Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Southern California
So this co-worker never microchipped her cat, never put a collar and ID on the cat?
You put the posters up when you first found the kitty as a stray, right? And the co-worker has just NOW shown up?
How long have you worked with her? How authentic does the photo she provided look? Did you put a photo on the flyer? Does it seem like the photo might be a fake, or a copy of the photo you put on the flyer?
Is the co-worker able to describe the cat in DETAIL, not just show a photo? i.e., does the cat have any interesting, unusual, or semi-hidden markings (like on the belly) that the co-worker can describe?
How far away does the co-worker live from you? How far did this cat allegedly "travel" before she came to encounter you?
It's hard to just make a blanket recommendation without knowing some more details about the situation.
I've had a somewhat similar experience - I found a stray hanging around my house a few weeks ago. I fed him, took him to my vet to be scanned for a chip, and he WAS chipped. We tried to get in touch with the owner for several days, and finally got a hold of her. Apparently she had lost the cat TWO YEARS prior! She said she already had two other cats and asked if I would keep him. I couldn't, since my elderly cat has health issues, but I was a little weirded out that she didn't seem too enthused about getting her cat back, but I guess she had already moved on with her life after he had disappeared. Now, my stray was obviously well cared-for when I found him, so I think someone else had taken him in for those two years.
However, after THREE years, frankly put, this cat is no longer your co-workers cat, even if it literally did belong to her three years ago. The cat has lived with YOU for three years. You have loved her, cared for her, and spent money on her. You would have, legally speaking, a darn good case that you are now the legal owner of this cat.
Besides, unless this woman can produce some kind of receipt of purchase or undeniable proof that it IS her cat, she can't exactly demand it back from you. She wouldn't have much of a legal leg to stand on if the cat isn't microchipped or tattooed - even if she produced a receipt that said "Purchased one black and white kitten from Petco" or somesuch, to prove the cat was hers, the description "black and white" (for example) isn't exactly undeniable proof that this is her cat.
Wall of text aside, my PERSONAL opinion is, to wit, screw her. Your kid is attached to this kitty now - go ahead, let this co-worker try to take kitty away, and let her watch the kid cry over it. Now, again, I don't know the full story, but it doesn't seem like this woman made any kind of real effort to find her cat when it was lost three years ago. Why does she deserve it back now - if it's even hers? I'm not unconvinced that maybe she has mistaken the cat for hers - unless the cat looks VERY unusual (say, it's bright blue with purple spots), I'd have to see a whole lot of photos before I was convinced that it was HER cat.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.