A duct-taped cat deserves better—but not better than a dog 

The week before last, a young North Philadelphia cat found herself all wrapped up in duct tape, tail to ears. Clearly, the taping was the work of evildoers. That pussycat didn't duct-tape herself.I've never seen a cat totally wrapped like a mummy before," said George Bengal, director of investigations for the Pennsylvania SPCA. When I read about this, I was appropriately outraged and wished I could do something for the Philly kitty. But given the 700-mile gap between my house and the victim, the best I could do was find pictures of the taped cat on the Internet, and hope I'd be able to tell folks that she was OK.

Fellow animal lovers and fanciers, you can breathe easy. The cat wasn't injured. She was more like quizzical, and was in the processing of escaping her silver bonds when she was discovered, and rescued, in a citizen's yard. The poor cat couldn't get up and walk, but she could breathe just fine.

Heaven help me, as I read about the cat's plight and saw the pictures of her in bondage, all I could think of was Sissy Spacek's character in Crimes of the Heart, who tried to hang herself from a chandelier. Only the chandelier crashed from the ceiling, and she had to drag it around behind her as she descended a stair. "I'm having a real bad day," she said.

Now, back to the cat, who had a worse day.

Don't you know, the cat's rescuers named her "Sticky." Good folks from the local SPCA carefully cut Sticky out of her duct-tape bodysuit, and she perked right up. The bodysuit, when turned inside-out, looked pretty much like a cat with a little negative space thrown in for interest. Or if you want to conjure another image: Iron Cat.

Sticky's situation forces me to make a confession. I have duct-taped the Jowers cat, Sassy, dozens if not hundreds of times. Understand, I haven't immobilized or mummy-wrapped Sassy, and I haven't tossed her out on the lawn and left her to Houdini her way out of a duct-tape corset. I have torn off long sheets of duct tape, draped them over Sassy, and, with a few gentle pulls captured thousands of cat hairs that would've ended up on my clothes, my furniture, my floor, my wife, my daughter and who knows what else.

Believe it or not, Sassy digs the duct tape. She enjoys nothing more than an enthusiastic tape job before bedtime, and a follow-up massage with the big lint roller.

If a handful of cat hair were worth a nickel, I'd be a billionaire. And if cat barf could be turned into jet fuel, Sassy would own all of the domestic airlines.

Now don't get me wrong. I love my cat. Well, I don't hate my cat... I pretty much tolerate my cat and try to keep her messes confined to duct tape, lint rollers, dish towels and her own stinky catbox. Let me put it this way: If Sassy were trapped in a burning cathouse, I would definitely shoot some fire-extinguisher juice through the door and call, "kitty, kitty, kitty." That won't happen, though, because Sassy spends 90 percent of her day sleeping on the sofa, and she's not going to risk going outside. That's where all the unleashed dogs are. Sassy, who had no front claws when I got her, wouldn't be able to fight off a chipmunk.

I don't support the notion of mistreating cats, and I especially don't support the notion of treating cats unusually well, by which I mean better than dogs. Last time I checked, there was a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who stuck Sticky. Surely, there's got to be a faithful and deserving dog who could use that money.

You people who would mistreat an animal—and you know who you are—need to make some serious adjustments. For instance, if you've just got to mistreat a living thing, limit your actions to mistreating bugs. Start with squashing mosquitoes and work down to digging up cicada grubs so the robins can eat 'em. Go ahead and step on roaches, and deploy glue traps to ensnare the black widows and brown recluse spiders. Be sure to keep your hands off anything that has a face or fur. If you keep snakes, don't keep mice. If you keep mice, don't keep snakes.

And finally, this: Be nice to turtles. It's one evil sumbitch who'd hurt a turtle.

Email editor@nashvillescene.com

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