My new home in Ukiah, California has a front yard which, unfortunately, local cats appear to have made a habit of defecating in. My living room window faces the yard and when the window is open an unpleasant odor drifts in. Coby offered up the advice of sprinkling chopped and dried hot peppers over the offensive area to discourage these freelance felines from doing what they feel is "their business" and what I'm almost certain is mine.

It didn't work. I now have a collection of cat-shit and rotting peppers decorating my front lawn. In the spirit of "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" I placed a small litterbox in what seemed to be the most popular pooping area and cleaned up what I could of previous deposits.

It worked, I guess. The cats are using the litter and everytime I hear a "meow" from the front yeard I'm quite certain it translates to something akin to "You, bones, are a sucker.".

This morning, however, as I left to take a walk I noticed a note had been carefully placed atop the clay-encrusted mounds of yesterday's Purina. Assuming it was some sort of rebuke by the local cat-owners I picked it up and the following words leapt off the page and stabbed me in my heart of hearts:

I DETEST (jonathan sidney phillips*)
I HATE (jonathan sidney phillips)

((other side of note))


So...that's pretty fucked up. Anyway, does anybody have an idea of how I could convince cats to discontinue their filthy habits?

* I'm almost certain my name is not "Jonathan Sidney Phillips"

**If "coerst" is indeed what the author meant I have no idea what the word means. Since this entire note was scrawled in a messy hand by an obviously angry person and left in a pile of cat shit it could be that my translation is off.

"...Jonathan Phillips of Sidney, Hastings County, Ontario, Canada. Jonathan was a veteran of the War of 1812, served with the Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles and received a Crown Grant in Sidney, for his service. As is well known, he was both in league with cats from saturn and a reviler of all things californian."

The best way is to get a male cat, neutered or not, and keep it as a pet. The second best way is to get a crapload of Bitter Orange, which you can find at most pet shops and which cats hate, diluting it with a bit of water, and spraying it on your fences. This is expensive and not foolproof. A third option is to replace your lawn with cement and/or quicklime. This will do wonders for your feng shui, but a crowd of slavering aesthetes (not a one with any respect for geomancy) will probably draw and quarter you, which is all very symmetrical and nice, but possibly not preferable to cat feces.

Jonathan Sidney Phillips, Typhoid Mary's unheralded protègé, infected 87 residents of Ukiah, California with toxoplasmosis from 1958-1961 before health officials exiled him to San Francisco. To his dying moment in January, 1987 (after 19 miscarriages), he denied ever having contracted or passed on the disease.

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