Monday, November 15, 2010

When cats go postal, part 3: Taking action

Last week, this blog's hard-hitting investigative journalism blew the lid off of the secret epidemic of cats attacking the mailman. As is so often the case, we found that the animals weren't the only issue: Rather than reacting appropriately to this feline violence, many owners simply refuse to admit there is a problem.

Fortunately, a few attack-cat owners are better role models. Dipity's owner took the news with resignation when she got a letter threatening to suspend her delivery service. She was surprised - "You hear about guard dogs injuring postmen all the time - but not cats," she said - but could not deny the truth:
I can't say I blame them for threatening to cut me off. I love Dipity to bits - she's adorable - but I'd be the first to admit she's a little terror. All she wants to do is pick fights. When I took her to be neutered she tried to gouge lumps out of the vet and was hissing at all the dogs.

But if you really want to see how this sort of thing should be done, there's the owner of Blackie, a cat who counted at least five postmen, one police officer, five paper boys, one takeaway driver and one construction worker as his victims. After one gory attack on a mailman, she finally took responsibility:

At the door to Ann Hogben's home in Ramsgate, Kent, is a newly erected sign which simply reads: "Warning: Dangerous Cat - Has attacked 13 people in the last six years."

The turning point came in the last few weeks when Blackie attacked a postman as he pushed envelopes through her letter box. Unaware of what lurked behind the door his latest victim was left with a series of open wounds.

"I came home and Blackie was sitting there like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, but I knew something was wrong because he had blood on his claws."

Ms. Hogben insists that with her, Blackie is as cuddly as can be, but she acknowledges that he has "problems with people in uniform" and "authority issues."

She's not just posting the warning sign and expecting people to defend themselves, either: from that point on, she promised, she'd be locking Blackie in another room whenever there is a knock at the door. I feel we have to ask the owners of Boo and Magic and Georgi and all the others: Is that so hard?

Don't mess with the cat on the mailbox in that photo by Flickr user cindy47452.

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