Who Put The Dead Cat On My Car?

Don’t Do This

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 car.

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, option 3.

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 intimidated.

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.

10 thoughts on “Who Put The Dead Cat On My Car?

  1. The Neighborhood Cat (NC) loved you from afar, Andrew. Your cat had bragged the good news to the Neighborhood Cat’s that he lived in the home of ‘Cat People’.

    When the day came that NC felt it was time to go he used his last breath to jump up on the hood of your car, there to rest until you found him.

    NC didn’t understand that other folks might find him first….but he wants you to know he is happy in Cat Heaven…and thanks you for being a Cat Person.

  2. Andrew, although I am sure you meet a lot of dispicable and sick people reporting the news. I like Sharon’s scenario the best. Don’t overthink tragedy, and get away from the uglines whenever you are not at work. The work you do is important, but don’t let it encompass the good in life.

  3. Hello Andrew,

    I lived in downtown Bremerton for several years in the 1980’s and was amazed at the crazy things that I saw. People walking down the street in the middle of the night with baseball bats knocking out car windows, things thrown in yards that God only knows what the thrower was thinking, and so on…

    Once a cat of mine went missing for several days, only to return covered in dry plaster. No telling what sort of adventure he’d had, or how the person responsible had done this.

    I wouldn’t take the incident too personally. As someone who receives occasional threats, including death threats, I think that it’s possible that an anonymous dead cat placement could easily have been the workings of a stupid bored youth, or a random incident, as easily as a targeted act of threat or payback.

    Monty Mahan

  4. For those who have experienced 3D blowback of this nature as a result of electronic participation, the possibility that Andrew’s experience is more of the same should serve as a cautionary tale to not only the ‘victims’, but the perpetrators. A moment of stupidity given pique can lead to more egregious consequences.

    Keep it in perspective folks.

  5. Okay…Andrew Binion has been gone long enough. Since when do reporters have long vacations?

    When will Andy be back?
    Thank you.
    Sharon O’Hara

  6. Binion here:

    I’m back. Don’t worry, I wasn’t disappeared by ninjas.

    I’m so sorry for keeping you all hanging, but I must say it’s very flattering. Thanks so much for your comments.

    Vive La Bremerton!

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