I am BOILING WITH RAGE.
Yes, Baby is still at my house. However, the neighbors definitely know now that I have her.
I was out putting my trash on the curb today. The neighbor's little girl came out, chasing after Peanut, their little chihuahua/Jack Russel mix. Peanut is a 4 year old dog with a lot of energy; and their mother calls Peanut her "baby"--peanut is her favorite animal of all.
I looked at Peanut today and saw that she had huge bald patches all over her fur. I called over to the girl, "Hey, what happened to Peanut? Did somebody shave her?"
"Nope," the girl replied. "She's just got fleas really bad, and she's been scratching, so she hasn't got any fur right now."
I cannot believe they just let this poor little dog scratch herself bare, rather than doing anything about the fleas--which, I know, are all over the house; but honestly, that is just no way for a dog to live, let alone two girls! (This girl has been known to be mistaken or exaggerating before. So it could have been shaving, in an attempt to get rid of fleas. If so, it was an unenlightened attempt at flea control, since fleas will happily bite bare skin and live in carpet. And, anyway, most of the fur was still there.)
The neighbor's girl at this point looked at my door, where door-darting Baby Girl was standing at the door and mewing. "Which cat is this?" she asked, and I replied that it was Baby. (Tiny and Baby look very much alike. I can easily tell them apart, but this girl is eight years old.) The girl followed me inside and picked up Baby, as usual letting her hind end dangle, until Baby started to squirm. I took Baby from her and told her I really, really had to do things, and that she should go home. This she did--leaving Baby behind.
I should count my blessings. She didn't insist on taking Baby "home". But to see that poor dog!--and the girl, dirty and unkempt, her ankles covered in flea bites--I can't believe people treat the innocent that way.
Now to see whether the girl will tell her mom.
I'm scared for Baby, and for me, too, honestly. If her mom comes over here and demands that I return Baby Girl... WHAT DO I DO?!!