Rescue Cats & Other Adventures
cat lady, 5-13-15

The Serious Stuff, Part 2

Part two of the house across the street drama unfolded unexpectedly on Wednesday afternoon. I had wondered if there would be any follow up after the three cats were removed the previous Saturday. I worried that maybe they hadn’t seen or been able to trap any other cats inside the house.

Well, that is no longer a worry.

First three Animal Services van showed up. They started taking pictures and making notes around the outside of the house. Being that kind of person, I waited a few minutes and then went over there to tell them that most of the outside cats were nipped, and that I was looking for a litter of kittens by a new mommy. We talked about the situation for a few minutes, then I walked back to the house, and got intercepted by my other neighbor wanting to know what was going on.

While we stood in the street talking, a code enforcement car showed up, followed by a marked police car which parked on the corner with lights on. Then another police car.

The Animal Services office told me the circus was about to arrive, and she wasn’t lying. They were waiting on legal clearance to enter the house to collect evidence of animal neglect (hence the police). Code enforcement had to be there to support the abandoned building claim. But then the code enforcement office went nanners when she saw the place. (Purely selfish glee on my part since twice code complaints about the house had been brushed under the rug.)

In order for anyone to go inside, they needed to turn the power on again. And in order to do that they needed a fire truck on had in case something went bad once the power was turned on. In the mean time, the people poking around and looking in the windows started to get a sense that this was a bad situation, and they started bringing in people with a higher pay grade to get involved. This was going to be messy. And everyone so far had a really sick look on their faces.

Fire trucks showed up and got sent back because now they realized they needed guys in hazmat fire suits to enter the building because of the condition of it. The power kicked on unexpectedly before the fire trucks arrived though. And people were unofficially poking their heads inside the house, chomping at the bit to get the nightmare over with.

The Cox cable sales lady happened to show up and we stood in my driveway watching the fire department and police folks struggle with getting into the house. Fortunately I have a cold and can’t smell anything, but the Cox lady cold, and she reeled when they opened the house door and the wind whipped the stench through the neighborhood. I don’t know why, but even though there were flashlights moving about in the house, they had the fire guys bring a battering bar around and break in the front door locks too.

And then the clouds started to build up for rain we’ve been waiting days for. The utility company sent out trucks, and then bigger trucks with huge arms. And more city cars showed up. More cops. More code enforcement. The GRU guys pulled one of the giant trucks up into the side yard and sent a guy way up in the arm to do something to the main power lines right about the time the storm broke and it started to rain. At this point people started to clear out and wrap things up. And then like magic everyone was gone and the thing was done.

All in all there were four different Animal Service vans and trucks, two code enforcement cars, four other generic city cars and trucks, three marked cop cars, two unmarked cop cars, two huge fire trucks, three GRU trucks, and two enormous utility trucks with giant arms.

Although I saw ACAS officers preparing humane cat traps, I did not see any traps being removed with cats in them. From the conversations I had with them, any animals inside at that point were dead. I didn’t ask, but again, everyone in and out of there looked disturbed. Rumor from code enforcement is that the building will likely be condemned. Throughout it all, I don’t think anyone was able to locate or contact the home owner but I suspect they are trying very hard.

This is not how I would have liked to resolve this. I feel like I should have been a better person and pushed harder to end this before it got to this point. I’ve been trapping as many cats as I can for three years and putting them through Operation Catnip (our fabulous TNR program). I have pulled seven litters of kittens out of the neighborhood and put them on better paths. I watch over my cat colony the best I can. And three cats were taken out of that house alive.

And the heartbreaking part beyond the animals is that this isn’t about a malicious person doing terrible things on purpose. This is likely someone unable to cope, getting way over her head, and not having a way to get out. As much as I hate what happened over there, I cannot hate the person, because she is obviously not whole and healthy.

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