"If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man but deteriorate the cat." ~ Mark Twain
I have a number of feral cats that hang around the office. All but one has been spayed/neutered and I'm working on catching the remaining one. I am way too attached to two of them, but the others (3) I take care of because they're God's creatures...and they're hungry. This is a source of ongoing tension in my office. I'm not going to stop feeding the cats. Period. My co-workers periodically whine and moan about how the cats have made the patio unpleasant. The only problem is that, when we didn't have cats, no one went out there anyway.
At the end of last week, a series of emails were sent requesting that we not spend any time on the patio because it was flea-infested and the fleas were coming in the building. They noted that the exterminator has been out 3 times recently. One of my least favorites (although it's a hard thing to quantify--I dislike most of them at about the same level) sent out his own email suggesting that it's time for us "to take a stand" against kitty proliferation. This is the same person who told me several years ago that he's taking a "personal stand against homosexuality." (Which means what? When gay men proposition you, you say no? Trust me, no gay man would want him.)
Several months ago, our next door neighbor (my office is in a mixed use area) got four puppies. One night the puppies, who were not being fed enough, crawled under the fence and broke a hole in this half-assed attempt someone had made to keep the kitties out from under the building. My fave co-worker thought we ought to cement that up. I'm not sure how that's supposed to correct the kitty problem, but whatever makes you happy, I guess.
I replied to the emails requesting that no one be out on the patio for long by pointing out that it might take me a while to get that hole effectively blocked off while we waited for the carpenter to come over the weekend and permanently close it off. There were definitely some kitties under there and at least one o'possum. I waited until I could count all of the cats and blocked up the hole. I have to tell you that, aside from not wanting the o'possum to suffer, I wouldn't be unhappy if it died under there. Preferably under the side where most of the whining and moaining originates.
Shortly after I sent out my reply email, my boss (the owner of the company) came into my office in a rage. He was sick of the whining and moaning, too. He's actually spent time on the patio and knows that there is no kitty stench out there. He noted that no one ever sits out there, anyway, except for the lone smoker in the office. As for the fleas, our next door neighbor's yard is completely infested with them. On the other side of us, there's a church (which only periodically seems to function) where the weeds grow pretty tall before they get cut. My boss , S., pointed out that maybe that's where the fleas are born, then they come to our patio. Sort of like moving into a new subdivision or something.
He sent out his own email, detailing his expectations regarding rat elimination. No food in the pantry, no food kept in offices...you get my drift. There are just some common-sense things to do if you don't want rats. The point was to just screw with the co-workers. S. also told my co-workers that he was going to catch the cats and have them euthanised. It was heavy on the sarcasm, but I'm not sure my co-workers recognized it. I've known S. for over 25 years now. I can always tell when he's appearing to take the high road while, in fact, taking the very low road.
S. told me that I could move my cat food to our other building next door. He has some other evil plans to make my co-workers sorry they even started this. The kitties are staying and I'm going to continue to feed them. As I said before, I love it when I win.