Fight over Mr Cat escalates as retirement village seeks court order

2015-03-18 08:35
Mr Cat (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

Mr Cat (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

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Chelsea Pieterse, The Witness

Pietermaritzburg - A Howick retirement village is seeking a court order to remove a "nuisance cat" from the property, after the 15-year-old cat's owners decided not to agree to certain conditions.

The Amber Valley Trustees Board is now taking legal action to remove Mr Cat from his home with Penny and Sylvia Reid in the retirement village.

The feline has been the centre of what looks to become a legal spat after complaints about the “nuisance cat” made their way to the board, who asked the Reids to either contain or remove the cat.


A newsletter issued by Amber Valley’s Body Corporate and distributed last week lists all interaction between the Reids and the trustees.

The letter said Reid had approached the board and asked the chairperson to inspect her property after she had placed mesh screens on her doors, windows and gates around her property in the hope that the board would find the attempt to contain Mr Cat satisfactory.

“I personally did the inspection and informed the trustees that I was satisfied that the unit had been secured,” said Shirley Benney, chair of the board, in the newsletter.


The conditions under which the Reids could keep Mr Cat were listed as follows in the letter:

• The trustees would receive written confirmation that the cat will be kept indoors and only allowed outside the unit on a leash;

• The Reids would endeavour to remove all petitions and social media posts concerning the cat from the internet;

• No further interviews would be done with any media;

• They would apologise in writing for the “offensive and at times aggressive criticism of the trustees”; and

• Be liable for all legal costs incurred by the body corporate as well as the additional administrative costs incurred as a result of the publicity.

The trustees nevertheless reserved their rights in respect of defamatory comments made concerning them.

The Reids’ attorney, Pat Stilwell, responded saying the cat would be contained, but did not agree to any of the other terms.

On receipt of this letter, the board instructed its attorney to proceed with court action to remove Mr Cat from his home.

The board’s attorney, Daniela Ressa, declined to comment.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  animals

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