Ok, not all cats. Not very many cats actually. For instance, I like my kitty and I like your cats, too. The cats I hate are the now-almost-grown-up litter of feral cats that are everywhere in my neighborhood.
Before I finish my rant about cats, let me rant about my neighborhood. My neighborhood is slowly going downhill. For eight years, it has been a pretty good place to live. Yeah, we've always been right on the edge of the ghetto, but once you're actually in my neighborhood you never really noticed. About a year ago, the prostitutes crossed over the major street and started walking on my side of the street. Downward slide. Then the light rail construction brought about the demolition of all the corner houses along the major street, bringing my house one closer to the ghetto and making it now visible from the major street. Downward slide. For a while there was a security guard posted on our neighborhood access road to prevent squatters from occupying the empty to-be-demolished homes. Then they put the light rail on hold for X number of years, which leaves us with a bunch of vacant lots. Nice. Downward slide. Next, the foreclosures started leaving many of the houses empty. It really is a downhill slide.
What really sucks is that we had the opportunity for the light rail to really help our neighborhood. As part of the light rail construction, the city proposed turning all the streets that weren't deemed to be thoroughfares into cul-de-sacs, ending right before the major street where the light rail will be built. This would have kept the ghetto from doing its current rapid encroachment right up to my front door. But the people in my neighborhood voted this down. Well, they didn't vote it up, at any rate. We needed a 70% approval rate for it to pass. I doubt 70% of the people even voted. Anyway, we won't be getting cul-de-sacs. We will be getting a berm and some "landscaping" to replace all these eyesore vacant lots...whenever the budget crisis allows for the continuation of light rail construction. Or never, in that case.
Ok, back to the cats. In addition to the prostitutes and the empty lots and empty houses, another new addition to my neighborhood are feral cats. For the past eight years, we had a few mature, most likely owned cats out and about. We'd see them occasionally on our walks. But now there are about a bazillion (I'm still working on the census numbers so I'm estimating that number) adolescent cats everywhere. This makes walking the dogs very annoying. If the dogs see a cat (which is every time we go out), they go crazy and remain on HIGH ALERT for the rest of the walk. It's gotten to the point that the dogs go on HIGH ALERT as soon as the leashes come out. Immediately noses hit the pavement looking for the first cat trail. Forget about running the dogs. They cannot maintain a straight line while in HIGH ALERT. No way!! They might miss a cat!!!!
Whenever we see a cat, I immediately put the dogs into a sit/stay to give the cat a chance to get away and to, optimistically, give the dogs a minute to calm down. And though they do stay, they are quivering and crying the whole time. How do you train a dog not to quiver and cry??
Walking/running the dogs has long been an exercise to calm the dogs and, more importantly, to calm my over-active crazy brain. Now walking the dogs makes me even crazier than I was before. I hate cats!