So, You Want to Rent a Cat?

Here’s something that turned up in my inbox:

I saw your post online about renting one of your cats?  Is this actually a reality.  My roommates and I would love to rent a cat for the spring.  If the offer is no longer on the table do you have any idea where we could get a cat for 2 months but then give it back.

It’s been four years since I wrote a tongue-in-cheek post about renting my cats out as rodent control contractors, yet I still get occasional comments and emails from people who are interested in the make-believe service.

It’s hard to tell if people are just pulling my leg. Seriously, I don’t know how much stupider I could have made the blog post. For example: “Maeve can be baited to make her more attractive to mice by rubbing cheese or peanut butter on her head. Rodents find these scents irresistible and will walk right into her clutches.”

I find that people sometimes don’t know when I’m kidding. Do you ever get that dead eyed stare at a meeting when you say something you think is funny and it doesn’t seem to register? It could just be people don’t have a sense of humor. Or they think you’re an idiot. Or maybe a little of both.

It’s hard not to think that there may have been something to the cat rental concept. Maybe if I were just a bit more ambitious I could have been the cat rental king, providing a service the public needs, making a nice living and putting some cats to work doing something useful.

6 responses to “So, You Want to Rent a Cat?

  1. Another way your service could have provided public good: I’ll bet a nickel that this latest inquiry is from college kids, who want to have a house cat. Unfortunately, most college kids who want to have a house cat adopt one, and then abandon it when they finish the communal living phase of their young lives. Geneseo, where my daughter went, is over-run with feral cats, most of whom once enjoyed living indoors. So your rentals could keep the mice down AND reduce the number of abandoned cats at semester’s end. Win, win.

    (And, uh, yeah . . . . I get that dead eye stare a lot . . . )

    • Great idea… not sure how it will fly with the animal protection folks, but I like it.

      I take heart in the fact that for every person who thinks I’m an idiot, there are many more that think I’m OK. But I’m keeping an eye on the ratio…

  2. As long the cat is chipped and neutered/spayed, I can’t see what problem animal control could possibly have with the idea. Of course, working out the legalities of such a scheme (deposit, rental fees, veterinary care, etc) as well as vetting the potential renters (weeding out the nut jobs) could involve a few hoops, but I think the overall idea is tenable.

    • It’s crazy, but there could be something to this. My greatest concern would be the health and safety of the cats — and some plan for cats who age out of the program. A cat with the right personality could thrive as a rental companion.

  3. Maggie looks pissed that “Rent-A-Cat” has come full-circle. I’d watch out tonight.
    Humor is relatively unknown in upper management in my company, so I keep it to myself. Older management digs Michael Bolton (not the character from Office Space), finds Pat Paulsen to be a hoot and has no appreciation that someone kills Kenny all the time.

    • Yes, she sports a sour puss, but that cat is absolutely obsessed with me.

      Interestingly, some of the most dour folks I work with are a lot younger than I. Go figure!

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