In many ways the Summer has been the best of my life, but in other ways it has sucked sweaty donkey balls.
This is a long one, folks, so if you don’t want to wade through my Brain Dump, the short story is: “management” at the park is killing cats with full support of the Owner who does not need the money “[you] people” pay in rent and if we don’t like it we are welcome to move. The male half of the “management team” is verbally abusing elderly, disabled residents while the female half of the team ensures the Owners are kept inside and oblivious to conditions in the park. I believe the “management team” is robbing the Owners, but the misogynistic, philandering, asshole husband of the actual owner will not hear anything coming from the mouth of one of “[you] people” because he is smarter and richer than any of us will ever be and he would certainly know he was being robbed. HE is not killing cats, but he’s glad they’re “being taken care of.” He fully supports the team he hired and will not hear any of our tales and if we don’t like it, we are welcome to leave.
EDIT: Turns out it’s not at all illegal to kill cats, even if they aren’t your own. It is, however, illegal to kill wildlife, such as nutria or raccoons. Wish I’d known that back in 2014…
All the stuff:
The rent in the Park went up to $400 and we got nothing but trouble for it. I wrote a tiny teaser about getting a new cat, Mr. Big, and while this post has to do with him, it’s not his story, but here’s a random picture for those of you who visit to see pictures of cats –
So. A few months ago Noreen (the female half of the “management team” employed by the owners of the park) bitched about the amount of cat poo in the flower beds over near the Big House and how she hated cleaning it up. She directly blamed Yvonne and I, seeing as how we live closest to said flower beds and we’re “trouble makers” and need to be taken down a few pegs. Now, neither of our cats ever went near the Big House to our knowledge, but we both volunteered to come right over and pick up any messes left by our cats because we’re good neighbors and don’t want any trouble.
We thought that was that and went on with our little lives, not knowing a war was brewing and we were about to be caught up in the middle of it. We watched our cats and brought them in when they would come in, but Mr. Big is a fantastic hunter and it seemed cruel to lock him up when he was doing his best to kill all the moles and mice “management” has been complaining about for months. I did point out his kills whenever I saw Noreen and thought maybe it would count in his favor.
A couple of weeks later we were informed that “management” had set up a live trap over near the Big House to catch and “take care of” any cats who were dumb enough to get caught. I fear that’s what happened to Revy. Diane’s cat went missing and she spent all day looking for her. Just after dark, here she came from the direction of the Big House, racing home, terrified and unwilling to go outside for a long time. Was she caught in the trap? It looks suspicious, but there is no proof as the trap mysteriously disappeared that night…
A few weeks later Glenn (the male half of the “management team” employed by the owners of the park) marched up to Yvonne’s trailer at around 0800 and threw a plastic grocery bag of cat poo at her feet and began to yell at and berate her for the mess. It was clear that the bag contained way more poo than could be generated by any one cat overnight, but he was insistent. There were two witnesses who heard him yelling at her, but, being women, they did nothing for fear of him turning on them. He waited until I had left for work to act out his little drama because he knows good and well that I would have been over there, stun gun in hand, to defend Yvonne, no questions asked – he’s a bully and a coward and won’t even look me in the eye.
Before I go on, I need to say that Yvonne is a retired Air Force veteran who is disabled after her spine collapsed. She might be 5 feet tall if she could stand straight, but she is forever bent over and uses a walker to get around. She is compassionate, kind and always willing to lend a hand to anyone in need. She is the perfect example of a Good Neighbor. She is quiet and does not want any drama or trouble. She just wants to live a quiet life and be left alone.
After this attack, she refused to call the Sheriff, even though everyone pleaded with her to do so. She was still visibly shaking when I talked to her after work that day. I was enraged but she asked me to keep quiet and not cause any trouble. Fine. It’s not my battle to fight.
Some days later I was informed by Noreen that it was “against the law” to let my cat outside without a leash and a first violation would force her to “write me up.” I told her that the park is in the County and there is no law on the books about cats, therefore her position is entirely unenforceable and she needed to find something more productive to do. A second offense will result in a $50.00 fine, she informed me. And what about my agreement with Alice about my cat, the one we made when I first moved into the park? The laws have changed and I can count on being asked to leave upon a third violation.
Well, huh. I did some research, and there is no law on the books about cats with the City, County or State, but the Manufactured Home Park Association has two rather vague paragraphs about it being the Owner’s responsibility to clean up any “unsanitary” conditions around the park – nothing specific about cats, mind you, but plenty of room to interpret however they like.
Soon, a notice went out about pets needing to be under control at all times, paraphrasing one paragraph and totally leaving out the paragraph about it being the responsibility of the Owner to maintain “sanitary” conditions within the park. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m not inclined to follow directions based on paraphrased “laws” handed to me by a tweaker who is about as shady as a person can be, so I went on my way and ignored her and her fucking “laws,” as did everyone else who has cats in the park.
And then I really stepped in it. I was going to Eugene for the weekend and Mr. Big refused to come inside. I asked Yvonne to keep an eye on him and call me if anything hinky went on and away I went. She called me on Sunday afternoon to say that Mr. Big had disappeared somewhere near the Big House and she was heartbroken to have to give me the news. I rushed home, conferred with her for a minute and marched over to “management’s” trailer where I banged on the door in a most un-ladylike manner until Noreen answered.
An aside: who in their right mind wears sunglasses inside a dimly-lit trailer and keeps them on when she steps outside onto her shaded porch? Yeah, a tweaker who knows I know she’s high and doesn’t want to face my wrath.
I asked if she’d seen my cat. In her syrupy false voice, wringing her hands, she replied that no, she hadn’t seen my cat.
I asked if I could look in the trap we all know is set up behind the Big House, just to be sure, ya know?
“Oh, we don’t have the trap any more! The raccoons have moved on so we don’t need it any more…” This was the first I’d heard of a “racoon problem” and I told her I knew it was still set up and demanded to know if my cat had been caught in it.
“Well, it was a live trap, so he wouldn’t have been hurt – we just don’t have the heart to kill anything!” Uh, huh. I reminded her of the Great Nutria Genocide of 2014 and she got all huffy and said, “Oh! So we’re murders now?” I threw up my hands and walked away, knowing I would not get any satisfaction.
Later that evening, just at sunset, Mr. Big showed up. I was actually inside but Diane saw him come running and knocked on my door to get my attention. He was a terrified mess and acted like he’d been confined – I know how he acts after having him in his crate for a couple of hours when I first brought him home – it was the same behavior. I scooped him up and have kept him inside since, where he has proceeded to shred everything that displeases him, including my arms and hands.
Then, it got personal. Yvonne and I (no one else in the park – this will become relevant in a minute) got Pet Violation notices in our mailboxes. We were specifically called out and informed that another violation would result in a fine and a third violation would result in expulsion from the park.
Now, we are reasonable people, Yvonne and I, but after asking around to see if anyone else received a notice (there are at least half a dozen residents who have cats that roam around and like any semi-rural area in this country, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of stray and feral cats wandering the neighborhood) and discovered that no other residents received violation notices. Obviously, this new round of bullshit was directly related to my confronting “management” about the disappearance of my cat.
Yvonne and I decided to go have a talk with the Owners and see just what was really going on – I hadn’t actually seen Alice for two years and hadn’t spoken to Walt for at least 18 months, and Yvonne hadn’t met either one of them.
Cut to the chase, our complaints are irrelevant and we are free to leave if we don’t want to follow the rules as set out and implemented by the “management team.”
When told of Glenn’s attack of Yvonne, Walt shrugged and made the universal hand gesture for “So? Why should I care?”
When asked if he knew cats were being trapped and “taken care of,” he actually SMIRKED at me and said, “Well, I’m not doing it, but I’m glad it’s being done!”
He then started lecturing me about how much money he has and how he doesn’t need the rent that comes in from the park residents, how they’re pouring all the money back into the park to make it look nice so “you people” have a nice place to live but he doesn’t need any of us. I said that he needs to get out into the park so he can see for himself that nothing is being cleaned up, repaired, monitored or in any way tended to outside what he can see from the windows of the house.
The icing on the cake for me was this exchange:
“You might not realize this, but I don’t need your money. I don’t need the $12,000 a month the park brings in…”
I held up a hand. “Wait! How many spaces are there in the park?”
“There’s forty,” he replied.
“40 times $400 is $16,000 dollars a month…”
At that he exploded, “You don’t think I’d know if I was being robbed! How dare you!”
“Hey, I’m just doing the math and I’m trying to tell you that you don’t know what’s going on outside and people are worried about you…”
He started a circular speech about money again and Yvonne and I just left.
It seems pretty clear that the “management team” is keeping the Owners inside and away from the park residents, but we can do nothing. Noreen is their primary caregiver and they will hear nothing against her. They fully support the team they have hired.
Meanwhile, no other residents have been told to confine their cats. “Management’s” dog continues to run loose at every opportunity, pooping all over the place (That’s a $50 fine!) and actually bit Yvonne the other day. When she tried to talk to the Owners about getting the dog’s vaccination info so she didn’t have to seek medical treatment for possible rabies, she was yelled at, shut down and told to go away. AND there’s a guy on the back row growing marijuana on his roof, people are tying their dogs outside their trailers for hours (Yvonne was specifically told she was not allowed to do that) and several trailers regularly have laundry hanging outside – a direct violation, I was told.
I need to move but my need for justice, and yes, maybe a bit of revenge, has me hesitating to do anything too quickly. I can’t help but wish there was some way to call the Karma Bus directly. There is much more to the story, but y’all are surely tired of hearing me rant by now so I’ll sign off and get back to work.