Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Missing Cat Questionnaire

Recently one of our delinquents (Tweak, of course) decided to spend a week on the lam (she's back safely now, the little twit). In the process of looking for her, posting ads, etc., I came across an excellent group that assists with missing cats. They sent along a questionnaire that, while well-intentioned, seems a tad aggressive. I will not try to reproduce the whole thing here since it is several pages long, but it seems to me that it may be a bit over-inclusive. Some sample questions:

13. Do you live in an area where there are coyotes, fox, bobcats, owls or hawks? (if you do not know have you called your local state Fish & Game department and Animal Control to ask?)
14. Have you seen or heard the above wildlife in your area? If so, when and where?
15. In your search for your cat, did you come across any tufts of cat fur?
16. Did your cat disappear at dusk, dawn, or in the middle of the night?
This suggests a rather alarming sequence of events. For people with a hysterical disposition, these questions might cause them have to lie down.
19. Is this a solid black cat?
20. Are you aware of any occult activity in your immediate area?
Ok. Yikes.

22. Are there any known cultures in your area known to consume cats (Korean, Chinese)?
This seems... culturally insensitive, at the very least. But if you are not sufficiently alarmed, let's consider your neighbors:
26. Are there any suspected "cat haters" in your neighborhood? Has anyone complained about your cat? Are there any neighbors who are obsessed with their lawns, cars, or gardens that do not like cats going in their yard?
27. Any known "dog fighting dogs" i.e. skuzzy looking/acting gang-like neighbors with pit bulls?
28. Is there or was there at any time an abundance of loose cats in the area?
29. Have cats been seen but suddenly they have all vanished from the area?

Wow. Whoever came up with these questions certainly has a vivid imagination. On the one hand, they are certainly covering all bases. On the other, sensitive souls filling out this questionnaire are now sobbing into a Kleenex and/or taking slugs directly from the Wild Turkey bottle.

Finally, there's this:

31. Do you have any neighborhood children who fit the following profile -- Caucasian male, age 10 to 17, introvert (loner) with a suspected history of cruelty to other kids, animals, bed wetting behavior, and/or fire setting?
I don't know any of my neighbors well enough to answer at least part of that question, and for the life of my I can't figure out figure out how to raise it in casual conversation ("How's Joey doing in high school this year? Isn't he a sophomore? Speaking of bedwetting..."). Secondly, if you DO have a neighbor who meets these criteria, you have a much bigger problem on your hands than a missing cat. Seriously. Lock your doors.

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