A housecat has been sentenced to house arrest following a reign of terror that included attacking the local Avon lady (must have been the Skin-So-Soft). The judge’s options included euthanasia (for the cat, not the Avon lady), exile or being kept indoors, with repercussions for both the cat and its owner if the terms are violated.
“There are no exceptions. None,” said Judge Patrick Carroll, who also granted accelerated rehabilitation to Lewis’ owner, Ruth Cisero. That means her record will be expunged if she successfully completes two years of probation.
Cisero had faced a charge of reckless endangerment because neighbors complained that the cat’s long claws and stealth have allowed it to attack at least a half-dozen people and ambush the Avon lady as she was getting out of her car.
Cisero had fought to keep Lewis alive and in Connecticut. She rejected a previous offer of accelerated rehabilitation if she agreed to euthanize Lewis.
Carroll said Lewis cannot leave the house, even if he gets out accidentally. He said the case is not about a cat, but about people having the right to live in safety in their neighborhoods.
The case drew national attention. Lewis has appeared in People magazine and his own page on the social networking site MySpace.com.
It all sounds a bit like our own cat, which has been known to show an antisocial side. Once he even sunk four teeth into the young Mall Diva’s cheek and then got to explore his aerodynamic capabilities as I “cat”-a-pulted him out of the kitchen door. Fortunately for him, the door was open at the time, though I don’t think that was something I consciously took into account.
Another time when the girls were young he thought it would be amusing to lurk under a chair by the hallway to the bedrooms and then run out and slash at ankles. First the youngest toddled down the hall to bed: pounce/slash/tears. A bit later the eldest daughter went the same direction. Same result. Later still my wife made her way down the hall: pounce/slash/”you stupid cat!”
I couldn’t believe his tenacity and attention span. When it came time for me to retire I started down the corridor of death, with my ears open. When I heard the telltale rush of little feet I turned quickly, crouched, spread my arms and shouted, “WHAT?!”
I swear, it was like a cartoon as the cat slammed on the front brakes while the rest of his body accordioned into his displaceable collarbones. Then he tried to act all innocent while taking a keen interest in a piece of fuzz on the rug. Yeah, right. I knew he had blood on his claws.
Anyway, I wish the woman with the sociopathic cat a lot of luck in keeping him indoors. We keep our cat (cats, when we had two of them) indoors and he/they were always trying to convince strangers that came to the house that they were, indeed, outdoor cats, and if the visitor would just kindly step out of the way, they had a pressing engagement. They once successfully conned the Schwann’s man in this way, but the joke was on them.
That afternoon the temperature was about -20 F windchill. Not only that, but we didn’t realize that they were outside. It was not until about two hours later when we realized we hadn’t seen the guys for awhile, and when I thought I heard something a bit higher-pitched than the winter wind outside the front door. I opened up and there were two cat-sicles most definitely interested in coming in, though they moved a bit like the Tin Woodsman without his 40-weight. After they’d had a couple of minutes to warm up, one of the cats hauled off and took a whack at the other one, as if to say, “I told you that was a stupid idea!”
One of the cats has since gone to the Big Sleep (but not for capital punishment purposes) but the remaining one still tries to make his escape whenever possible, though I think it’s more like a game. The last time he got out I happened to look outside and saw him standing at the end of the sidewalk to our driveway. I matter-of-factly opened the front door and said, “Get your butt in here.” To my utter amazement, that’s exactly what he did, trotting in right past my feet like an obedient beagle.
It’s not clear from the story whether or not the cat in the headline will be euthanized if he gets out, but one option is moving him to an animal home out in Nevada where the nearest neighbor is four miles away. That neighbor, however, is a guy after my own heart.
… Victor Sandonato said he has already been warned that Lewis might be moving to his neighborhood.
“I live with a cat just like Lewis, and I live with danger every time I go home at night,” he said, adding, “I’m from South Jersey, so I don’t take any crap from a cat.”