Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Plateau Nights

My heart is heavy at 4:00 in the morning on a Monday night.

There has been this very beautiful orange striped young male [edit: cat, I'm talking about a stray cat here!] hanging around the front of the street in the last couple of weeks. He is quite friendly and very vocal. No tags and a magnificent set of furry testicles [NSFW]. I've been trying to avoid him because i'm pretty sure that he is a stray, possibly lost but more likely abandoned after moving day. I spoke with the old woman who lives up the street and she confirmed that he is a stray and that he killed a pigeon and a squirrel in the last couple days. I guess the brazilian student/hippy house has been leaving their door open and possibly feeding him as well. In any case, everybody on this block who might take a stray already has two cats of their own.

So this morning, I was woken up by a furious yowling from the back yard. I went out on the balcony and sure enough there was the orange cat, in the neighbour's backyard in full male cat territorial fighting mode. Wow does this guy have some pipes! Who was his opponent? None other than Tiger White, the reigning stray tom of the back alley. Sadly, this last winter (and it's at least 2 now that he has survived) has weakened TW somewhat and he just isn't as tough as he used to be. We've been feeding him on our back balcony and I do feel a certain attachment to him now.

I'm really torn. I guess the responsible thing would be to get the orange cat and just take him to the SPCA. He really is a nice-looking cat, appears very healthy and is social and friendly. I think he would make a great pet. But he is just past the age of being a kitten and thus has a less likely chance of finding a home. Plus, this is full season at the SPCA thanks to the numerous fucks who get cats without having the responsibility necessary to properly care for them. And the lack of a mandatory neutering program by the city. But I digress.

I just hate to take a living creature and put it in a cage. It might have to be done here, for the best for all involved.

So on the off chance that anybody wants a nice cat, please get in touch with me through the comments or via twitter (olmanfeelyus) and I'll hook you up. I'll pay for the neutering and basic shots as well. If I get a chance to take a picture, I'll put it up here later.

Now that's a fucking nice looking kitty right there!

But what makes this postworthy is that once I chased the cats off, I was quite wide awake. So I went to the front room to work on the computer. It's right next to the front window and as I am watching this awesome classic Kraftwerk video a friend had just referred me to, I see a dude in the light of the streetlamp looking through the doorway of the neighbour's across the street. He does not look anything like the people who live there.

He turns and sees me. I realize that in the dark of night, with my computer monitor on, I am quite visible from the street. He keeps looking and I try to go back to watching the computer. Then he starts waving and comes across the street. So I go out on the front porch.

Here's his story: He got home with Nez Rouge and realized he'd left his keys and wallet and phone in his car. He lives at 4605 (the triplex next to the door I saw him looking in). Nobody is home in any of the apartments (he also said that his parents own the building), but he knows the neighbours next door and was hoping they were home. He asked if there was a garage nearby. He said he worked at Tele-Quebec at Delorimier and Rene-levesque and is working 14-hour shifts ("which is probably why I forgot all my stuff") and that he had got out at 2:00 in the morning.

As I was talking to him, everything seemed on the up and up. He needed a ride, he would pay for gas, he'd gone and talked to the cops at Tim Horton's. The thing was, I am in my underwear, I don't have a car and I had no cash on me. So it would have meant getting dressed and walking to the bank machine with a stranger in the middle of the night. Also, I'd never seen him before and I keep a pretty voyeuristic eye on my street and the neighbours. I don't know any of the people in what he claimed was his place, but I've seen them coming and going many times and I've never seen him.

But the final straw for me was one of competence. If you are not a drug addict or petty scam artist, then how the hell are you going to the bar after work without your keys? He was clearly not drunk in any visible way and said that he had gotten off work at 2:00. It was about 3:45 when I was talking to him. So he is in the bar for an hour and has to take Nez Rouge home? I was also mildly annoyed because he switched into english way early on in the conversation. My french is good enough to have had that same conversation in french and though his english was good, it just rubs me the wrong way when certain francophones switch into english and the way this guy did it was one of those ways.

I finally said "I hate to be cold but I think you are just going to have to walk back to your car and get your keys there." which really is what any real drinker would have done in the first place. It's a beautiful night!

Once I got inside and started to ponder, I am almost certain that he was bullshitting. He may have even seen my light on before he started doing the looking in the window thing. I'll confirm for sure tomorrow, but growing up in the East Bay and catching the tail end of New York's seedy period has kind of set my radar for this kind of thing. It was all too friendly and normal feeling. Made for an interesting night, though. Just various creatures on the mean streets and alleys of the Plateau, trying to survive, doing their thing.

Won't you take me home? I'll be neutered and vaccinated.


Christian Jarry said...

BTW you should've mentionned it'a cat at the beginning of your text. I was wondering why you found another guy's furry testicles magnificient ;)

BTW, Nez Rouge at this time of year? Don't think so no. It only works around Christmastime. There might be other services but I doubt it's totally free.

It's mighty suspect this story.

angelica said...

Your neighbors are lucky that you keep an eye on yr 'hood. If anything, this guy now knows that people are paying attention. As much as his story is suspect, it's also possible, so in the end you did the right thing. This city is full of grifters with good stories, better to let people work out their own messes, especially when the vibe is off.

OlmanFeelyus said...

@sicnaxyz lol! I just reread that. Makes me sounds like a creepy furry. Très drole! I'll edit it. Also good point on the Nez Rouge.

@angelica not helping someone or something always sticks in my conscience but I think your last sentence are some good words to live by in cases like these.

Martin Richard said...

I thought the exact same things as sicnaxyz - male yada yada BALLS? WTF? And yup Nez Rouge isn't all year round! Fishy..

AND now that I think of it.. They don't run at this time of the year PLUS they send over 2 guys - one drives you in _your_ car to your home, the other follows.. IIRC. Safer to send a team of two to deal with drunk people, too.

Christian Jarry said...

Wow he really is a nice cat. Already got two of those over here so I can't take him unfortunately.

angelica said...

Martin Richard is totally right. I just hit up the NR website, and they also say that they send a team of 3 volunteers.

I know where you're coming from, btw. I've never been one to stand and watch when people have needed help, and I've called more cops/ambulances for strangers in my life than I'd care to think about, but I STILL kick myself over a couple of situations where I could have gotten involved but didn't.

That said, it is all about instincts, and I'm pretty sure yours were 100% correct in this instance.