Cat at Large: A Skulduggery ‘Tail’

On a bitterly cold Dec. 8, 2006, a University Park couple finished putting their children to bed and noticed a primped gray cat pounce onto the porch.

Knowing that temperatures would dip into the low 20s and the memory of a pet freezing to death around Christmastime would be Scrooge-worthy, they sought to reunite the cat with its family.

However, good intentions would soon turn awry, awkwardly introducing the newcomers to their neighbors through Park Cities People’s Skulduggery of the Week.

As the husband carefully picked the cat up to bring it inside, the animal bit him and fled the scene.

The cat-at-large was found upstairs in their daughter’s bed, nuzzled next to her hair.

Once again, as the husband tried to bring the cat downstairs, it assaulted him again.

The second bite was the final straw: With animal control closed for the day, they called the police — requesting lights and sirens off — to get help reuniting the fugitive feline with its family.

Moments later, multiple police vehicles came barreling down Colgate Avenue with sirens blaring and lights blazing — certainly not the best way to make a first impression.

PHOTO: People Newspapers Archive

As officers took a report, the cat fled out the front door and into a headline: Twice Bitten, 4 Times Shy.

Those Skulduggery offenders are my parents, Kim and Frank McCutchan, and I was the one the cat cuddled beside.

It was embarrassing at first, but now my parents look back and laugh.

“It was funny because when our neighbor brought the paper over, my first thought was that I hope they didn’t include our home address,” Mom said.

Dad chuckles but still gets irked remembering how it went awry.

“The old adage is true: No good deed goes unpunished,” he said. “I’m happy we tried to help, even though the cat’s bites hurt. I hope readers found it funny, and it made them smile!”

I hope this retelling brings smiles, too.

“In reflection, it is one of our funniest memories being in that house,” Mom said. “But I don’t think I will be bringing any more cats into the house.”

Emilea McCutchan, a graduate of Ursuline Academy, attends the University of Texas in Austin.


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