UPDATED: Handbill Announces Curious Cat Has Been Shipped Off to Animal Control


This is the kind of thing that almost makes you grateful for passive-aggressive parking notes. Almost. Because rather than just complaining about an awkwardly parked car, this note explains that an awkwardly curious cat was unceremoniously shipped off to Animal Control.

Neigbor Lev reports:

I found this superlatively passive-aggressive note on my walk today. Gee, I hope this guy’s owners see it… or else it’s off to the violin factory for this cat.

The note says (in English and Spanish):

This cat keeps coming into our house through the dog door. It seems like it may have another home in the neighborhood.

The humans in the house are allergic to cats, and the dog hates them.  So the cat is now at Animal Care & Control (415-554-6364)

Yikes! Is this your cat, missing from the east side of Bernal around Mojave and Peralta? Well, now you know where he/she went.

UPDATE, 12:10 pm: The kitty’s owner saw this post, and the vagabond cat will soon be on the way home:

Thanks to Bernalwood, RKNN’s owner is on his way to the shelter right now! RKNN (aka Sebastian) just moved to Bradford and Mojave and must have gotten lost after sneaking out. Our immediate neighbors were kind enough to rescue him (thanks, JB!). I’m sure he will be chipped and collared after this.

PHOTO: Neighbor Lev

41 thoughts on “UPDATED: Handbill Announces Curious Cat Has Been Shipped Off to Animal Control

  1. I’m confused by the snark here. What alternate remedy would Lev suggest? Letting the cat keep coming in and eventually getting hurt (or “eaten” as the amusingly divergent Spanish text suggests) by the dogs? Forcing the people to live with allergies? If this cat’s owners are going to her wander outdoors unattended — which is strongly discouraged by animal welfare organizations — she should be tagged or at least microchipped so that she can be returned to them when something like this happens.

    • Did the cat have a collar? Did they ask around the neighborhood?

      Because the cat was cramping their style, they decided to potentially have it euthanized. I’m confused as to why you ignore this fact.

      • Wait, hang on a moment: they never accepted responsibility for the cat, so why are you using language like “cramping their style”? There is no collar visible in the photo. If you have some evidence that they had a means to contact the cat’s owners and disregarded it, then I will accept that this is an outrageous action. But there’s nothing in the post that suggests this.

        I have pets; they are chipped, tagged, and have my phone number stitched into their collars. They also live safely indoors unless supervised by me or my spouse — as every reputable animal welfare organization suggests. If they manage to get out, then they can be identified in multiple ways. If they slip their collars, ACC will call me within a couple of hours of their surrender because they are microchipped and licensed.

        If you give a domestic animal free rein outdoors, you are accepting the possibility that it will be killed by a car or a predator. Euthanasia would at least be humane! But multiple posters here have said that the cat will not be euthanized. I’m confused as to why -you- ignore -this- fact.

  2. The ACC does not euthanize animals unless they are aggressive in a dangerous way (attacking, biting, scratching, etc) and unable to be rehabilitated. Or they have an incurable disease.

    • Can you please provide a source for this information? County-run shelters are typically short on space, at least some of the time, which is why they kill animals that have not been adopted or claimed after a certain period of time (I volunteered at various shelters for many years). Otherwise they’d have no place to put incoming animals. I’d love to hear that ACC doesn’t do this, but from a practical standpoint, it seems unlikely. I’d be delighted to be proven wrong!

      • “Of all the animals who are not claimed by their previous owners, ACC gets first choice on those it wants to put up for adoption. If an unclaimed animal raises borderline physical or behavioral questions, ACC asks The SF/SPCA to make their own assessment. The SF/SPCA may have the capacity to treat or work with such dogs or cats and thus may take the animal. In fact, The SF/SPCA gets most of its dogs and cats from ACC.

        If the animal’s behavior at ACC changes after his initial evaluation, or the animal has been at ACC without being adopted for a long time, like two months, ACC may also ask The SF/SPCA to take him, though The SF/SPCA is not obligated to do so if it considers the animal unadoptable.

        However, because of a 1994 Adoption Pact between the two agencies, if ACC offers an adoptable dog or cat to The SF/SPCA, perhaps because of lack of kennel space at ACC or an overabundance of a particular breed, The SF/SPCA has obligated itself to take the animal. The only exception is pit bull dogs, whom The SF/SPCA does not take unless they have a documented history (known owners, no fight-training background, licensed, microchip registration, up-to-date-vaccinations, vet bills, receipts from dog trainers, etc.). In fact, other than pit bulls, The SF/SPCA may “pass” on only three of ACC’s adoptable dogs and cats a month, but this rarely happens.”

        and then later on

        “If no group or person can take the animal, and ACC has exhausted all the aforementioned safeguards and possibilities, only then will the agency euthanize an unadoptable or untreatable dog or cat.”

  3. Red Kitty Number Nine spent a day in our (Bradford Street) yard after going into my neighbor Eric’s dog door and exploring his house. We fed RKNN – he had no tag and is so bloody friendly we would have taken him in but now is not the time to adopt a stray kitty. I would have gladly given RKNN our cathouse in the backyard and taken care of him but he mysteriously disappeared, just as he mysteriously appeared one day in the yard. Now I know where RKNN is. A superb, sweet, very loving and gentle and very beautiful cat who needs a good home…

  4. If no one claims RKNN he will likely be adopted out by ACC or transferred to the SFPCA Adoption Center (I volunteer there), where he will definitely be adopted out! People love orange tabbies.

  5. Yeah, I think the implied criticism in this post was off the mark. It happens.

    1. Cats should never be left to roam outdoors unattended.
    2. Indoor cats live three times as long and are far healthier.
    3. Unless your outdoor cat has a bell, it kills, on average, 1-3 birds per day.
    4. SF Animal Control doesn’t euthanize, as detailed above.
    5. Bernal Hill has a fairly large feral cat population. Some of them are quite friendly. Fair chance this cat has no owner anyway.
    6. These people went to the trouble of copying and distributing flyers. That’s actually very generous, not passive-aggressive.

    Repeat: Don’t let your cat roam outdoors. Just don’t. If you say your cat couldn’t stand being an indoor cat or some other excuse, you’re just rationalizing. They may complain, but they’ll be healthier and live longer. I’ve had cats all my life. I realize cat owners (and people in general) can’t and won’t change their opinions, but it’s always worth a shot…

    • +1. YES. thank you for posting this! my formerly outdoor cats are now indoor; they griped at first but now they are totally used to it; one just needs to keep them entertained with good cat toys, boxes, etc. It has probably been 7 or 8 years since I’ve ever had to take either or them to the vet for a health issue. Keep the kitties inside and they will live a long, healthy life!!!!

    • Yeah, unless people have made the outdoor areas of their houses cat-tight they should not be letting their cats outside. This is the least of the bad things that could happen in an area filled with racoons, rats, and other fun things. For instance some set of my neighbors aren’t keeping their rats under control and those rats have come into my yard and gnawed on my drip irrigation lines, so I have now started setting out traps. And while I know the arguments against poison, I’ll be using that if the rats don’t stop coming into my yard fairly soon. I’ll put up a sign around the neighborhood first, but poison really is the most effective way of getting rid of rodents when your neighbors aren’t doing their do-diligence.

      • Honestly, things like that aren’t going to convince me. If I had the time every day to hand water stuff I wouldn’t have built an irrigation system. If people want to avoid poison being used in their neighborhoods, the way to do it is to volunteer to clear the rodents out of their neighbors yards, or to get those neighbors to do it. Its civic responsibility to avoid problems on your property from harming your neighbors.

        (If I could figure out who had the rats I would contact them, but thats not exactly doable without jumping the fences and investigating other people’s yards)

  6. Maybe they could have locked the dog door for a few days to break the cat of the habit. OR they could have taken a photo and posted it BEFORE they sent the cat packing to an unknown ending. These people did not are if they sent this cat to its death before they tried alternate steps. And most dogs don’t eat cats, they are afraid of cats.

  7. Thanks to Bernalwood, RKNN’s owner is on his way to the shelter right now! RKNN (aka Sebastian) just moved to Bradford and Mojave and must have gotten lost after sneaking out. Our immediate neighbors were kind enough to rescue him (thanks, JB!). I’m sure he will be chipped and collared after this.

    I wonder how much it will cost his daddy to spring him from the clink.

    • Hooray for happy endings! And they get a good deal on chipping if they have it done when they pick him up!


      From the ACC site:

      Redemption fees for all animals: $50 first impound, $100 second impound, $150 for third impound. In addition, there is a state fine for unaltered animals as follows: $35 first impound, $50 second impound, $100 third impound. $11 per vaccination, $25 keep per day. There are also fees for any veterinary services that may be provided to an animal while in our care. When an animal is redeemed the owner can also purchase a microchip (for only $10) or request that their animal be spayed or neutered.

  8. I’d recommend a collar-activated dog door. Of all the Bernal fuana that would love to come inside, your neighbors cat is the least of your problems.

  9. I’m so glad RKNN/Sebastian/Senor Marmalade (what I was calling him) has gotten home again.

    Thanks for all the commentary and interpretation regarding my behavior. It’s just like group therapy, except without personal acquaintance or mutual trust. I’m the person who took the cat to AC&C and left the flyers around the neighborhood. But seriously, thanks to Bernalwood for re-posting, even with the snark, so Sebastian’s people could get him home.

    I didn’t put all the information and explanations on the flyer because their goal was to get the attention of whoever might’ve lost the cat, not to defend my actions. For the record, in spite of our allergies and the dog’s craziness, we told AC&C we would consider adoption if the owners didn’t turn up, and we were talking about it quite seriously. I was (and am) also happy to contemplate the possibility that the cat is an indoor-outdoor cat who might do the home-sharing/visiting thing.

    Prior to going to AC&C, I posted on Craigslist and at PetHarbor.com, which yielded only an email from someone that said I should take the cat to a vet first (for chip check? – unclear) and that “Given the coyotes in the area I would prefer you keep her out of harms way by acting on this sooner than later.” I was more worried about the cat getting hit by a car. One way or another, I didn’t feel comfortable letting him roam without knowing that he had people and they were okay with it. As for the advice to “let the cat go home” – well, it wasn’t clear the cat had a home, and if he did, it wasn’t clear whether he could get there.

    PS the “the dog will eat it” in the Spanish version was intentional.

    • I’m curious how long you had the cat before you brought him in to the ACC. Overnight? I didn’t see the flyers until after this post and he was already in custody.

    • Not only was “passive-aggressive” syntactically misused here, the intended meaning was also off-base.

      Kudos to you, Kate! You took time out of your life to take an unknown cat to a place where it would be safe and cared for if not claimed. Then you went many extra miles trying to alert the owner.

      Small acts of kindness, where no kindness is owed or asked for, are so much more common than the tragedies and cruelty that unavoidably make the headlines. I’m glad we got to hear about your good deed.

      And I’m glad you’re my neighbor somewhere here on the hill…

  10. To the original poster: I’m curious as to what your motives for posting things like this are. Are you trying to foster a better neighborhood, or a whole cluster of Gladys Kravitzes questioning each others’ every move (and grammar and translation abilities)? Why did you not consider other sides instead of just presenting the original complainant’s view? (A quick look at the other posts linked here makes it apparent this is not an isolated event. You might want to listen to “This American Life” episode #522, “Tarred and Feathered,” and think about the effects of rumor-mongering. I know this is small scale (parking tickets and lost cats and trash cans) but I think it’s still either inconsiderate/clueless or mean-spirited.

    Well done to Neighbor A and takebackthegreen (I know there were others) for considering the mitigating circumstances, without even knowing the situation.

    To the rest, I’m curious as to why you think you deserve an explanation from Kate about the time sequence of her actions, as if this is a trial. Why are you not demanding an explanation for why the cat did not have a collar or a microchip, or why it has been allowed to roam the neighborhood free for so long putting itself and native wildlife at risk?

    Disclaimer: I moved out of San Francisco a long time ago. I have no connection to Bernal Heights except that I used to sleep with someone who lived there, and I’ve visited a few times. I always thought it was a very friendly place. But stuff like this makes me wonder.

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