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John Howell Column

John Howell Sr.

Damncats abound on Eureka and Laurel Streets, all clawed

The damncat count at Annie-Glenn’s Bed and Breakfast is upteem. We’ve managed to neuter three or four — Blue Boy, Buttermilk and Midnight are the three I can recall. When they get to the vet they get names. It seems like the toms have been the only damncats dumb enough lately to get themselves caught in the trap.

And at the rate damncats have been multiplying, we’re falling behind.

The pace of neutering on Laurel Street has also fallen woefully behind the pace of feline fertility.

My wiseacre brother-in-law from Hattiesburg came to the conclusion that because numerous damncats are a problem in both Batesville and New Orleans and because I am the main connection between the houses in those two places, I must be the cause of the problem.

I deny that with emphasis.

Meanwhile, our daughter has come from Milwaukee for a visit where she has her own damncat problems. She and her husband, Phil, share their apartment with two damncats. The apartment management has a rule and an extra fee for everything. Damncats are permitted, for instance, for an extra deposit. And they must be declawed.

Mary has pretty strong feelings about declawing damncats: It’s just not done. It’s an inhumane, partial amputation.

But she got one anyway — a declawed damncat that was about to be discarded by a friend who had to move and couldn’t take the creature. The declawed damncat came with vet papers certifying the surgery that removed the claws from its front paws, a document required by the apartment management.

Then they took in a stray. With claws, of course. Since they’re determined not to declaw the critter, they keep it hidden. That means that whenever they need routine maintenance in their apartment, they have to hide the outlaw damncat from the maintenance man whose job description includes tattling to the management. Thus far they’ve been successful.

Meanwhile having one damncat with claws and one without has not created an imbalance of power within the apartment. The declawed damncat got there first. That makes him first damncat.