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22 Feb 2013

Problems with the neighbours
I am so angry right now.

Our cat went missing on Monday, and didn''t come home all night. My husband and I were frantic, patrolling the streets calling for him, went to speak to the guards at the gates, etc. We eventually made up some posters and put them up at the entrance to the estate.

Next day the guards contacted us to say a neighbour has found a cat (presumable ours) trapped in their house. We assume because there was a big storm on Monday he was frightened and ran in there by accident. The guard said that the woman was furious as she is afraid of cats.

We went to speak to them after work, and found the husband there. We apologised profusely, and also took them a generous cash gift as a thank you for finding the cat. (we had offered a reward) We asked if there was any damage, and he said no, and we said if they do find anything that needs to be replaced or cleaned or repaired they must let us know immediately and we''ll sort it out. He said he understood the situation and it was OK.

Now, 3 days later, they''ve laid an official complaint against us with the estate manager because our cat went into their house! And within the estate rules, if your pet is a nuisance to other residents, you can be forced to get rid of it. I am so unhappy!! Our cats are part of our family, I could no less get rid of them than you could ask someone to get rid of their children. I don''t know how to smooth things over with the neighbours now. I''m just so furious that they would accept our gift, and then turn around and lay a complaint against us. I''m assuming there must be some deep-seated superstitious fear of cats with the woman for them to have reacted this strongly, I just don''t know how we deal with it??

Best of all these are neighbours who regularly create a lot of noise disturbance which we''ve been very tolerant of, in the spirit of being " good neighbours" .

I''m at a loss. :(
Answer 495 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Such estate rules should be reviewed legally. As I understand it the ordinary law gives an owner much more responsibility for thatever their Dog gets up to, on the assumption that dogs are fairly easily trained to behave well ; and that the ordinary law gives one very little responsibility for anything your cat may do, considering cats untrainable and in essence still wild, so it would be unreasonable for the law to expect a car to avoid inconvenient acts. If the estate folks were foolish enough to accept this ridiculous and cruel complaint and try to act on it, I suggest you get good legal advice and consider a counter-suit.
If this silly woman is so pathologically scared of cats she should have sought and received treatment for this condition, rather than taking it out on your poor frightened cat. Neither you nor your cat should be held responsible if she has an unreasonable superstition.
Maybe even get legal advice to point such things out in responding to the complaint, pointing out that at the time the people made no complaints, accepted a reward and turned down your exceedingly generous offer to pay any costs. And suggest that the extent to which these people cause noise nuisance to others should also be investigated.
as Anon says, one emergency created by a severe storm does NOT add up to the cat constituting a nuisance. And this should NEVER count as "a strike" against you in terms of the estate agreements
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