This morning, as my son was upstairs changing his clothes for day camp, I suddenly heard barking dogs in my alley. From the sound, i could tell that at least one of them was the neighbor’s pit bull, who while charming and affectionate, is also good at getting out of the yard and roaming the block. I worry about her because while she’s a good dog (generally), she doesn’t have an identifying collar and one of these days is going to be picked up by animal control. But there was another dog barking too: they’ve recently adopted a second bull, also friendly and affectionate, but he hadn’t figured out how to get out of the house.

Until today, as I discovered.

When I stepped outside to see what the commotion was about, i saw both dogs in the alley having a tug of war over something. When I looked closer I could see it was one of the most recent batch of feral kittens that live in my yard and my other neighbor’s yard. There was another one cowering behind some lumber.

“Get!” I began to yell at the dogs. “Get out of here, GO HOME!” The male dog looked at me curiously: he tried to obey, then turned back to the kitten, then turned back to me, then back to the kitten. Sam, my son, stepped out of the house.

“Kiddo, go back inside,” I said. “The dogs are being very naughty and have killed a kitten. I don’t want you to see this.”

“I wanna see!” Sam said, and since he wouldn’t go back inside, I brought him along as I marched up the street to knock on my neigbhbor’s door. As we passed heir yard, i noticed another dead cat, this one full-grown, in THEIR alley, and ANOTHER dead cat in their yard.

When I knocked, a bunch of kids answered. “Could you get your mom or dad?” I asked. “The dogs are both out, and they’re eating kittens.”

“I’ll go get her,” said one, and the bunch rushed off. A little girl remained. “We went to a bwock pahty yestahday,” she said. “they had a BOUNCE!”

“Oh yeah? That must have been fun,” I replied as I waited. A few minutes later the kids came rushing out to get their dogs. As we walked back to my place, I could see two dead kittens on the sidewalk in front of my house, just bitten to shit. Along with the dead kitten up the alley, that made five dead cats in one day.

Now, if you ask me about pit bulls, i will tell you that they are some of the best dogs around. Great with kids and adults; highly trainable; smart. Many, including the two my parents owned, are great with cats: my parents’ bulls raised two abandoned kittens as if they were dogs. But some of them… not so good with the cats. That’s why I reluctantly don’t let my cats out of the house. Not here in southwest.

So that was my morning: shoveling dead kittens into a garbage can.

16 thoughts on “Morning

  1. my son was nonplussed. “that’s how life goes,” he said. “everyone’s gotta eat something!”

    I had to explain to him that people aren’t the only animals that kill for sport.

  2. And this is why I shoot dogs. If the owner thinks it’s just fine to see dead cats lying around, then surely they have no problem with dead dogs.

    Those dogs wouldn’t last a day with me as a neighbor.

  3. @anon: the owner didn’t know that’s what the dogs were up to. they got out. I’m the one who walked in on the Kingsessing Kitty Massacre. And what i should have mentioned is that when the kids came to get their dogs, one boy pointed at the dead cat in his alley and said “hey that’s our cat!”

    sad day for everyone, I guess. And as for the kittens, they were feral: they would have surely died some other way.

  4. The dogs were not killing to eat dinner, that’s why they left the dead bodies. They were killing for the sheer fun of it. And no matter how “gentle” the owners of these dogs are described, if they have already raised their boys to think of killing as fun, then it is to be expected that the boys are little hoodlums.

  5. I don’t want to argue with you, but a dog doesn’t have the same moral compass a person has. I can understand that you’re upset -and validly so, kittens bring out the cute factor everyone- but poisoning someone’s dog for the “crime” of killing a kitten that belonged to no one is a nonstarter for me. And frankly, if you did something like that and got caught, you’d probably be hit with animal cruelty charges.

  6. This really makes me angry. If you have a dog, and a pitbull at that, then you have an OBLIGATION to ensure that the dogs CANNOT get out of their own yard. It is seriously not all that difficult to escape-proof a yard, if that your goal.

    If your goal, on the other hand, is careless disregard for the lives and property of your neighbors, these you’d be kinda lackadaisical about escape-proofing your yard. These neighbors are shit.

  7. Actually, killing a dog is a $25 fine. I usually ring the bell afterwards and write them a check. With a smile, and with my glock at my side.

  8. anon, reread my post PLEASE: I never said the owners were gentle, I said the dogs themselves are gentle with kids. I know the dogs better than I know their owners. These are dogs who literally kiss my face everytime I walk by. Also, as I stated in comment #6, the dogs’ owners are also cat owners.

    anyway, i gotta do some work. done on this topic.

  9. I actually did do that once. I carefully explained that dogs are a major nuisance, and the law where I live does in fact allow dogs to be shot as soon as they leave their property line.

  10. Also, as I stated in comment #6, the dogs’ owners are also cat owners.

    Oh geeze, I bet those dogs terrify those cats in that case. Seriously, that is to be expected. When a dog thinks it’s okay to kill the neighbor’s cat, it is highly doubtful that the dog is cuddly with any cat in their own house.

  11. Jeeze I need a chill pill. But I’d still kill the dogs. And I’d make life pure shit for those neighbors. You said in your original post that the dogs were always getting out of their yard. That indicates a pattern of non-concern, a serious lack of respect for other people in the neighborhood.

  12. And what i should have mentioned is that when the kids came to get their dogs, one boy pointed at the dead cat in his alley and said “hey that’s our cat!”

    So the dogs killed the cat that LIVED WITH THEM. hello. Dogs that do this kind of thing will maul a child who lives with them. Call animal control today and tell them a dog killed a cat who was a member of it’s own household. I guarantee you Animal Control would recommend the dogs be put down, and/or no other pets or small children be in the same household as these dogs.

  13. Has Animal Control been contacted about the feral kittens/cats that frequent the alley? Surely if they are still kittens they can become adoptable once they are brought into the shelter & given a some time with humans who will feed them & accustomize them. It’s even possible for young adult ferals with some effort. This I know.

    The idea that, meh, they were feral & woulda died anyways is a blase default. Contacting AC, who is responsible to tend to such matters, is about a 5-10 minute phone call tops. No bull bait, no trash can burials. If you see anymore ferals, please be a good neighbor. kthx ~ owner of several socialized former ferals

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