Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Very Boston Tea Party Moment For Me

On arriving home yesterday, I found a nice young women on my doorstep issuing licenses to our two pussy cats, Harry and Gracie. Licenses for pussy-cats? Since when, I asked. Since 1988 she said. Where is it written, I asked. It just is, she says. Here's a brochure. It read, in part:

Animal licensing
The Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 349, requires that all dogs and cats owned in the City of Toronto must be licensed and wearing a tag. By licensing your dog or cat, Animal Services will make every effort to reunite you with your pet.

Every effort? Bullshit! It turns out that the municipal bylaw only came into practice (by stealth?) on January 1st of this year. Why does my cat need a license? Well, because of all the services the city provides to our animals. Provides? Neutering and spaying of cats, the brochure says? I remember putting that on my Visa. My cats have private health. When my cat has gone missing, the humane society did their bit. All Toronto did was give me the Humane Society's telephone number. Cat rescue? Never, ever has the city done anything for my cats. The one time I requested help after my Siamese had spent 3 days in a tree in deepest January after having been chased there by an unleashed dog, no one would help. 'You've never heard of a cat falling out of a tree dead from starvation, have you?,' they said. No, I admitted I hadn't. What of the cat we found last year. The city didn't do anything except details. It turned out that when we took the cat to our vet a week later hoping to adopt him, one scan with the chip wand revealed that he was a patient of the very surgery. The grateful owners had been searching for their pet for weeks and had (as had we) contacted the city numerous times about the cat. And what if I don't get a license for my cat? I will be subject to a C$250 fine. There are tax grabs and there are tax grabs and this one takes the friskies. Further investigation reveals that the city has hired students over the summer to go house to house to license moggies and note the unlicensed ones. What is this? Eastern Germany. And what are the economics of sending people door to door with glossy literature licensing cats for the princely sum of C$15. The mind boggles. In any event, I can sleep soundly at night knowing that my cats are legal. How will you sleep?