have to their pets running off. I’d be worried sick if my dog or cat got out of my sight while outside. It doesn’t take long to run into the street and get squished by a passing car. I saw it happen to a little baby squirrel on the way into work today, in fact. :(

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