How Can a Cat Cost Someone His Job?

(The cast from the Broadway musical “Cats,” courtesy of Wikipedia. The strong affinity for the feline wonders made it one of the longest-running musicals in history.)

This Realtor Sparked a Cat-astrophe

It happened several years ago when I’d just become a realtor. Frankly, I thought my new career was going to be easy, but in my eight years in the profession, I’d discover otherwise. I wasn’t alone in my misperception: I still hear people say, today: “How hard can that job be?” “You just waltz into your seller’s home and begin ushering people around, saying ‘And here’s the kitchen…blah…blah…blah.’ “

The public believes that a realtor merely points out what most believe is the obvious. But as with Murphy’s Law, that simplistic view is just not the case, for all sorts of things conspire to confound the realtor. In most instances, no one hears about these (in fact, good realtors absorb problems and make the whole transaction of buy/sell appear seamless.)

But today, Biddy will share one episode that happened to a seasoned realtor in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, as he went about his accustomed duties.

He was on the stone steps of the house, just closing up. He’d been at this showing for over an hour and he was exhausted. The potential buyer asked every question possible, and he answered every one, for this realtor knew his stuff. That’s why he was one of the best in the trade. He even had the awards to prove it.

But this day would be like no other…

As he put the key in the door, he felt a movement beside him, looked over, and to his dismay, saw the cat. It must have somehow managed to get out, unnoticed. Fortunately, the cat had found the realtor ‘curious,’ so he’d hung around. Now, it would fall to the realtor to get the cat back in…and you know how that goes.

When he attempted to grab it, the cat evaded his grasp, running instead out into the road. Tires screeched as a car came to a sudden halt, while the realtor held his breath. Fortunately, the cat wasn’t hit; it had just sought refuge under a parked vehicle.

Undeterred, the realtor followed. Getting down on his knees, he searched mightily for the cat and when that didn’t work, he crawled under the car, hoping no one saw. Fingering the pavement around the wheels, he touched on fur. Next, he grabbed the cat by the scruff of the neck and brought him out.

With his prize in hand, he carried it back to the house, unlocked the door with his free hand, and threw (OK, not so to cause injury) the cat far enough inside that it couldn’t quickly escape again before he shut the door.

What happened next will be forever burned in his brain….

Through the glass side panels of the main door, the realtor watched in horror as the frightful scene unfolded. Two cats came out of nowhere to confront this third cat, with backs arched and tails upright. Loud hissing followed and fur flew, as they all engaged in full combat.

Like a Tom and Jerry cartoon, the cats raced around the room, knocking off lamps and expensive knicknacks, leaving a path of wreckage. Suddenly the third cat (the one the realtor put back into the house) leapt onto the silk drapes and clawed his way to the top of one panel, hanging suspended, with the other two in hot pursuit.

In desperation, the realtor unlocked the door, re-entered, disengaged the cat from the drapes, and held the terrified beast by the nape of the neck, as he walked out. He’d finally reasoned that “this cat didn‘t belong to this family.”

But now he had a new problem: “How was he ever going to explain the damage to the owner who merely thought the realtor was showing the house?” The owner would doubtless never appreciate the realtor’s heroics to “save the family pet” (that didn’t belong to this family.)

In my years as realtor, I heard stories of pets that escaped house confines, and the realtor spent hours searching for it, combing neighborhoods, only to lose the listing for not being vigilant enough (some owners like their pets waaayyy better than family members); I learned some realtors didn’t even know there was a pet about (cats especially tend to hide in places only they know about); and I learned of other realtors who were attacked by pets, bearing the physical and psychological scars of their encounters.

Yes, in contrast to the public’s view, a realtor’s job is never easy, and these are just the stories I can tell….Some are professional secrets–never to be told.

***By the way, I’ll only identify this realtor is if he comes forward and identifies himself first, by Commenting on my blog at It’s a professional courtesy I extend to my fellows in the ranks (I’ll give a clue: He used to be a REMAX agent; now, he’s with another company.)

But that shouldn’t stop the rest of you from adding your own story. If you prefer, you can use a pen-name or be anonymous (you know I’ll keep your real identity secret), so ‘Dazzle me and the public.” Put your experiences up on the Biddy Bytes site…and feel free, too, to send this invitation to colleagues everywhere. The buttons are below..

About admin

A lifetime teacher and realtor who's now a published writer, Colleen Kelly Mellor is a humorist first, ever aware of the thread that connects us all. Her works have appeared in the WSJ, Providence Journal, and CNN and NY Times-acclaimed medical blog,, to name a few. All material on this blog is exclusive property of the author and cannot be reproduced without this author's express written consent.
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