Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Loitering and Prowling

I am owned by two cats.

Like many other folks who are owned by pets, I am likely to say “I love my cats”.

That’s not the whole truth. The fact is that most of us want our pets to love us.

Who knows if canines and felines can feel “love” towards the humans they own.

Isn’t it more likely that these animals “bond” with us?

They do this because we are their primary sources of food, safety, play, and grooming.

That’s fine. For house pets serve the deep human desire to be needed.

The cats which own me are called Ada and Adelaide.

Ada sleeps for most of the day. She is a loiterer.

Adelaide is constantly exploring. She is a prowler.

It’s just as well that they live in my home, rather than on the streets. For in Sarasota “loitering and prowling” is a crime.
One of my Resurrection House pals has recently been arrested for just that: for “loitering and prowling”.

It seems to me that the decision by a law enforcement Officer that someone is loitering and prowling is a very subjective one.

A well dressed, apparently middle class person, seeking to kill time, spends an hour in downtown SRQ. She/he window shops, wanders around the “Whole Foods Market”, and sits outside the Library.

A slightly scruffy, apparently homeless person, seeking to kill time, spends an hour in downtown SRQ. She/he window shops, wanders around the “Whole Foods Market”, and sits outside the Library.

Which of the two is most likely to be arrested for “loitering and prowling”?

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