Why don't the neighbours think we own our cat?! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
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Why don't the neighbours think we own our cat?!

We're very friendly with our neighbours; my family has lived beside them for close to 50 years, but I don't understand how they view our relationship to Blacky. The people that live there seem to be under the impression that Blacky is a wandering cat. It doesn't matter how often we tell them she's our cat.

On more than one occasion I've heard my neighbours saying Blacky doesn't belong to anyone, every time my father or I have stopped and explained to them that she's our cat, and go on to explain that we feed her, she sleeps on my bed, she spends half her time in our house - way more than half of it in the winter. On top of that, we take her to the vet when needed and give her flea treatments in the summer. They see me frequently carrying her around outside and petting her - only my father and I can approach her outside, likewise she will only walk up to my father and me when she's outside. Yet... they still don't think she's our cat?! We've had her 8 years! We take her with us on vacation, she follows us on walks! Shouldn't it have sunk in with them by now that we exclusively care for this cat?

One time that stands out to me was a year or two ago, our neighbours had a friend over and as the friend was leaving I was sitting in the font yard calling Blacky over to me. Their friend started with the "Oh a cat!" and my neighbor replied along the lines of "Yeah she hangs out around here. No one really owns her..." Of course this was one of the occasions I told the neighbour Blacky is my cat. Blacky wouldn't have been in the process of walking up to me otherwise!

I thought she might have had said this due to her friend being there; I'd overheard them earlier talking about outdoor cats and how in this day and age it isn't safe or responsible to have an outdoor cat. I figured after they'd both expressed how bad this was she might be embarrassed that she lives next door to people that have an indoor/outdoor cat. However, various times before that encounter and after it I have heard the neighbours say things about Blacky such as "How's that stray cat?" (why should we know if it isn't ours?) and "Have you seen that black cat around today?" (duh!) and "I wonder if anyone owns her/feeds her?" (... gee, I wonder...)

This was again expressed in my earshot tonight, I was petting Blacky outside and a relative of theirs was over and spotted the cat, asking our neighbour if it was ours, and they replied "It doesn't really belong to anyone..." Again I chimed in that Blacky was our cat adding that she sleeps on my bed every night. The neighbour replied that she sleeps in their front garden a lot.

I didn't know how to reply to that, their front garden is right beside our house, there isn't even a fence in the front (and in the back it's a very low fence with large spaces between the boards anyway) so to a cat the property boundaries wouldn't mean anything. Our cat is indoor/outdoor - not attached at our hip - she's independent. She likes to sun in their straw there (she's made a nest in it, it's kind of funny), it gives her a little protection from anything trying to look in at her and it's under the overhang of their roof. Sometimes she's even out there in rainy weather... mostly because my aunt is over and she doesn't want to be around my aunt. Anyway, that location in their front garden is one of her daily sleeping spots. Most often if she isn't inside during the day she's sleeping over there, she likes it there. It seems pretty straightforward to me.

I'm kind of at a loss here and a bit upset that these people don't seem to view us as owners. I'm wondering if anyone here may have some insight to their mindset. What do we need to do to qualify as owners? Do any of you think a cat that spends time outside means no one owns it? Do you think a collar will get it through to them? Since Blacky started out as a semi-feral a collar never entered into things at first and by the time she had comfortably become our cat we knew her personality - she doesn't like collars and she doesn't go any farther than our neighbours front garden, which she likes sleeping in.


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Last edited by Carmel; 05-19-2011 at 03:33 AM.
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 04:09 AM
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You are probably right, a collar would convince them. They can't really say Blacky doesn't have a home if the proof is around Blacky's neck.

Otherwise you might just have to keep repeating yourself. It's like the drunk guy who comes to my pull tab booth everyday and asks for 2 for 1 pull tabs. I have to tell him everyday that that isn't legal and I'll keep doing it until he stops asking...

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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 04:15 AM
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Yeah, I'd put a bright pink collar on her with some tags with your name/number/her name. I'm passive aggressive enough that I might wait until they are out side and make a big show of putting it on her in front of them.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 04:24 AM
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Why do you care what they think? It's your cat, the **** with them
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanOwnee View Post
Why do you care what they think? It's your cat, the **** with them
I mostly agree with this, but for the reason Bad_cancer noted it could be a problem. Also I just can't understand why they don't think we own her, I was hoping someone here might have the dazzling ability to understand why they don't get the message.


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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 06:53 AM
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it seems they are critical of your ownership of her and dont mind you hearing it. When you protest its your cat, they're saying, between the lines, yeah, well, we dont think youre taking care of her. They're saying, yeah we hear you tell us its your cat, but why does it sleep in our garden then?
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 07:17 AM
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I would immediately get her micro-chipped and collared. It would annoy me as well if my neighbors kept referring to my cat as a stray, and knowing my personality, I would confront them and ask directly 'Why do you think this cat is a stray? Have you not Heard me tell you Repeatedly that this is my cat? Stop being disrespectful *&^*%^*^.'
But, in the reality of things, there is probably no way to change their minds, and the biggest worry is not what they think, so much as the real possibility that someone may simply pick her up and take her home.

The dog may be wonderful prose, but only the cat is poetry. - French Proverb
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 07:32 AM
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your neighbors don't get it because they are stupid. There are probably a lot of other logical things they don't get either.

I agree with the collar thing.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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The reason we've never collared her before is she seriously doesn't go anywhere and she's very street smart, she wants nothing to do with people outside (except me and my father) so there's no way anyone would get close to her without a net in hand, she also avoids cars and never goes near the road. When she's outside she's doing one of four things: sleeping in the neighbors garden, doing her business (pretty sure her main location is in our backyard), following us around if we're outside or sleeping on our enclosed sundeck (there's a dog/cat door to get to it from outside that she uses). I can almost count the number of times on my hand in eight years that she hasn't been in one of those locations when we've gone to look for her, and if she isn't she comes inside within five minutes after calling her.

Another thing is, since she's got longish fur it'd be hard to see a collar, in the second banner picture she's wearing a flea collar but it's hard to tell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by faithless View Post
it seems they are critical of your ownership of her and dont mind you hearing it. When you protest its your cat, they're saying, between the lines, yeah, well, we dont think youre taking care of her. They're saying, yeah we hear you tell us its your cat, but why does it sleep in our garden then?
This is why I'm starting to think... does a cat liking to sleeping outside in an area where its never been threatened seem odd?


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Last edited by Carmel; 05-19-2011 at 09:56 AM.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 11:25 AM
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Even if it's hard to see the collar from a distance, if someone Did catch her, as soon as they feel/see the collar, they will know she's owned and return her.

The dog may be wonderful prose, but only the cat is poetry. - French Proverb
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