Guess where I ended up a couple weeks ago?
I found myself in a police station – a most unfamiliar locale to me (I’m happy to say). And I bet I know what you’re thinking:
a) What did she do?
b) Who did she do it to?
c) Is she writing this while out on bail?Now, let’s not jump to conclusions. It’s not like you to assume the worst about me. Let me explain…
Being an animal advocate, I’ll do just about anything to protect them from harmful hands. In fact, I’ve always felt it would be an honor to get arrested for exactly that purpose.I’ll leave it to your imagination as to how I get myself incarcerated. But I can tell you, no furrowed brow will adorn my booking mug shot. Instead, I’ll flash my pearly whites, proud that I exercised my moral responsibility in protecting voiceless, sentient beings.
Truth be told, it’s on my bucket list. GET ARRESTED sits at #12, directly after VISIT AUSTRALIA.Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not looking for trouble. It just seems to find me. You see, I’m in the cat rescue business, meaning our nonprofit helps trap feral community cats for spay/neuter. So sometimes we encounter those who don’t like felines much. When that happens, things get interesting.I’ve been threatened more times than Joan Rivers has had face lifts. But being 5’3”, I’m not much of a challenge to those who don’t like what I do. So I have pepper spray. God help me if I ever have to use it, as I’m pretty certain I’d end up squirting myself. Not to worry; I usually forget and leave it in the car anyway.That reminds me. I definitely need to take a self-defense class for when I’m approached by cat-hating people. These folks tend to be nocturnal, just like ferals, so our encounters are usually on moonless nights in remote areas. (I’ll have you know the boogeyman exists.)For example, a guy once poisoned some of our colony cats and he came at me when I called the police. I suspect he thought I’d back down from his lame attempt at intimidation. Stupidly, I didn’t.
Instead, I got up on my tiptoes, close to his face, and told him what I thought of his cowardly act. I was crazy mad, unrecognizable to myself. Lucky for me, he backed off. Adrenalin is an empowering hormone, wouldn’t you say?Still, my luck is bound to run out one of these days, even with self-defense training. So I keep a reconstructive dentist and a plastic surgeon on speed dial. Not really. But that’s not a bad idea. I should look into that…Anyway, a couple weeks ago a homeless, mentally ill man (with, as it turns out, a criminal history) found one of our traps in a gully. We’ve been attempting to catch a lost domestic cat that was spotted on our hidden motion-sensor camera. That’s how we discovered the man snatched our metal trap.
The next day we locked another trap to a tree, but he smashed that one like it was Styrofoam.
Then he removed our ID from the trap and sent us a rambling, threatening email basically saying if we didn’t stop “hurting” the cats we’ll end up in comas, among other things. He then listed people who have “suffered his wrath.”
So that’s how I found myself at the police station – to get his threats on record, just in case. I don’t plan to find out what the just in case is. Turns out not long ago he threatened to shoot an officer so he was court ordered to have a psychological evaluation, take medication and regularly see a parole officer – none of which he’s done.
These are simply some of the hazards we encounter in animal rescue when people don’t like what we do. Some folks are completely misinformed, some are mentally unstable and others are just plain mean. The animals are the easy part. Our difficulty is in dealing with humans.
Therefore, I’d say it’s only a matter of time before #12 gets checked off my bucket list.
Originally posted in January, 2014
Love this post and the work you do!!