When we last met, we learned that Romeo, aka Jerkface, has been serial killing the flora and fauna of the neighborhood. Okay, maybe not the flora, although I do think I’ve seen him chewing on grass here and there and one time he chewed on my aloe plant, the jerk.
In my distress at the bird genocide in our neighborhood by my cat, I scoured the internet for a solution. The seemingly obvious fix, a bell to warn the birds that kitty is approaching, turns out not to work so well. They’ve done studies on it and bells don’t actually reduce the carnage by much, if at all. Apparently cats learn to walk more steathily to keep the bell from ringing. Imagine that, a stealthy cat.
But not to be discouraged, I kept tippity tapping away through the world wide web and came across the Cat Bib. I’m not sure it’s a miracle cure, but it’s supposed to keep savage kitty beasts from making the killing pounce when stalking, giving the bird time to get away and thus lowering the body count.
The Cat Bib is also ridiculous looking. It’s a long, neoprene bib that attaches to the cat’s collar and makes it look like he’s perpetually and politely waiting for dinner. Romeo IS perpetually waiting for dinner, but never politely, that I can guarantee.
Supposedly if it’s worn long enough, it causes the cat to have less confidence in it’s hunting skills, so eventually, even without the bib, kitty will think, “why bother, I’m awful at this.” I was totally on board with this idea. Jerkface would wear the bib and not be able to catch anything, causing him to have low self esteem until finally he would give up, take up drinking and sit around in his underwear, playing video games. And darn it, if demoralizing my cat in order to keep him from killing is what I had to do, then it’s what I had to do.
At first when I put it on him it was hilarious, because, yeah, he looked ridiculous. And although I felt bad that he seemed a little unhappy in it, I secretly hoped that his newly awkward gait would cause him to just stay put in our yard.
Pipe dream. Less than 5 minutes after going outside, there he was, perched on our fence and jumping over, Cat Bib loud and proud for all to see. As I watched him stumble and sway along the sidewalk in his weird bib, I started having second thoughts. When he looked up at me with his big blue eyes and rubbed on my leg as though asking for help, I had third, fourth and fifth thoughts.
Michael and I both also worried that he’d get the bib tangled and not be able to escape, even though the bib web site said this is virtually impossible with a safety collar. If any cat could find a way to do it, it would be Jerkface. And, yes, I felt bad for hurting his self esteem. I know…I’m one of ‘those’ parents.
Soooo, an hour after I put it on him, I took it back off. It’s not likely going back on, which means…sob…I’m back to the drawing board on a solution to my roaming serial killer.