As much as I want my dog Lorraine to get along with everybody, I would be not-so-secretly devastated if I kept discovering her at my neighbor's house. Not to be dramatic, though I do love a spot of drama, but it would feel like she was cheating on me. I suspect we sometimes feel a sense of irrational ownership over our pets because we picked them out and bonded with them in a very specific way. Perhaps we also convince ourselves that this bond could never be replicated.
And while I don't believe our animals could ever feel the exact same way for another human, I won't pretend it's not possible. In fact, I have to believe this because if something ever happened to me I would want Lorraine to find joy with someone else. What I would never do is what one man did when he accused his neighbor of being a cat pervert because said cat preferred their yard. The way this guy is yelling in this TikTok, I kind of get it.
Cats don't speak human!
A soundbite from the original TikTok was featuring a cat lounging on someone's car. All we can hear is an enraged man screaming, "You're unreasonable people. You're holding our cat. Go in your yard and say 'Mercury, go home! Don't come in our yard anymore.'" He then threatens to call the police and calls the person filming a "cat pervert." I get why this bit of dialogue was used.
Naturally I had to find the original video and thankfully TikTok did not disappoint. Someone who goes by @lumpotron filmed this bizarre interaction as a cautionary tale, or tail, against just being friendly I guess? Apparently the angry neighbor's cat is an outdoor cat and he is convinced @lumpotron, who I'm calling James, is luring this pet into his yard.
"I just want to be clear, you're upset because we made friends with your cat," asks James to his incensed neighbor. "You're keeping him in your yard. He's our cat," the neighbor fires back. James is then accused of kidnapping the cat, or in this case I suppose it would be kitnapping.
The neighbor doesn't think James is trying hard enough to encourage the cat, whose name is Mercury, to return to his owner's yard. James wisely points out that Mercury is a cat and, as such, won't listen to anything he says. "Oh really? This doesn't mean go home," asks the neighbor while moving his hands in a shooing motion. "No, hand signals don't mean anything," says James. "It's a cat."
Next, the neighbor threatens to call the police who probably don't have a Cat-9 unit. This is when the neighbor screams "CAT PERVERT" repeatedly, while standing next to a woman who looks deeply haunted. I would give my kingdom to hear their dinner conversation every night. Anyway, James is accused of harboring an animal which is not an actual crime.
In a follow-up TikTok, James is back and guess who is joining him? It's Mercury herself, clearly suffering from Stockholm syndrome because she refuses to leave. Apparently the neighbor did call the police who told him to "call somebody else [and] then they hung up on him."
James then invited the haunted woman into his yard to fetch Mercury, despite the fact that she too called him a cat pervert. Incidentally, I'd love to get a T-shirt that says cat pervert on it. By the next morning, Mercury was back in what feels like a calculated move on her part. Is this all a game? Cats do love games.
Some people in the comments of the original video asked James if he planned on adopting Mercury, to which he said no. "I'm not gonna take anybody's animal," he replied.
James ends the video by thanking everyone for being so cool to him and Mercury. The silver lining to this story is, James revealed he wasn't much of a cat person until he met Mercury. Maybe Mercury is some sort of cat muse, sent to change the minds of those who think they don't fancy felines. It's working!