We have a local Google Group here in Greenwood, MS, which was established a few months back, to serve as sort of a “neighborhood watch”, wherein folks who were interested in neighborhood safety could join and view posts that members could share with the group concerning suspicious activity such as young thugs cruising down the streets and alleys, snooping around for potential fodder for the local pawn shops, One had even been so bold as to walk into a young couples house in the morning, broad daylight to check out the selection of electronics. Fortunately the young husband happened to be at home, and standing within arms reach of his deer rifle, when the ne’er-do-well walked in. The crook escaped without being shot, and thus the genesis of the Google Group. During the first couple of months, the group was well used as originally intended, with many reports posted of suspicious cars, with descriptions, where they were seen, even some tag numbers reported. Many locals had joined the group and it was fairly busy.
However, soon the participants began to use the group to post stories of missing or lost dogs, either of unknown whereabouts, or having shown up at a neighbors house. And the occasional cat as well, although cats are much more independent, and don’t really need anyone’s meddling help, thank you very much. Soon the lost dog posts far outweighed the snooping thugs reports. Therefore I took it upon myself to post a simple question asking if perhaps there was another Group that focused solely on neighborhood watch activity of the home break-in/burglary type. I was quickly informed to pretty much mind my own business, that the current Group liked to see all the animal reports. So……. leaning to the lighter side in an effort to make my point, in the least offensive way possible, I penned this post below to report both an incident of neighborhood surveillance by a suspected criminal element, as well as a simultaneous missing dog, AND a cat, and even a couple of pet raccoons, hoping to pique the interest of ALL the Group members, while offending none. Submitted below ……….
I happened to look out my back door window a little while ago and I noticed a small silver car driving down the alley, really slow, with two suspicious young dudes, slowly checking out all the back yards and garages, like they were maybe looking for stuff to come back and steal later on. I couldn’t see the tag number. This was in the alley between E Harding and E Cleveland, about 10:15 AM this morning (Thursday, May 12). When they got to the end of the alley, they turned around, and came back down the same alley. They would stop at almost every driveway and look for a couple of minutes.
Before they got all the way back to Poplar Street I saw this dog come wandering down Poplar Street like it was lost. It was too far away to tell what kind it was, maybe a Heinz 57 mix, but I think it had some Pit bull mixed in. He looked like he was kinda starving, I could see lots of ribs and his hipbones sticking up. I couldn’t be sure if he had a collar or not, but I don’t think he did. Either way, he was just out on the street, no one was walking him on a leash. Isn’t there a leash law still in effect in Greenwood? Anyway this dog decided he would plop down right in Poplar street where the alley comes out, that the two suspected young hood rats were about to come out, to attend to some licking that needed attending to (the dog, not the suspected young hood rats). I guess its a good thing that they were going slow, so they didn’t run over the dog lying in their way. While they were all sitting there, almost in front of Johnny Freeman’s house, waiting to see which one was gonna blink first, this big old yellow tomcat comes waltzing down the alley, kinda right up behind the little silver car with no tag number containing the two young suspected burglars (actually the tomcat was more like strolling along, (well, make that sauntering, sorta like a really slow motion pimp walk), so he really couldn’t see the dog who was now fully engaged in his licking regimen.
Just about the time the cat drew even with the front tire of the silver car, the driver decided it was time to get out of the alley, so he tooted his horn at the dog, unaware of the cat. This spurred the cat to scoot out quickly a few steps in front of the car, until he spied the dog, at the same time the dog looked up towards the source of the horn, and the presence of the cat, who now found himself on the “horns” of a dilemma (sorry). That’s when the fireworks started. The dog jumped up from what he had been doing and lunged for what he thought would be his next meal, at the same time the cat leaped straight up in the air about 3 feet. You know how those cats do on YouTube when their owners sneak up and put a big cucumber behind them while they are eating from their bowl? I guess they think it’s a snake or something, but it’s just like a firecracker going off under them. Anyway the tomcat (which was a pretty good size cat, maybe 20 pounds) soon came under the influence of the law of gravity and having reached his apogee (or is it perigee? whatever), he began his descent into the general vicinity of the dog’s mouth. However this was not the cat’s first rodeo, and he managed to plant his two front paws full of claws into the dogs nose, and he wasn’t inclined to let go anytime soon. The dog realized his mistake, and quickly beat a hasty retreat back towards Johnny Freeman’s front yard, trailing the still firmly attached cat, who had now managed to get his hind claws into play as well, and was now ready to ride this bull. The combatants narrowly missed being squished flat by a City of Greenwood pickup, bearing one of those City of Greenwood logos that looks like they stole it from Obama’s first election campaign, but were too cheap to do it in full color…. you’ve seen those, right? Probably David Jordan’s idea.
Well, anyway, while all this commotion was going on, I thought, ” Surely the suspected crooks are too distracted by the fight going on in front of them, maybe I have time to run in the next room and get my Browning Hi-Power 9 mm and come back and send a few rounds downrange, maybe cause them to rethink their life of crime. But then I realized they weren’t actually ON my property, and I might really get in trouble with the po-po, so I just stayed there, hoping they would pull out and give me a glimpse of their tag number. Unfortunately, I suppose they had a few more alleys and garages to check out in the neighborhood, and they turned north on Poplar, not south towards the safety of the Westside. By the time they had disappeared, the dog and cat show had reached a standoff, with the dog holding a safe distance from the cat, and trying to decide if he was really that hungry, and the cat thinking, “Do ya feel lucky? Well, DO YA, PUNK?” The dog selected discretion as the better part of valor, and retired to live to fight another day, with frequent glances over his back to make sure he wasn’t being followed. I hope someone will be on the lookout for this poor mutt, he really needs a meal, and some foster care, maybe even some stitches on his nose and some band-aids, until his owner can be found.
Oh, and one more thing. I want to give fair coverage to ALL animals, not just the dogs and cats. We have been plagued with a raccoon getting on our back porch and eating the cat’s food (not the same cat as above). I finally borrowed one of those metal traps (now please don’t start in on me about being cruel to the poor coon, it was one of those HUMANE type boxes with the trap door that springs shut when the coon starts in on the bait. Hot dogs slathered with peanut butter seem to work well). I should mention here, you are aware that coons are pretty clever, correct? It took me almost a week to catch the pesky critter, and lo and behold when I went out to inspect the interloper, it was twins! Not babies, but not grown either. “Teenage” coons, or the equivalent thereof. So now the final question: Who wants ’em? Surely there are a number of you SPCA or PETA types out there who would love a pair of pet coons. I wouldn’t dream of killing them, but I do need to turn them loose if no one wants the adorable little things. You’ll have to do your own housebreaking, and the conversion from wild-to-pet part as well .
Thanks for reading, I will keep my eyes peeled for both criminal miscreants as well as wayward animals of all specie, since the majority of you seem to want to keep the lost dog component of this group intact. I know when a compromise is in order !
— JOE SEAWRIGHT