Cat Scratch Fever


My 80-year-old neighbor lady uses her walker to take out the trash two or three times a day. She is a bit forgetful, and told me several times how she learned to drive a truck on the farm when she was 14 years old. Last night she ripped me a new one.

As she was scooting the tennis balls on the bottom of her walker past my door, she saw me petting one of the neighborhood feral cats. She was not happy.


She is way too polite to come right out and say anything, but I gathered she had a problem with the cats. And when I asked her, she said yes. She said they try to come in so she has to squirt them with a spray bottle if they come too close.

She cooks every meal, and she doesn’t use air conditioning because she says she can’t afford it, so her windows are always open. I’m sure every critter in the neighborhood is smelling what she is cooking. So I asked her if there is anything I can do to help the situation. She looked at the cats lined up at my open front door and said, “keep your damn cats inside.”


I assured her that these cats were born and lived under a trash bin and belonged to noone. Yes, I am guilty of feeding them, just like half of the people in the neighborhood. The Dutch girls have pretty much adopted and tamed them, so I feed them milk or treats every once in a while.

But she wanted me to get rid of these damn cats because they have germs, germs! She told me to catch them and take them away. I told her that it took me 2 1/2 months before I could even touch them, so catching them was out of the question. By now she was really pissed and was calling me “Sir” like she was swearing. “Sir, if those cats kill people you will be liable,” She knows because they had feral cats on the farm and those cats will kill you!

And with all the energy left in an 80-year-old woman she lifted one hand from the handle of her walker high into the air, and like a preacher pounding the pulpit and with tears in her eyes said, “cats are poisonous! ”


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