Thursday, March 10, 2011

Don't Try This At Home Either

We recently had a unique experience involving cats. It seems that a number of neighborhood cats, some possibly wild, have taken a liking to our deck, either on it or under it. They liked to get together and howl, fight, shriek and generally just make a lot of noise. In the middle of the night. Sometimes multiple times during the night. With just enough time in between for you to fall back asleep.

Don had a plan. We have some pepper spray that we keep beside our bed for protection against intruders. Don figured that these intruders might not be human nor dangerous, but they were intruders, annoying as all get-out, and perhaps could be discouraged by a friendly blast of pepper spray.  So, anytime he heard the cats on our deck, he would get up and try to sneak out onto the deck; somehow they always heard him and ran off.

One night, he succeeded. He was able to slip out onto the deck and blast the yellow tomcat who was lounging on my lounge chair and making a terrible racket. The cat took off like a rocket, ran right into the gate and then hopped onto the retaining wall. Don gave him another little blast as a parting gift. Problem solved. We went back to bed and back to sleep.

Early the next morning, before it was fully light, Don was on the deck lifting weights and as usual, got onto one of the loungers which doubles as his weight bench. Pretty soon, he became aware that the backs of his legs were burning. A lot. That was the lounger that the cat had been using. Apparently the chair was covered with pepper spray fallout. He warned me not to sit there.

Not long after that, I went in to take a shower, turned on the water, splashed water on my face and instantly my right eye was on fire! What!? There was nothing sprayed in the bathroom. Don had not been in the shower before me. What had I touched that had been pepper sprayed?

That wasn't the end of it either. All throughout the day and into the next day, we would touch something and then rub our faces or touch our lips and have instant heat. Don sat in the other lounge chair with his arms on the arm rests and soon his arms were burning. That pepper spray is powerful stuff. He also sprayed the gate at the entrance to our deck when he gave the cat the last blast, so everytime we grabbed the gate, we got a bit of the spray on us.

Don spent considerable time scrubbing on the deck trying to remove all traces of the spray, but even after that we would feel traces of it on our skin from time to time. He finally conceded that pepper spraying the cat had not worked as planned and should be avoided in the future, except for actual human intruders.

As annoying as the cat had been, I felt really sorry for him. I'm sure he had a miserable day.

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