Please go back and read the OP. Feel welcome to quote any part of it in which I impugned the character of the neighbor unjustly.

Hi there. I’m your neighbor. I have a garden in which I spend nearly as much time as I spend at my job. Your cat pisses in it and kills my plants because you won’t take the time to litter train the SOB. Your cat comes to my back door and drives my dog nuts because you don’t have some sort of restraining system (fence, electronic fence, etc.) that keeps your cat in YOUR yard. Just because it’s a cat doesn’t mean that it gets extra rights. If it’s destroying my flowers or my vegetables, it’s going to the pound.

FYI, we have a cat, a dog, a hamster, fish, and a daughter. If any of the above get on your property and destroy anything, we accept responsibility for the destruction. Therefore, since the cat can climb the fence, she doesn’t go out. If the dog gets out, then we accept responsibility for whatever happens to her. But don’t expect your neighbors to say, “It’s just what cats do” and allow their work, their lawns, and their lives to go to hell for a fucking furball. Part of your responsibility to YOUR pets is to keep them out of your neighbors’ hair–your neighbors don’t owe YOUR pets so much as one grain of kitty-litter.

Live with it, learn from it, and keep the fucking cat indoors next time.

If this seems harsh, tough shit. I had an entire rose bed destroyed because of an inconsiderate neighbor who thought it was “mean” to make cats piss in a litter box

The people were jerkish–at the very least–for trapping the cat in the first place and ignoring its tags. Since they had a trap out in the first place I’d guess they are having some problems with stray animals. (I’ll get to the issue of “problems” in a moment.)

But at the very least they should have tracked down the owners (easy to do w/ a rabies tag) and returned the cat. At that point they could have asked if the cat is allowed to roam free or it just “went walkabout”. This may not be popular with cat owners, but the neighbors would have been perfectly w/in their rights to ask that the cat not be allowed to roam on other people’s property.

For the record, I love cats–and most critters, actually. I would never deliberately harm one or knowlingly allow one come to harm. And therein lies my problem. In the country is one thing, but in an urban/suburban evironment any animal allowed to roam free is subject to harm.
My neighbors had 4 cats: 2 indoor, 2 outdoor. The indoor cats are fine. One outdoor cat died horribly, asleep atop another neighbor’s engine block where it had crawled to get warm. The belts shredded the cat when the car was started.

The other outdoor cat prowls my backporch, and crawls onto the porch room outside my bedroom window, begging to come inside. I truly love that cat; he’s a sweetie. But late night yowling, cat fights, etc. aren’t exactly peaceful. And I always let him in, even though I’m allergic to cats and my dog is somewhat spooked with the arrangement.

The prowling cats are are nuisance to others. It isn’t just “a little poop in the flower beds.” Last year alone I spent over $140 replacing plants clawed up by neighborhood cats. My herb beds are a favorite potty place–which leads to a lot of assiduous washing to remove cat feces. Worse, my property is now denuded of other critters. The rabbit family that had lived here for years: all dead, killed by cats. A very few squirrels remain. The raccoon family: moved on. The birdfeeder is mostly a lost cause, because most of the birds are too spooked by a small army of feline predators.

The issue isn’t whether or not I should want to have those other creatures around. I do–and that choice has been removed from me. If a cat absolutely cannot bear to be restrained that’s an issue for the owners to handle. I’m tired of seeing cats cold, injured, hit by cars, etc. and trying, often futilely, to help. And yes, I’m tired of the imposition. Even “perfectly adapted urban cats” are prowling a very dangerous jungle that doesn’t in fact belong to them alone.

We have a very strict leash law for cats and dogs and I support it fully. Neglect an animal under your care, better be ready to pay a hefty fine. Better that than a pet dying horribly–and preventably.


Let me preface by saying:
I own cats.
I love my cats.
I live in a VERY rural area. (dirt roads)
I once trapped a cat and delivered it to the local pound.

This unaltered male cat fought with my neutered male cats, IN MY OWN YARD. Almost every day. I tried everything else I could think of to get him to move along. I didn’t feed outside, I let the dogs loose, I sprayed him with a hose at every opportunity. Nothing worked. I was tired of yowling cat fights and vet bills. This cat was fat and healthy looking, without tags. (Mine won’t keep theirs on either) I felt I had few choices. It never came back, no one ever looked for it. If they had, I would have told them what happened.
I’m sorry it had to be that way, but I’m NOT sorry I did it.

Maybe I am jumping the gun… however, I still have to wonder how they knew who to send a note to if neither (a) or (b) ever happened. And if someone took my cat to the pound and didn’t have the decency to come and talk to me about it in person, regardless of any potential history between said cat and any gardens, yards, birdfeeders, etc, I would consider that person an asshole (rightly? wrongly? i dunno)


Well, as I said in my hypothetical, it seems at least possible that their door was not knocked on and that they didn’t see the flier until after the cat was taken t the pound – maybe a long time after. I mean, I’m not out walking around my neighborhood at this time of year; there could be tons of posters up and I’d never see them.

I just am struck by how many are willing to make it the cat finder’s responsibility to (a) take care of the cat and (b) take extraordinary efforts to discover who owns in and return it – as if the responsibility for the animal does not rest first, last, and always on the owner.

I continue to maintain that there is nothing wrong with using the Pound as a clearinghouse for lost animals. If all found animals are promptly taken to the Pound, then a person who loses one has a pretty good idea of where it can be found. You don’t have to worry that they – like you – are posting fliers you for some reason never see, or knocking on doors that for some reason don’t include your own.

What strikes me as wierd is that these folk sent the notice at all. That just seems odd. If they knew whose cat it was all along, and waited that long, why? If they sent it when they first learned the owner’s identity, you can reach different assumptions. And why mail a note, instead of hand delivering, knocking on the door, or calling on the phone? Just strikes me as odd behavior.

I am also curious - did your niece’s family know these folks?

I have a hard time believing the pound would destroy an animal with tags. I have had dogs for the past 20 years or so, and occasionally they have gotten loose. Usually they come back of their own accord, but maybe 5 times or so I have had to pick up my dog at the pound, the police station, or at a neighbor’s house. These events occurred in downstate Illinois, and two different Chicago suburbs. The neighbors called me because my dog had a tag with my address. But the pound and the cops located me through the rabies and registration tags. I would either get a warning or pay a fine.

So, if the cat had tags when they trapped it, I’m not sure the neighbors had any obligation (tho it might have been nice) to call your niece, or to try to find her themselves. It would have been sufficient to deliver the animal to the cops or the pound and ask that they try to identify the owner. If they caught the cat with tags, intentionally removed the tags, and delivered it to the pound, they are complete assholes IMO. But we don’t know that happened. If the cat was tagless when they caught it, I’m not sure they had to do any more than they did. Which brings me back to, why did they notify the kid at all? It seems pretty easy to predict that doing so would make them look bad.

Finally, just last weekend I cleaned up a pigeon in my back yard with it’s head torn off. Sure, it could have been a raccoon or a possum. But cats are amazingly efficient predators. And I prefer birds in my yard to my neighbors’ wandering cats. My property, my preference.

I don’t hate cats. Not crazy about them either. I prefer dogs, and my kids are allergic to cats. But some people do hate cats. And they are not “bad people” just because they wish to exclude your cat, no matter how much you love it, from their property.

My sister had moved recently and the tag had probably been provided by the vet she went to before they moved.

Sheesh. That does make it more complicated.
It certainly wouldn’t be impossible to trace back; most pounds and shelters will call the vet anyway, get the owners’ names and then try to track them down. If the family just moved it could be a lot harder–especially if they have an unlisted phone.

It just seems like a terribly sad situation all around. Losing a pet is horrible anytime. Seems we just don’t know a few key variables, i.e. was the cat still wearing the tags and if so, did anyone try to track down the owners?

FWIW, I find it hard to believe that anyone would callously have a pet destroyed and then send a note to gloat. Even if there’d been a long-standing battle b/w neighbors about this, most people would do the confronting immediately. If the goal was simply to get rid of any roaming cat, why send a note at all? The note surely wasn’t gracious but I’m not sure it was calculated cruelty. It’s possible the neighbors didn’t know the cat had been euthanized.

Anyway, to all furry-critter fans, please have your pets microchipped! It costs about $20 and is no more hassle than a routine shot. Da Woofer didn’t even flinch when she got hers, and there was no residual pain at all. The whole thing took less than 1 minute. Actually the vet will check to make sure the chip is still working whenever you go in for annual shots. (If you move, just remember to update the change of address w/ the national registry–all it takes is a few minutes and a stamp.) Most shelters and pounds automatically scan animals for ID now.

Lots of peace of mind knowing even if they slip their collars they can still show where home is.


Our local chapter of the Humane Society encourages people to borrow the HS’s live-traps to capture stray cats. These are cage-like traps that cause no harm to the animal; they are NOT a jaw trap like the kind used by fur trappers. The logic behind this is that by getting these strays to the shelter they will stand a much better chance of being located by their owners; not to mention preventing the cats from being hit by cars, poisoned, terrorized by dogs, mauled by other cats, or any of the myriad things that can happen to them.

I’d like to weigh in here. I agree with Jodi, and it boils down to this: The finder is not responsible for tracking down a pet owner. If you lost a pet the FIRST THING you do is call any and all local shelters and alert them that your cat is missing, then call and visit every to every other day checking for your cat.

Also, just because the cat was tagged doesn’t mean he didn’t slip out of the collar he was wearing. The cat could have wandered around for a while before getting trapped, the people brought it to the pound, and a few weeks later notice the signs hanging up. They drop the note just to give the owner a hint of where to call. (They’re probably wondering why on earth the owners hadn’t called yet)

I think the neighbor could have done more, but were under no obligation to do so. To asume malice where there is not an obvious cause seems wrong to me.

By the way, if she lost the cat in January, that’s only been 4 weeks. The shelters in our area don’t destroy animals that quickly, and the finder likely didn’t realize that the animal was going to be put down so quickly. Either way, I don’t understand blaming the finder.


Call me a nitpicker, but the issue hinges more on whether or not the cat is allowed outdoors, doesn’t it? In my experience, cats take to a litterbox naturally–or not. They are not trained by people.

A cat which chooses to crap or tinkle somewhere else may not reflect an owner which “will not take the time” to litter train it. Perhaps it hates the litterbox. Perhaps it can’t get to its litterbox at the moment. Perhaps it feels that fluffy flowerbed is just as good. But it isn’t necessarily a reflection of the owners effort in “training” the cat.

If you want to bitch about tinkle-happy cats being allowed outdoors by said owner, go ahead. I’m not taking sides on that one. OTOH, that’s another thread.