The Extortionist

Yesterday I was making my way through the woods on a photography hike when I came face to face with the neighborhood extortionist. Old Bob runs a protection racket here in our little village, and it appeared that I was behind on a payment. You see, if you want protected from rodents in our neighborhood, you have two choices:

1. Get an outside cat of your own, that costs money to care for and seldom sticks around.


2. Make a deal with Bob.

Want rid of the mice? It’s going to cost you. Part of a hotdog, a small piece of lunchmeat, a spoonful of lasagna or hamburger helper, Old Bob wants his treats. Don’t get me wrong, Bob is not a feral cat. He is well fed and has a loving family that lives close by; he just knows how to work his neighborhood. He keeps his visits brief and never insists upon being petted. He doesn’t urinate on my door or walk on my car. He just asks for his treat, walks around the house to make his presence known, and occasionally sleeps in his basket on the front porch. I get all of the services of an outside cat without the food or vet bills. I can’t complain.                                                            Old Bob, a mouse’s nightmare

I really don’t know if bribing Old Bob has ever saved me money, but I like to think it has saved me the frustration of being over-run with mice, so as he meowed urgently and ran down the path towards home, I put away my camera and dutifully followed.




Filed under Pets, Sue's Corner

8 responses to “The Extortionist

  1. I liked the way you described this whole procedure. But poor cat! I mean, not now, he probably is very happy now, but all those injuries…oh my god.

  2. Unfortunately, life outside can be dangerous, and older cats can sometimes look pretty rough. The injuries healed a long time ago, and they don’t seem to bother him. The no-ear thing was a little difficult for me to adjust to at first, but Old Bob’s looks kind of grow on you. He’s unique. He’s also an inspiration. He doesn’t let anything get him down.

  3. Oh my word, this is hilarious! I never thought of the neighborhood cat as offering “protection,” but with Old Bob — he sure fits the part! I love your little diagram of him — I didn’t even notice the missing ear until you pointed it out. Poor little guy. I hope business for him is good. 🙂

    • He’s a savvy business man and keeps track of his clients. Everyday at noon, he is sitting in front of my neighbor’s back door to collect his fee, except when she has gone out shopping with her family. She doesn’t have a car of her own. How does Bob know she’s not there? Weird…
      He finishes up his rounds of the neighborhood just in time to follow his kids home for supper. He better watch himself or we’re going to be calling him “Fat Bob.”

  4. You should make a poster out of the cat picture with labels. What a great fur neighbor to have as a friend/ employee.

    • I could get them made up and sell them on Ebay, but Bob would probably demand a huge chunk of the profits. I haven’t seen him for the last few days, but winter is coming, and he’s getting up there in years. They’re probably making him stay inside.

  5. P. Booher

    Bob would probably figure, “That’s my picture; I should get a big chunk of the profits!”

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