During a late afternoon walk around the neighborhood, I passed by a house where three or four children (in the eight to ten-year age range) were playing in their front yard.
Maybe at this point I should highlight the fact that I live in a SoCal beach town; solid middle-class, lots of healthy living, outdoor activities, and for the past thirty-plus years, it’s been relatively crime-free.
I’m still troubled by what I witnessed.
I wasn’t paying too much attention to the children until I heard one of the boys say, “The cat, do the cat!” and I saw a black and white cat running to hide in a stand of low growing bushes near the sidewalk.
I heard a popping sound at the same exact time I saw another little
shit boy with a plastic gun-type thing pointing it at the cat. Whatever little plastic thingy that was shot out of the gun actually hit the cat, who yelped and ran in a different direction.
What made this abuse even more egregious to me was that the little
shits boys LAUGHED.
Harming an animal on purpose was a source of amusement.
WTF is wrong with people?
Never one to ignore bad behavior or shy away from standing up for animal rights, I turned to the two laughing and gawking little
shits boys (the girls had run off at this point) and stated, “You just shot at the cat. I saw you.”
Pretend you are saying those words with the scariest, meanest tone in your voice that you could possibly conjure up. Add a frown, squint your eyes, and you come up with a fair approximation of ME at that moment. I wasn’t referred to as “Mommy Monster” for nothing…
One of the boys ( the blame shifter) quickly pointed to the other boy and said, “I didn’t do it, he did”as he showed us all HIS true colors. Then he too ran away before I followed HIM home because he’s the one who set up his friend to shoot at the poor kitty.
I said to the future sociopath, “Is that your cat?” He nodded. “Do you live here?” He nodded.
“Go in the house RIGHT NOW and come back with your mother or father.”
“Harming an animal is NOT acceptable. What you did was NOT OK.”
The little future Jeffrey Dahmer went in the house and a few minutes later a man reluctantly opened the door a crack and peered out.
I introduced myself and told him what I witnessed. I explained to him that I loved animals, I’m an animal activist, and hoped he would appreciate the serious nature of what his son had done. He said he would discipline his child and let him know what he did was wrong. I explained to him that in my opinion, he should take away the gun because it’s obvious his son didn’t have respect for animals and should not be allowed to hurt another one.
That’s when it got ugly, guys.
big shit dad told me that he didn’t need my help raising his children, and I responded by saying that it’s clear to me that he wasn’t doing a very good job if his son thought it was funny to hurt a cat. He then informed me in a snotty tone not to raise my voice (I was not raising my voice at all, but that’s something stupid people say to shift the conversation away from the actual content) AND he would raise his children HIS way and I should raise mine MY way and GET OFF HIS PROPERTY.
Since I NEVER miss an opportunity to not-so-humblebrag about my Angel Boy, I pointed to my t-shirt which said “Somebody at Yale LOVES You” as I proudly proclaimed, “I DID my good job, that’s why my son has a Ph.D. from Yale”, and as I sauntered down his driveway, I turned to him and said I might call the police because animal abuse by children could be a red flag sign of future sociopathic crime. He got in the last word by yelling, “Go ahead and call the police!”
I’m drinking a glass of wine now, wondering if I actually should call the po-po to reinforce the concept that abuse of any animal for any reason is horrible behavior and should not be tolerated. There is a very real correlation between children who harm animals and those who commit more serious crimes later in life.
What do you think I should do? And how was YOUR Monday?
This distressing incident made me think of my darling Bandit. I miss her every day.*Sniff*
How could anyone hurt an innocent creature?