To the person who put a dead cat on the hood of my car, I would
like to say: that’s a big 10-4.
For whatever it is that I have done to upset you I am sorry, and
I promise never to do it again.
For those who didn’t put a dead cat on the hood of my car, allow
me to explain.
About a couple months ago, while checking voice mail on my cell
phone, something I hate to do, I received a message from a
Bremerton police office. He said he was calling about my car. I
figured it was because I had parked in front of the house next
door, which was having work done.
The officer that left the message wasn’t at work when I got the
message, a couple days late, so another officer checked for a
report on the incident. Not finding any, I figured the matter was
settled, and went back to neglecting cell phone messages.
A couple weeks ago, while stopping by the department to read
reports, I ran into the officer who left the message. I asked him
why he had called.
“Oh, there was a dead cat on the hood of your car.”
Apparently someone had called 911 to report it. An officer
responded. Sure enough, there it was, a dead cat.
The officer tried to call me, and left a message. What else is
there to do? He got rid of the cat.
Thinking back, I remember seeing something resembling blood and
hair on the hood of my car a month or so ago. The lesson here is:
be more curious when you find blood and hair on the hood of your
I’m glad I didn’t see the cat, poor kitty. I love cats. Our
elderly black cat, Hank, has lost a lot of weight recently. It has
us worried. I can only imagine how the person felt when their kitty
didn’t come home. To tell you the truth, I don’t want to know.
I’ve been thinking about it – it’s become something of a pastime
for me – and I have sketched three possible scenarios for how and
why this happened:
1 – The cat was struck by a car, flew into the air and landed on
my hood, dead.
2 – The cat was in the area and had been struck by a car, or
otherwise was killed, and placed on the hood of my car by punk
kids. This sounds gruesome, as it requires touching the dead
animal. In fairness, it’s something I might have done at 11 years
old, thinking I was really going to blow somebody’s mind.
3 – The cat was somehow dispatched and intentionally placed on
the hood of my car as an intimidating message, a shot across the
bow, a la the horse head in the Godfather. Granted, waking up to
your beloved horse’s head separated from its body is a whole other
level above finding a strange cat dead on your hood. It’s sort of a
poor man’s intimidation, perhaps revealing something about my
stalker’s work ethic.
I’ve discussed the “incident,” also known as the
“unpleasantness” with a few people, including a lawyer friend, who
all agreed the least likely scenario is the intimidating message,
I’ll admit, my friends and legal counsel are probably right.
However, what all these Panglosses fail to
realize is that option 3 is clearly the most spine-tingling.
Who knows how many enemies I’ve made after four years as a
reporter? I’ve covered all the high-profile, hot-button issues,
from revealing the truth about the elves that lie ready beneath
Bremerton to defend the city against sea monsters, to wondering
aloud if one corporate fast-food joint was enough for downtown
Bremerton. That’s a lot of toes to step on.
And let’s not forget my juvenile critiques of every other writer
who dare pen a word about the city I cover. I know first hand what
it feels like to have someone take a swipe at you, and the
bitterness that oozes from a wounded ego. Writers aren’t to be
trifled with, and we all know how effective they are at
accomplishing things and keeping secrets.
One of the problems with choosing to believe option 3, and
further buttress my suspicion that everyone is out to get me, is
how long it took for me to realize that I was being
I can imagine my intimidator, sitting at home, waiting to hear
word that I had changed my ways, worrying about the delay.
Meanwhile, I’m out performing my usual player-hating shenanigans, a
regular Good Time Charlie, as dad might say. Perhaps my
obliviousness caused them to have second thoughts about their
hobbies, and possibly doubt their competence and self worth.
If so, then I am sorry. It’s not your fault, intimidator, it’s
mine. I should check my messages more promptly.
It’s extremely rare for American journalists to be murdered
while doing their jobs, however, there are many places in our wide
world of print where journalists are threatened, imprisoned and
sometimes killed under mysterious circumstances. I wouldn’t want to
name any names.* I’ve been told in some countries journalists are
revered for their courage. That isn’t the case here in the U.S.,
and that’s a good thing. A really good thing, if you ask me. But as
I said before, I vow from this day forward to stop doing whatever
it is that made you put a dead cat on the hood of my car, whatever
that may be. Sorry I’m late.
*Namely, China and Russia.