Here is the convoluted story of how this teeny tiny lioness made her way into our life. It also serves as a good example of how fucked up my family is.
I’ve mentioned before, my parents were in legality/blood my great aunt and great uncle. They raised me when my biological mother Jeannette left me at 3 1/2. But, they’d had a hand in raising me until then anyway, because she tended to disappear.
They also had their own children. Dad had LA and GA from a previous marriage, and mom had RP from a previous marriage. RP has been gone a long time. He committed suicide in his fifties, the result of what we believe was an incorrect depression prescription when he was, in fact, bipolar. At the time of this story, GA was not in the picture due to a falling out that I was not privy to. LA is homeless, and is on the streets with his wife, CA.
LA and/or CA kept asking my dad for money. They had a habit of getting storage units – even using the information of my niece once, so now she can’t get storage units – using them, even sleeping in them, until kicked out or not paying and the units being locked up for nonpayment. They’d ask my dad for gas money. Or to pay off this unit or that unit. Or go to the auction so they could get their stuff back. Dad had a hard time saying no, because of the situation that they were in. But, the situation they were in was their own damn fault. They both have always been “poor mes.” Anything in their path is someone else’s fault. As an example, LA lost his last job because… CA smacked his boss across the face when he said no to some time off. Huh. Turns out battery by someone’s spouse will get you fired – and no unemployment.
They also had pets… Two very old dogs, and a cat. The cat was old too, but they never had her fixed, and let her wander out of wherever they were staying and she ended up pregnant and having a litter. The litter died, with the exception of one kitten.
They came up with a scheme with friends of theirs to steal copper piping. They got got. When they were arrested, the police contacted my dad to see if he would take the animals so that they didn’t go to an animal shelter. My dad agreed. And I wake up one day to my dad being slightly panicked, and unsure what to do with three geriatric animals and a baby kitten. I got him the requisite supplies, and helped him get them set up in the “love nest” (the little apartment behind his house). They had fleas, and dad didn’t want them getting lost in the house (remember the hoarding situation?)
After several days, they kept LA for his charges, but released CA. Dad gave her back the animals. Except… for the kitten. CA gave him the kitten, because he thought it was so cute. Dad accepted it for two reasons. 1) He thought he’d be helping them out by having one less mouth to feed. 2) He thought it had a better chance of living. LA ended up being prosecuted and spent nearly a year in prison. So CA was out on her own and any interactions with dad was strictly with CA.
Now… Dad had a long, long history with CA. I was in their wedding when I was 4 or 5 years old. So this is a long time marriage. Dad could never stand her. He thought she was terrible for LA. LA had his own issues, but Dad thought they were very, very exacerbated by CA, and he’s right. They bring out the worst in each other. So Dad really had no interest in helping her out while LA was in jail.
So… Now dad has this kitten. And he panics. He realizes that he – over 80 and getting shaky on his feet – had no business having a kitten under his feet. That this kitten was going to get lost in his house of hoarding. So – he asked if I would take the kitten. Of course I said yes.
We renamed her Ginger (previously Charlie, and they thought she was a boy). We took her to the vet because I was pretty sure she’d never seen one before. I was right. She was days from death. The fleas were eating her alive, and the parasites were taking over her insides. We got her healthy. Turns out that orange tabbies are very very rare as females, but that’s what she is. We incorporated her into our lives. The two older cats (Sassy and Pebbles, gone now) were wholly uninterested, but the younger cat, Mozzie, and her became fast friends. Which was awesome, because Mozzie really wanted to be friends with the older cats, and they were having none of it. Now… we had four cats… Way too many… But such is life.
Fast forward a few months. CA decides she should move into the Love Nest and “help dad out.” Dad was like… Hell no. Several reasons.
- He can’t stand her.
- He doesn’t trust her in any capacity.
- He doesn’t want her around his grandsons (we live next door to each other).
- He doesn’t want to give her the ammunition to establish residency.
- She’s very litigious, has sued numerous people etc. She’s never won (just because you think you’re right – remember, everything happens TO them and is not their fault? – Doesn’t mean you are), but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to follow through with the process, aggravation, and costs.
When CA realizes that this is not going to happen… She says she wants her cat back. She basically wants “takes backsies” because she didn’t get her way. Dad says he doesn’t have the cat, he gave it to me.
She says, “You will go and get my cat, and you will give it back to me.” This is during the day. I have no idea why he hasn’t blocked her on his phone, but I think he’s afraid to lose the link to his son, somehow. Dad informs me of this, and what’s being said back and forth. I go to the sheriffs in person. My question basically being… Does she get to do this, and if she shows up, what are we allowed within our rights? I was told that she could sue in civil court, as a property dispute. We’d probably win, but that’s what she’d have to do. She cannot just come into our property to take the animal back. And she cannot just come into our property without our permission. If she shows up, just give them a call.
What does dad do? He literally runs away to mom’s best friend’s house and leaves me to deal with my psycho sister-in-law.
She texts dad that she’s on the way, and dad lets me know. This prompts my second contact with the sheriff’s office. They send out a deputy. When he comes in, we explain the situation. I ask again what our rights are and he reiterates what I’ve already been told. He also tells us a few things on our house. Things like, because we have glass in our front door, when we lock the deadbolt, remove the key, or else someone can just break the glass and unlock it, that sort of thing. We warned him that she might show up – she said she would – but that she was also on drugs and we didn’t know if she’d get distracted and not come. He said just to give them a call. Unbeknownst to us, when he left, he simply went around the corner and waited.
Sure enough, a couple of hours before Jay is to go into work, she shows up at Dad’s house. He’s not there, so she texts him to get over there and bring her her cat. Dad lets her know that I have the cat, I’m not giving it back, he’s not home, she’s not welcome on the property. He then texts me. So… Jay goes next door to handle the situation. I have no idea how she got there, but she’s got her geriatric animals in a baby stroller. Jay lets her know who he is, and that she’s got to leave. She starts screaming at him (literal screaming) that I stole her cat (dad gave it to us), she’s calling the cops (please do!), he has no right to tell her to get off the property (I live here, and owner told me to) etc. That my insane son (wtf has dad been telling them about my kids??) is going to kill the cat. Jay has experience of A) having an “insane son” – we later find out he has early onset schizophrenia, and B) being a night watch commander and being involved with all manner of mentally ill folks, high folks, criminal folks, and drunk folks when on shift. So, he’s completely calm when his only response is to lean in, rub his nose, and say, “You missed some,” and walked away. She screamed at his back the whole way into the house. And this prompts the third contact with the sheriff’s office. They show up super fast (because they were around the corner), and they searched our property and dad’s, but she had left.
She’s texting nasty things to dad this whole time.
It comes time for Jay to go to work. He gets ready, as he normally does, and when he starts loading his car and stuff, he realizes that she’s across the street in the hospital parking lot, screaming at the top of her lungs at him. He decides that he is not going to be able to go to work and feel as if we’re safe. So he comes in, calls off work, and we call the sheriffs for a 4th time. They go and talk to her. It takes forever, but they convince her to leave. She says that she doesn’t need to, that she’s on public property – and they correct her… The hospital is actually private property and she’s not welcome. Regarding the cat, she can file in civil court, but she has to leave. If she does not, they’ll arrest her for trespassing. She finally leaves. But she’s texting dad all kinds of vitriol, including bringing up past issues (abuse I have not discussed here), and that she’ll go to the cops about it, etc. That he’s a horrid man, he’s evil, he’s going to jail, etc. The deputies talk to us and suggest that A) dad blocks her on his phone, and B) we get a restraining order.
Dad eventually gets a different phone number. We don’t do the restraining order, because he’s too wishy washy to actually break contact. And we still have the cat… Ginger.