LETTER: Cat owners need to be more responsible for their animals

One resident expresses her frustration with outdoor cats

Shame on all you cat owners who let your cats run wild and expect your neighbours to feed, water and clean up after them.

I am an animal lover and have a 20-year-old cat who I keep indoors. She is still very healthy and loved. I am also a passionate gardener and over the years the number of cats running wild in our neighbourhood has increased dramatically with all the new houses.

I have been frustrated with the number of cats using my garden as a litter box, often the areas right by our entrance doors. The odour is just lovely and I have had to replace numerous plants killed by cat urine. I have tried sprays, Critter Ridder and moth balls. Nothing deters these cats once they find a nice patch of soft soil to bury their loads.

For two months a neighbour’s tenant’s cat has been hanging around in our parking area and eventually took up residence on the doormat at my tenant’s entrance way. For two weeks it was there day and night. I discouraged my tenant from giving it water even though it was extremely thirsty during the hot weather.

I tried to chase it away by spraying it with water from my garden hose, not because I am mean, but because this poor cat was meowing loudly all night keeping my son and tenant awake. It was pawing at my tenants door and waking her at 1 a.m. Her poor aged indoor cat was very stressed out by this cat constantly clawing the brand new screen door. My tenant could not leave her patio door open for fresh air during the day because of this poor neglected cat.

My tenant tried expressing her concern to the owner of this cat and the owner’s response was “I trust you.” We took that to mean she trusted us to look after her cat. Never mind the stress it was causing our family and pets.

I called the Capital Regional District Animal Control people for a week and a half. Still the cat was on my tenant’s doorstep day and night – meowing. Finally, I put this cat in a carrier and took it to the CRD. A short while later it’s owner banged on my door and rang my doorbell repeatedly. I came to the door and this woman screamed at me to “never touch her f-ing cat again.” She shook her finger in my face so close she almost hit my nose and continued to swear at me and accused me of feeding her cat and said that was why it was staying at our house. I told her several times to get off my property and I also stated that I never fed her cat. It was very threatening and was witnessed by three workers that were painting my house.

Of course some of my neighbours thought I was making a big deal about “just a cat.” So I guess I am supposed to just let this cat upset our indoor elderly cats, keep my son and my tenant awake all night, destroy my new screen door and I guess it is my job to clean up it’s poop and let it kill my plants.

There are bylaws that state that owners must keep their animals on their own property, so why am I being made out to be the one in the wrong?

Barbara MacDonald