When Sister Girl's best friend came over this afternoon, she saw that there was a police car outside the house across the street, where a girl I went to school with (both high school and grad school, actually, although the latter was a mixed grad/undergrad class) lives (or at least her family does; I don't know the exact arrangement) and was sobbing hysterically. Somehow this turned into "Their house has been broken into," although I don't know how Sister Girl and Best Friend came to this hypothesis, but my mother has just now been across the street to check up on things, and this is what happened: Lauren (the other girl) came home and found two of their five cats (including, rest in peace, the Shaggy Cat) mauled to death on their back deck. There's a third cat currently missing, though wounded or dead no one yet knows. She was able to describe two large, black, shaggy (I think? I'm not sure?) dogs who had broken into their yard and completely pulverized a bush, apparently, in their zeal to get at the cats; I'm assuming they were still on the scene when Lauren found the cats. Now, because I'm lazy, I'd rather walk our dogs out to the back yard to do their thing than drag them around on leashes, and they're old enough now to understand what Go Outside means, so I just shepherd everyone out back three or four times a day. (We have a very tall, very sturdy wooden privacy fence--in part to keep vagabond kids out of the pool--so I think we were safe.) So I had no idea that these two dogs had been terrorizing the street all day, according to other neighbors--at one point even charging a small toddler who lives next door to Lauren. At least two different families keep their dogs in open yards with those zappy perimeter collars, too, so if their dogs had been outside, they wouldn't even have been able to flee if attacked. Fortunately, I think the woman across the street was able to grab the toddler and get inside before anything happened, and no one else's pets were hurt. But Lauren's parents and the police officer started combing the bushes up and down the street, hoping to find the missing third cat, when my mother saw them and took the opportunity to ask what was going on. Apparently another neighbor had seen them as well and told Lauren's mother to get in her car and he'd follow the dogs one way and she could go around the other, and he was able to follow the dogs up [Street Near Me]. He had lost them by that point, but the neighbor asked a man standing outside if he'd seen them, and the man said, yes, actually, he had. A gray pickup truck with a ladder in the back had come forward and stopped; the driver had gotten out and hustled the dogs into the back, and then he had driven backwards to get out of the neighborhood, apparently rather than let anyone see his plates. Which says to me that he knew his dogs were dangerous, and very possibly had caused havoc before, and he knew that he was going to be in deep shit if anyone caught up with him. I mean, I'm sure they escaped--not like he purposely set them loose--but the police are looking for a truck of that description now, and if anyone sees the dogs out marauding again, they're to call 911 and someone will immediately be sent out to catch them.
(Jesus, those poor cats. I mean, I'm still sad that Lucky passed away a year ago today, but we discussed both his passing and Meko's at the respective times, and we were all glad that they went suddenly and peacefully and painlessly. Lauren's cats? ... Not so much.)