I Made It. The Cat Is Gone. - Page 2 - Off Topic (Non Trade) - Contractor Talk

I Made It. The Cat Is Gone.

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Old 08-25-2019, 04:36 PM   #21
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Re: I Made It. The Cat Is Gone.

Seeing this post by Easy got my eye and reading it cracked me up, agree with Inner that Easy should write more on it. It also reminded me of a story I wrote to a pen pal of mine quite a while back that dealt with cats, thought I'd go ahead and post it here since it has to do with cats.

I'd been stuck on this remodeling/addition job for far too long, was losing my shirt and my patience and was about as miserable as a person could be when I found the antidote to my misery.... somebody else's misery!

The discovery came as the tale of the cats unfolded, little by little as one of my helpers made the transition from employee to employee/friend. We were in the framing part of the project and this long, lanky older surfer dude came by looking for work. Jake really is the epitome of an old school southern California surfer, from his lean yet amazingly strong frame to his laid back manner of speaking. As it turns out he isn't quite as laid back as he appears to be at first glance and this short story might shed some light on some possible reasons why.

As the job progressed Jake started asking for parts of this old beach house we were removing. He wanted the garage door, said something about making some sort of a cage. "A cage for what?" I asked . "I've already said too much, dude," he replied. "You haven't said anything." "Well, we've got a few cats and I want to make a little house for them". "How many cats do you have?" That was the last question of the day. At that point he started getting paranoid, mumbled something about getting in trouble with his wife, and none of us could get him to talk about it so we dropped the subject and started rapping about something else as we worked on laying out the floor joists. The ice had been broken however, and little by little he started opening up, dropping tantalizing hints that he was involved in some sort of quasi-legal endeavor.

I figured he was raising cats and selling them which is illegal in the city limits, and as it turned out I was partially correct. The days went along with unusual incidents adding to the mystery of his situation. He came in all scratched up one day and said something about trying to pet one of them and another one getting pissed off about it and attacking him. This seemed a bit strange and I queried him on it. "Duude, these aren't like your normal cats", he answered. Naturally we were fascinated about this now and started pressing for more info on the cats.

One day, after a particularly grueling session of fighting the remodeling monster we were shooting the breeze a little after work, talking about how there must be a better way to make money when Jake said, "Well, I can tell you one thing duude, animal husbandry isn't one of them." Our ground squirrel, as we called our general laborer, didn't know what animal husbandry meant so I explained that I thought it meant raising animals for profit and I'd guessed that was what Jake had been up to when the subject of the "cathouse" came up. Sensing a softening of Jake's stonewalling I turned to him and said, "So, how many cats do you have, dude?" "Ohh, I really shouldn't say." I replied, "Come on, Jake, who here is going to turn you in?' We're your framing brothers, you know that neither Humberto or me is going to say anything to anybody." He looked around, kicked the dirt with his boot, and said, "Nine." Then he said, "They've made my life a living hell! I used to have a pretty bitchen life and now it sucks." I was shocked cause I always thought he had a pretty bitchen life too. He has a good looking wife, their house is paid for and due to the appreciation of southern California beach close property was easily worth $500,000.00 but was only being taxed at the pre proposition 13 rate of about four hundred dollars a year. He's a good surfer so he can enjoy the sport. Him and his wife had lived in the Hawaiian islands for ten years and he had those wonderful memories he loved to share and we loved to hear about. Heck, he even has this killer bike with a little tiny electric motor that he uses to cruise the 'hood. He only has to work when he wants as he doesn't really have any bills. As it turns out appearances can be deceiving.....

It was the love of the islands that did him in. Steady work is hard to come by on the outer islands and oftentimes there is no work at all which can get tough. There are a large number of rich people who live on the islands and who have money to burn and Jake and his wife had figured out a way to make some legitimate money off of these people. They'd gotten wind of a house cat that put all other house cats to shame. With spectacular markings and similar personalities all other cats paled in comparison to these type of cats. The plan was to breed these critters and sell them for top dollar to people for whom a couple of thou for a cat was no big deal.

They contacted a noted breeder of the type and paid just that for a fertile female... two thousand dollars. Then they paid another thousand for stud service and started "cat farmin". Here the story gets a little vague but as they got to a couple of litters but before he was ready to sell them he started noticing that the behavior of these cats was not only abnormal, it was downright feral. "They stare at you, they're absolutely ruthless with other animals, they pack, oh, I can tell you stories duude." After one of the by now common let's ruthlessly attack the owner for some imagined or real hierarchical cat protocol mistake, Jake did some research on this type of cat. "Duude, they're totally feral. They are a wild cat. There are no housecat genes in the DNA of these cats.' 'I can only imagine what would happen if I selling them in Hawaii; it'd be like what happened with the mongoose over there. The little bastards would eat all the bitchen birds and kill all the other native animals. There'd be an investigation and it would turn out that I had brought them in, that I was the asshole and my ass'd be grass, and it would be deservedly so."

By the time he realized this they were up to nine cats which I guess was going to be their breeding stock. It seems the group dynamics changed with such a large number in such a small area and things went from bad to worse. "By this time we couldn't let them out because they were terrorizing the 'hood. No cat on the whole block was safe from their depradations. God help the poor dog stopping to take a leak on one of the palms in the front yard. The alpha cat rode a big ole shepherd half way down to Newbreak (a famous local surfing spot) with the other members of the pack on their heels." "No!" "Yes!!" Anyway, the cats had to stay in the house and at this point things really deteriorated.

"I had the stratolounger, I had the big screen TV, nice carpeting, drapes... it's all gone. Two or more of the males got in a pissing contest and got the lounger. Then one of them shorted out the TV. There were periodic territorial disputes and the drapes got shredded. They peed on the carpet and kept repeating it so we had to tear it up. By this time we decided we had to cage them and they'd moan all day, and try to attack me as I walked by them. When I let them out they'd stalk me and they all glare at me as though I'm fresh meat on the hoof.'

"Jake, why don't you just give them away?" "I'm worried about them attacking anybody that gets one of them.' 'These aren't kittens and they aren't nice cats." "Well, I don't want to sound too callous but how about doing a cull, having a cat barbeque so to speak and move on from there?" "Can't do it duude, the wife has bonded to them and would never allow me to do any of them in."

At this point I'm thinking, 'Man, you are the definition of the word Pussy whipped'. "Well, what are you doing about it, Jake?" "We've given them the living room and one of the bedrooms and have managed to reclaim the kitchen and the other bedroom and the bathroom." Poor Jake is acting like this is some major victory. I'm reminded of watching TV during the Vietnam years when our military would talk about taking back a village and it seems that I'm watching the same show, with similar pride and apprehension about the future being manifested in the mannerisms of the people talking. "So let's get this straight. You live in the kitchen and one of the bedrooms and the cats have the living room and the other bedroom?" "Yes, but we got the big bedroom!" Big whoop, I'm thinking. "Well, what do you do about the hygiene issue?" "Dude, I'm hauling in ten pounds of cat food and hauling out nine pounds of cat dung every day!" "Every week we truck up to Costco, load up on kitty litter, and a ton of exotic cat food, and every day I'm loading up on one end of the room with food and cleaning out boxes on the other with my kitty dung rake.' 'It's not only expensive and too much work, it's degrading.' 'The cats look offended that I'm screwing with their crap, and now I know what it's like to live on a farm and have to tend the animals every day, no matter what. That's why I got jumped the other day, when I came in all scratched up. I was cleaning up a litter box and Felix, the head honcho, took umbrage at something I did. The next thing I know this cat had leapt from his perch on the wall and was latched onto my arm. My wife had to grab his head to pry him off!"

I do remember how scratched up he'd been. By this time the blues of the day, heck, the blues for the month had disappeared. Both Humberto and I were leaning on the construction fence, laughing. Every time we'd look at poor Jake we'd laugh more. Even he was laughing probably because the alternative would be to cry. The last I'd heard he was still hunkered down in the kitchen trying to come up with some sort of solution so he could reclaim his house. He was talking a partially buried (to avoid detection from prying neighbors ) large, like container cargo sized large cage or cages so he could separate the really mean ones from the not so mean ones and in the meantime the grind goes on, loading up on one end and carrying out on the other.
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Old 08-25-2019, 06:26 PM   #22
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Re: I Made It. The Cat Is Gone.

I have a suggestion for Jakes situation but....

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Old 08-25-2019, 07:29 PM   #23
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Re: I Made It. The Cat Is Gone.

Awesome story! Poor guy
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Old 08-25-2019, 07:43 PM   #24
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Re: I Made It. The Cat Is Gone.

he hired the neighbor kid.
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:21 PM   #25
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Re: I Made It. The Cat Is Gone.

Rio, thank you.

I just read that while sitting by a fire in my back yard and it was wonderful. Poor, pitiful Jake. Through our cat ordeal my wife and I joked about the "Sesame Chicken Solution."

I'll be in town next month. If I make it to OB, I'll pour one out for Jake.


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