The famous Cat in the Hat was caught yesterday roaming the streets of LaJolla, California, by LaJolla animal control. He was brought to the animal shelter, and since he had no tags and had been reported as a stray, he was neutered.
Kevin McBlevin, the animal control officer who caught the Cat in the Hat, was nonchalant about it.
“Some women had been calling in about this big stray cat that had been coming into their houses and playing with their kids,” he said. “This had been going on for years now.
“Well, I was making a routine patrol through one of the residential neighborhoods when I saw him, the Cat in the Hat. He was about six feet tall with his hat on, and he was whistling. I’d never heard a cat whistle before, but I thought, ‘Who cares? It’s just a cat.’
“He was a big one, all right; biggest I’d ever seen. Well, I’d heard how friendly he was, and I thought, ‘I bet, with my net, I can get that cat yet!’ But then I thought, ‘Damn, he’s big, better not take a chance.’
“So I shot him with my tranquilizer gun. I never saw such a look of surprise on a cat’s face before. He took a few steps, and then he went down like a rock. When he hit the pavement, his hat came off and all these little cats with hats came running out and scampered away into the bushes. I let them go. I had the big one. I could come back for the little ones later. Most of them probably wouldn’t survive, anyway, unless someone took them in.
“So, I put him in my truck and brought him to the shelter. All the other workers congratulated me because we’d been looking for him for so long, and we hadn’t been able to catch him. I hung around the shelter to see what they were going to do with him.
“Due to all the reports that we’d had about him since who knows when, and since he didn’t have any tags, they went ahead and neutered him. Judging from the look on his face when he woke up, he didn’t seem to think it was good fun that was funny, but I’m sure I wouldn’t either.
“Tomorrow we’ll ship him out to the LuckyCat pet adoption center, and maybe he’ll get taken to a good home; someplace where they’re not afraid of taking care of a six foot cat. I know I wouldn’t want to be the one to clean his litter box every day.”