RABIES!!!!!!!

So, the saga of our severely fucked-up neighbor family continues. A couple of days ago, they knock on our door, grubby two-year-old in tow. The kids say he was scratched by our cat, and they're taking him to the doctor for it.Yeah. It gets better.After they get home from their pediatrician's office, they come over asking for our cat's vaccination records. To see if the kid needs rabies shots, you understand.For a cat scratch.The doctor put him on antibiotics, "just in case" (because that's how you maintain and develop healthy immunities in both individuals and groups, right? Everybody should probably be on antibiotics all the time, "just in case"). And, according to the hysterical parents, if our cats aren't up to date on their vaccines, their poor little snowflake is going to have to get RABIES SHOTS.Well, the cats aren't up to date. I thought the rabies vaccine was good for three years (some of them are, at least), but it turns out they need to have them annually. My bad, I admit. So I call Animal Control to find out what we need to do, short of cutting my pretty kitties' heads off and shipping them to the state health department, to ensure this poor kid doesn't have to undergo painful and unnecessary vaccination. After having a good chuckle, exclaiming, "Oh, my God, really?" and explaining that they've never actually dealt with a cat scratch case, the nice officer informs me that in the case of a bite from an unvaccinated animal, what they do is have the owners quarantine the critter for 10 days and then get a vet to sign off on a "bite card", saying no, this animal didn't give your kid rabies.That's not good enough for Mr. and Mrs. "we're not worried about our children's homicidal tendencies but we freak the fuck out over a cat scratch". After explaining to the father what I've been told by the authorities, he blusters, "Well, that's peachy for you, after ten days you know your cats are going to be fine. My kid could DIE in ten days!" I tried explaining that the incubation period for rabies in humans is measured in months, not days, but he's having none of it. I also try to explain the purpose of the quarantine, which is not to ensure our cats' health, but to determine if there's a need for his kid to get the shots, but he's having none of that, either. "What I'm saying here is, my kid could DIE."From a cat scratch.Did I mention their mom is a registered nurse? Yeah.![][1]
I gave up, gave him the number of the Animal Control officer I'd talked to, and he says he's going to call back after he talks to his kid's doctor. When he does, I let my husband deal with him, because I've met my quota of conversations with the functionally retarded for the year.He's a bit calmer when he calls back, but no less stupid. He's insisting on a vet-supervised quarantine (I figure his reasoning must be that, well, he's too dense to realize that an animal who's drooling constantly and is afraid of light and water might be sick, so we must be, too, right? It takes a certified professional to make that kind of delicate call.), and informs us that "Animal Control told me that 2 out of 10 cats have rabies." Really? Two out of ten? You're sure that's not one in five? Nope, he insists, two out of ten! And they get it from birds! Really! A mammal-specific virus is transmitted by non-mammalian creatures! He also insists he was told that the incubation period for rabies in humans is 15 days, rather than the commonly accepted and exhaustively-documented 6 months to 7 years, and that Animal Control will provide free boarding (which the department doesn't have facilities for) and blood tests (which don't exist).Of course, Animal Control found all this "information" to be hilarious when I relayed it to them this morning. I doubt they've had this good a laugh at the office in a good long while. I'd think it was funny as hell, too, if we weren't facing the possibility of a $600 boarding bill to ensure that our cat (which they've admitted to law enforcement they're not even sure scratched their child) gave their kid rabies through a method of transmission that's never been positively documented in even a single case.I'm all for erring on the side of caution when your child's welfare is concerned, but this is ridiculous. However, despite the frustration and yes, outright anger, I'm feeling right now, I can't help but feel a little pity, as well. I mean, it must be terribly scary and frustrating to navigate the world when you're incapable of rational thought or even processing facts as presented to you. If I were that stupid, I don't think I'd ever leave the house-I mean, frozen airplane poo could fall out of the sky and kill you! The Weekly World News says so! [1]: http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/napalm/rabeezcat.jpg

Comments

alm77 14 years ago

I think I would have laughed and said, "Yeah, you wanna test my cat for something? Get a court order." and shut the door. They'd need to present a search warrant to even get a foot in my door. I don't know why these people are messing with you, but I hope you know a good lawyer, cause that'll be next.

Aufbrezeln Eschaton 14 years ago

bloozman--if my cat started acting like that, I'd kill it with fire. Ugh.alm--know a good lawyer? I married into a family full of 'em ;)

Terry Bush 14 years ago

PPS And it's a shame that you didn't tell the police about all the suspicious activity going on at that neighbor's place. But a neighborhood war can get ugly, even if you eventually win. So best to just not mess with them and hope they go back into their holes.

Terry Bush 14 years ago

P.S. And at some point, it might be helpful to find out if they are renting that house, in case you need to contact a landlord about something. The register of deeds office for the county should have the name and address of the owner of record.

bloozman 14 years ago

If the neighborhood cherub ends up acting like this after 10 days, it most certainly is your cat's fault:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUtYP52Ijvc

Will Babbit 14 years ago

Yes, Misty lives in our beautiful KC Burb!

MyName 14 years ago

Right, I believe we've found the missing link! Who knew that the Neanderthals were, in fact, alive and well and living in Lawrence, KS?Okay, just a short question: How the heck did their kid get scratched by your cat? Was your cat coming over for a visit or something? Did they do something to anger it? Oh well, best not to ask, I guess...

Aufbrezeln Eschaton 14 years ago

I was just informed by Animal Control that they said they're not sure it was our cat. The kid was playing outside alone, mom heard him cry, ran out, and saw our cat jumping the fence. Sure, our cats roam about, but our daughter has pretty much trained them to stay the hell away from small children. I have a hard time believing they'd let a two-year-old get within scratching distance in the first place.

Terry Bush 14 years ago

This family wants money. Period. The behavior of their children (a 4 year old that says "I am going to kill you" and 2 year old "Die Die. You are going to die die!") tells us all we need to know about how "much" these parents truly care about their offspring. They are hoping you offer or have cash they can leverage out of you. Just stop trying to talk to them. Anything that needs to be said can be said in writing. At the end of the 10 day quarantine time, take the cats to a vet for their shots and a check up. Get the vet's opinion in writing. Mail a copy to said Neand family. Together with a terse letter from a family friend lawyer, alerting them that as they have no proof it was even your cat, and said cats (2) both have received a clean bill of health, the matter is over and done with. And oh by the way, please keep your filthy demented children away from my child and my clean cats!

Aufbrezeln Eschaton 14 years ago

duplenty--yeah, I'm quite familiar with that lovely disease, my mom had it on several occasions. So maybe it wasn't completely out of line for them to go rushing off to the doctor over a cat scratch, although I personally would have waited to see if it showed any signs of infection or other abnormality, 'cause frankly, co-pays get expensive when you seek medical care for every scratch, bruise, cut, and owie a toddler incurs. Then again, I don't have Medicaid, so that might make a difference.

alm77 14 years ago

Yeah, I knew you knew some good lawyers. That was just me overstating the obvious. I'd take the attorney's advice, too.

Keith 14 years ago

Ok, that may read wrong, I'm not implying that the author is a Neanderthal, the subjects of this blog are.

Keith 14 years ago

"Right, I believe we've found the missing link! Who knew that the Neanderthals were, in fact, alive and well and living in Lawrence, KS?"Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't they move to the wonderful oasis of Overland Park?

cutny 14 years ago

Been wondering about your "situation" with these people since I read it a few days ago. Hope it goes well. Great writing. Gets better and better. Just read about the crazy ren-fest too, and definitely busted out laughing a few times at your descriptions. Nicely done. Sorry the people you live next to are insane, but it's a boon for your readers.

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