Maybe it's time to try a dog. A small dog.
The 911 call in Portland, Ore., on Sunday began with a hint of embarassment, or at least of sense of self-awareness: "Yeah, hi, I have kind of a particular emergency here."
Particular indeed. The voice on the line belonged to Lee Palmer, who called to report that his 22-pound Himalayan cat had gone berserk, attacked his 7-month-old child, and now had Palmer's family trapped inside their bedroom after the father responded by kicking the cat in the butt.
The cat, in other words, had taken the family hostage.
"We aren't safe around the cat," Palmer told the emergency dispatcher in audio (embedded below) obtained by the Oregonian, which contained several statements like, "We're trapped in the bedroom, he won't let us out of our door," and "He's very, very, very, very hostile."
Did the 7-month-old need medical attention? Not really, Palmer said, though there were "very small puncture wounds" on the baby's head.
He'd tried to call animal control, apparently to no avail, and now he needed the cops to come -- well, if he could let them inside his apartment complex without getting mauled by his cat, which had "a history of violence," a phrase generally not associated with a breed nicknamed "the Himmy."
In order to leave the bedroom to let in the police, "I'm going to have to fight this cat," Palmer told the dispatcher, who, in the recording, puts Palmer on hold to ask her boss whether it would be OK to sic the cops on a terroristic cat; the boss approved the decision.
"He's kind of a violent cat already ... he's charging us, he's at our bedroom door," Palmer says, after which howling can be heard in the background of the 911 call. "Do you hear him?"
"Yeah, yeah, I hear him," says the dispatcher, who -- with a level of unironic professionalism that should probably be commended given the situation -- told Palmer, "I know it's kind of scary, let's just try to stay as calm as we can, OK?"
Palmer says, "Tell them to be careful, the police," then lets out a single, hollow half-laugh, presumably at all the circumstances in his life that had led him to speak these words to another adult.
According to the Oregonian, the cops managed to snare Palmer's kitty, Lux, with a dog snare, without injury.
Palmer told the newspaper he was still considering what to do with the pet, which would certainly be kept separately from his son.
"I swear I have never seen anything like it," Palmer added, and probably neither have the rest of us.