Today when I read one of the blogs that I routinely visit, the post reminded me of a story.
This is about the small town police department again....but maybe 5 years after I first started there. One of the large cities in our State had done a massive lay-off of officers. We were hiring two more officers so we benefited by getting in some really experienced men who were not afraid to relocate so they could have a job. One of these men had all sorts of extra tactical training and experiences that our guys only dream about. I will call him Frank because he just sort of looked like a Frank to me. He was calm, cool and collected and the other guys looked at him as a mentor. His abilities and techniques were something to behold. He liked small town living and actually moved his family out there and never planned on leaving, even if the big city did call him back to work. He had taken the lives of 3 men in the call of duty in the big city, but Frank could not shoot an animal, no matter what.
Well, a cat showed up at our station one day. He was fully grown and had the greatest personality. Frank loved animals. He had two cats and two dogs at home already or he would have taken the stray in. As it was, we each took turns bringing in food for this cat that we ended up naming Murphy. The computer monitors were warm and that was one of his favorite places to lay and take his cat naps. He mostly came around during the afternoon and midnight shifts when the 'brass' was gone and was great company for us dispatchers. He had full access to the building and fit right in. He had been spotted by the chief on occasion and the chief had voiced his opinion that the cat needed to be kept out of the building. Murphy knew he was not liked by this man and deftly avoided him.
One night we had something big happen....what, I can't remember now, but the 'brass' had to be called in because the press was going to be there to take comments and it would be broadcast on the news. When he (the chief) came in, he nearly stepped in cat poo that was positioned right in front of the chief's closed office door. (tug, tug) The angry and red-faced chief ordered one of the dispatchers to call Animal Control immediately and have them handle the problem. We found out later from the janitor that Murphy often left his calling card right in front of that office door but the janitor always saw to it that it was cleaned up before anyone else saw it. I will say that the dispatcher (not me) did call but Murphy conveniently was nowhere to be found when they arrived so they left a cage and said for him to put Murphy in it. Days went by and the cage sat there empty. The janitor, on orders from the chief, caught Murphy one day and put him in the cage. Murphy "somehow" managed to get out by jiggling the latch. (ahem...Murphy must have been the only cat alive with thumbs) He soon was caught again and this time he was transported to the local dog pound.
We were all upset but really hoped that someone would see what a great cat Murphy was and would take him home. He only had three days to charm someone into doing that. We were calling the place two or three times a day, asking his status. Now Frank just happened to be on vacation when all this was going on and when he returned he was told and quickly said that he would take Murphy and give him a home rather than see him put down. Frank had to start his shift and time was running out. So one of the office girls and I took an extended break and headed for the dog pound to rescue Murphy. His time was ticking away, only 2 hours left.
We found the place and went in the part where the cats were and couldn't believe how many cats looked just like Murphy. We had to go from cage to cage, talking to each one of them and finally he spotted us and showered us with a chorus of meows to make South Pacific pale in comparison. They extended "professional courtesy" to us and we were able to spring him without any money changing hands. I was the one who drove and I'll tell you, you haven't lived until you've driven 20 miles in a vehicle with a cat who is loose and obviously has an immense hatred of riding in said vehicle. He was wild-eyed and jumping all over the place; I think he even sprouted an extra set of legs, complete with claws....it took me months to get all the cat hair out of my car.
We finally arrived back in many pieces....at least it felt like that. Frank took Murphy home right then and that's where Murphy stayed until he died of old age TWENTY years later. So, even though Murphy had the satisfaction of pooping in front of the brass's door, his vindictiveness almost cost him dearly. Somehow I have to believe that Murphy didn't really care.....and he'd do it again if he had the chance.....he was just that kind of guy.