Welcome to rural America, where Animal Control only deals with dogs, and where the bite victim pays to have a cat euthanized and tested for rabies. Yes, that's right, we have to pay the county $185 to euthanize the cat that we caught and drove to Animal Control. The woman said she was not even allowed to remove the cat from our crate, and that we had to pay $155 cash to have the cat euthanized, the head removed, the remains cremated, the head overnighted to the state lab, and the tissue samples run. This morning, we get a call from them saying that we have to come in and pay $185, including the $30 for overnight kennel fee -- even though the cat stayed in our crate.
So, I asked, wondering what our tax dollars pay for, "In the future, when stray cats show up, can we just call you, and you'll come pick up the cats for free?"
"No, we don't do cats or wild animals. We only deal with dogs. There are no cat leash laws or rabies requirements in the county. Cats don't have to be vaccinated. They can run around anywhere. We don't do anything about it."
"So," I said, pointing to the crate with the sick cat, "if a cat shows up looking like this in the future, can we just shoot it?"
"Well, I wouldn't say that," she responded, "but I imagine a lot of farmers do that."
She also shared a little tidbit with us -- they found a rabid bat near us last year. I didn't think about it at the moment, but I'm wondering how they learned that, since they don't "do" wildlife. Now, it makes me wonder how big the rabies problem is in the county, since they don't "do" wildlife. How did they even learn that one bat had rabies? And yes, we have bats here on the farm. We see them at sunset flying around the house and barn.
On the brighter side, Katherine is doing well. She slept a lot yesterday and is worried about her math exam tonight, since she's right handed, and that's the arm that's injured. (She's taking a summer class.)
I forgot to share a funny story with you yesterday, so here you go. In the ER Sunday night, when the doctor said that she'd only heard of one person surviving rabies, and that was after spending months in a coma, Katherine said incredulously, "I'm in college. I don't have time to be in a coma." I thought, yeah, that's true, a coma would put her behind by a semester or two. It was not until I'd had a good night's sleep that the humor of her comment really sunk in.