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Neighbour's cat has me stumped! (Some venting in here too and long...sorry)

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I live in a block of units. The lady below me has left on a holiday. I'll mention her as Skye, (not her real name). She left two kittens in the care of one other neighbour and I'll call her Amanda, (not her real name).

Amanda found out the hard way that the two kittens were not house trained and didn't understand the concept of kitty litter and came to me for advice. I gave plenty of advice such as using clay kitty litter since the recycled paper is vastly different to what a cat expects from dirt and then gradually changing it to the recycled paper. The kittens had been doing their business all over Skye's unit. The stench was so bad we could smell it upstairs. Luckily a cleaning team was formed and the unit was cleaned.

Then Skye's boyfriend, I'll call him Jason, (not his real name), decided to step in and take care of the situation. However I think this is where all the trouble has started. The kittens are let out for the whole day and now I suspect at night too. The male kitten has lost his collar and the female kitten is losing trust of humans FAST thanks to rock/mud/stick/stone/ball throwing by the children that live here. Though after a few words to Amanda about what the children have been doing, she is handling that side of things as she tends to spend the most time with them when looking out for her daughter when she plays outside.

About a day after Jason started to look after the kittens, we had some visitors. It was the two kittens at our door BEGGING for food. They smelt the yummy cat food I was giving to my two inside and wanted some. And considering everyone else tends to have late nights and sleep in until mid afternoon, I fed both of them fully knowing it would lead to more visits and possibly me ending up with the responsibility of looking after two kittens as well as my own two cats. And to put it bluntly, I am not prepared for this challenge. They're both about 6 months old and I can't bring them in as I don't think they have ever been wormed or checked for fleas as Skye doesn't know how to even though I've told her how and even shown her. (Hell, they've never even been vaccinated.) But it all seems too hard.

The male kitten now demands food from me in the morning and evenings when I feed my two. I have asked around and everyone assures me that they are being fed but I still leave food out. And the kittens both eat it. The female doesn't stick around but the male one does. I can't fathom why as both my cats have been sterilised so it's an impossibility that Esper can go on heat and Russell doesn't care that the kitten is there as long as he's outside.

One morning, the male kitten came running into our unit. And no one was impressed with that. Esper hissed. Russell growled. Me and my boyfriend weren't happy with that and we were both late for work because of fetching the male out from his chosen hiding spot without causing harm to ourselves or him.

This morning is the FINAL straw for me. I have the flu and gastroenteritis and I'm on medical orders to rest. And I have spent the better half of this morning cleaning my verandah and front door of cat pee. The male went on a spraying spree. And I still haven't seen Jason today. I have contacted the caretaker and he won't do anything because as of Monday Skye was no longer a tenant as she owes five weeks worth of rent. And once Skye pays what she owes, (and counting), she gets access to the unit and the caretaker will mention the kittens. She will have the option of keeping them inside or finding new homes.

But it gets better. No one knows when Skye will be back. She was supposed to be back two weeks ago from her holiday. The locks on the unit have been changed, so now it seems the kittens are definitely out all night. Russell was going ballistic as he felt violated by the spraying. He has calmed down since my clean up operation plus spraying of Feliway around. I plan to let him wander around on the verandah later. Hopefully he won't spray, he has been neutered but I'll be cautious all the same.

And the female kitten is about to go on heat. I'm positive about this one. The way she meows around Russell and the fact that Russell tries to break the flywire to get to her is a sure sign. Though everyone else thinks that's unlikely because she's so small. They don't even know anything about cats, let alone kittens!!!

The only available option is for me to call the Ranger. They come and get the kittens and destroy them. I don't want to do this and can't bring myself to doing this. Despite being completely irresponsible, Skye does adore her kittens and she will be back. I would like to see them housed at a cat lodge until Skye comes back but I doubt anyone is willing to pay for that option as they seem unwilling to buy food for the kittens. They were down to only biscuits for almost a week now and I know they usually have meat as well.

I can't afford to keep looking after these two. I'm not going to be thanked for it and I'm sick and tired of picking up the pieces. I can't let these two starve and at the same time I can't put up with the spraying and impending heat cycle. And the RSPCA, well they can't do a thing because people are looking after them. Until there are signs of neglect, they won't step in. That is, the kittens have to show signs of injury or become skin and bone.

And all I wanted to do was have a cup of tea on my verandah this morning.
post #2 of 25
I feel so sorry for these kittens who didn't ask to be born to the life they have. What needs to be done is the female needs to be trapped and spayed, then if she has to live outside, she will at least not add to the cat population in your area. But see, I speak as someone who privately has rescued hundreds of cats over a dozen years now. I see so many times how this part of the population, the strays and ferals, and right now these two are strays because they have been booted out of a home where they thought they could trust the person there. Strays become so misunderstood and are looked on as a nuisance and a bother and many people (even kind-hearted people such as yourself) get stretched to the limit trying to help out in situations like this and get easily discouraged.

No, you probably won't get thanked, not here on earth, but I firmly believe your reward will be greater one day because of running interference for these two kittens. As far as they go, a spot on flea repellent will kill any fleas that they have, as long as it is bought at a vet's office and not over the counter. But all of this takes time and money, and why should you do this when they aren't your responsibility? Because you are a kind-hearted soul and you know a wrong when you see one. I am grateful that you are in these kittens lives right now, because it really sounds to me like you are the only one who gives a damn about them. And they need people like you in their corner.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 

I'm going to catch the male kitten first. Won't be too hard since he visits when I feed my two.

The female kitten...that's the tougher challenge at the moment. I haven't quite figured out how. But I will get her spayed by the end of the week. I'll try negotiating something with the boneheads looking after her. It's putting Russell through torment and I don't think anyone else wants kittens. Highly possible since I have noticed three male toms today. Just hope I'm not too late.

post #4 of 25
One of the hardest ferals I ever trapped was Ghost- aptly named. He refused all the tricks, the sardine oil dribbled inside the trap, the tasty sardines, the tuna, the cheapest, smelliest foulest cat food didn't tempt him, nor did the good stuff either.

What finally trapped him was putting down one very thin layer of newspaper on the bottom of the trap floor, so he wouldn't feel the metal but only one thin sheet or the trigger won't trip. Then I put catfood in the end for him and then I sprinkled catnip towards the back of the cage. I had him in 10 minutes! BUT I had to rescue him out of the trap quickly- because the catnip makes them want to roll and I didn't want him to hurt himself. So I transferred him into a large dog cage where he spent the night until I could get him to the vets the next day. Now he sleeps either under our barn or in the hay loft and is quite sociable to the both of us. But he was sure a bugger to trap!
post #5 of 25
wow what a sad story!! Ita with hissy. That little girl needs to be fixed asap. It is hard to be a kitty angel but I'm sure someday karma will come around to the good and bad people
post #6 of 25

I am so sorry you are having to go through this and I applaud you for being willing to work so hard for no gratitude at all. You are a true saint to be willing to trap these porr kittens and get them fixed. I tip my hat to you!

post #7 of 25
Mags, you've had your share of problems with other people's cats, mate! I just wanted you to know that I think you're such a wonderful person for doing this. You're really a kitty angel, and the only thing I can think to do (besides what you already are) is handing over the bills to their "guardians." I'm sure you won't be repaid, but at least they'll know the lengths to which you're going to care for their babies.

post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 

Right now I am beyond frustrated and purely angry at everyone who is involved with the two kittens. Since last time I was here, I have approached the 'carers' about the situation, even offering to pay for the two kittens to be desexed.

The reaction was far from gratitude. They reacted as if I was going to declaw the little ones. Funnily enough, they think declawing is less traumatic.

The owner has said she doesn't want the kittens desexed at all as they will become prone to weight problems. I hadn't heard of this garbage since I was in the school yard as a 13 year old taking on a 17 year old boy spouting the same rubbish. Only this time I didn't win this argument. Apparently anecdotal stories weigh more than facts.

The carer, Jason, did say that he would keep them inside from then on. That was last week, if not almost two weeks ago. I can't quite remember. This hasn't been happenning, though they have been fed. Though at the moment I haven't noticed the male kitten at all. The female kitten is still running about outside around the apartments and the communal parking lot that has no fence closing off access to the road outside. But then we are talking about a kitten who is able to scale fences or better yet, just squeeze under them. >_<

I've now noticed 5 different tom cats around the area and I've done my best to discourage them from the area. I leave food out about 3kms into the bushland that's across the road from the block of apartments. Though I'm not sure whether this is working or not. The thinner tom cats haven't been seen for a week now *crosses fingers* and there's only been two of the healthier looking toms around.

And if you're wondering why I haven't trapped and got the two kittens desexed it's because the neighbour has decided that if that happens, she'll bring the police into it. I rang the police and local ranger whether she had grounds to, and she does. So I can't do anything but watch these the lives of these two kittens deteriorate before my eyes.

And the RSPCA can't do anything because there are no signs of neglect and there is someone looking after them. And there is nothing illegal about allowing kittens out to wander around the place even if there's a potential for unwanted kittens. The lady on the phone said that if I don't like the cats then perhaps I should consider moving. At that point I swore at her and mentioned that I have two cats of my own and that they will NEVER be put into any boarding kennel approved or associated with the RSPCA as the endorsement obviously means nothing since they do not understand how to care for cats and kittens, let alone grasp the concept of unwanted kittens and hung up.

So now, I don't spend time on my verandah, not even to appreciate the beautiful sunset. It is simply too depressing.

post #9 of 25
OMG!!!! That is so horrific! It amazes me how STUPID people can be. And the thought that the RSPCA person was so clueless makes me shudder. I feel so very bad for you because there just doesn't seem to be a thing you can do to help these poor kittens.
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
The nights are now getting colder and I haven't seen the female at all for the last two days and nights. I've given up on asking the neighbours about what is going on as no one can tell me a straight story. Winter is right around the corner.

I try not to think about it but I can't help it. I know two kittens are in trouble and I can't do anything to help in any way. I have a terrible feeling something awful has happenned as the food I left out for them on my verandah hasn't been touched. It's usually gone by the morning.
post #11 of 25
Oh god, Mags, how awful!!! My heart aches for you and those kittens!!!!

Just what, legally, would happen? Would you go to jail? Would it be a fine? What would happen if you help the kitties anyway? If it's a fine, maybe we can take up a pool or something to help "bail you out" so to speak ( ) for helping these little ones. ???????
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 

Well, I really don't know. The police mentioned that at the very least it would be a fine and if it was more serious, possible jail term. The world has gone mad as far as I'm concerned.

And today, the plot thickens further. Skye has returned and has asked me whether I've seen the male kitten. He's missing. Now I could have become angry and upset since no one decided to listen to me and get on my soap box about how the kittens were not cared for. But no, I tell her to call the local ranger, (animal officer), to see whether he's been placed in the pound.

Skye says that has been done and wonders what else she can do. Like duh!! How about searching for him. Leave food out...a possible cat cosy like area for him to sleep in during the night if he does come back. All of this has been suggested. I did tell her I that I hadn't seen either kitten for a while. And that it was only today that I saw the little female running around.

And I did mention what the male kitten got up to on my balcony while she was away, not that I received an apology for it. This world is insane. No one takes responsibility anymore and if anyone does want to step up because they care, they get shot down in flames for it.
post #13 of 25
I was just reading this thread and it's so sad about those poor kittens!

First of all, I want to say that I'm nowhere close to being as knowledgeable about cats as Hissy is. When I want to educate someone about any aspect of cat care, I find the necessary information on the internet and print it out for the person. I have gotten positive feedback from people by doing this, and better results than I would have gotten from just talking to them myself.

Maybe some written information that discusses the problems you have seen will help Skye understand that she needs to become a much more responsible cat owner.
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 

Well I'm thinking what I have said is finally starting to sink in. The female kitten was kept indoors last night.

The male kitten is nowhere to be seen and I've volunteered myself to help search for him later tonight since he does know me and considered me 'his' and the 'bringer of food' before he went missing.

post #15 of 25
Mags, you are so wonderful!!! Let us know what happens!

...and I think Lorie has a good idea there. It sure can't hurt.

My thoughts are with you!!!
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 

We didn't find the little male kitten. It's still disappointing even being well aware that searching isn't always successful.

I made sure everyone involved had never scared the little one in any way before setting off. Even made sure everyone was wearing clothes that were ready to go in the laundry so our scents would be easier to pick up for the little one.

There were essentially two groups. One group focussed around the apartment block and grounds. And the second group went into the bush armed with torches, kitty food and a towel that had the male kitten's sister's scent all over it.

At one time we thought we were lucky and actually found the little guy but we found a stray who was fed and watered. Wasn't sure whether it was male or female as the little thing didn't want us getting to close to them.

We spent about two to three hours searching with no luck so far. Skye is calling the wildlife officer tomorrow to see if there's any news from them.
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
The nights are cold and the desert wind is unforgiving.

And so far with the searching, not a trace of the male kitten has been found. Skye doesn't seem to care anymore and the enthusiasm of the other searchers has now become non-existant. Though food is left out and it is eaten but no one is sure whether it is the male kitten or the strays eating it.

There was no news from the wildlife officer. It's all been rather glum, just like the weather today.
post #18 of 25
I've just read through this whole thread and, notwithstanding your really generous actions, I am really disgusted.

Some people SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED to keep animals. Sorry, but if you're not prepared to look after and take responsibility for your pet then you shouldn't have any. Worse thing is, I can't understand why people get cats (or any other animal) if they don't really care, surely, like having kids, you should only have another soul who relies on you and loves you and needs love from you, if you can give it all to them.

You seem like a really lovely cat-guardian angel, but this thread only proves how many people there are out there who take the lives of their animals for granted and treat them like possesions and not companions.

London is really bad in this respect. I have had rows in the past with neighbours who have left their cats (one time a dog - a rottie) locked inside their houses and they've gone on holiday for two weeks, just leaving them a load of dried food which they estimate will last that long. How sick is that? The poor animals are lonely, eating stale food and fouling the house. Actually the time when I found out about the dog, I called the R.S.P.C.A and they did come, saw the dog was barking and whining, but said they would have to come back again in a few days because the dog still obviously had food and the owners may be back any time. I told them I thought they's gone away for a fortnight but they said they couldn't just take my word on that and they had 'procedures'. I didn't know honestly when they had left so goodness knows how long the poor dog had been left until he started barking from fear. Anyway the RSPCA came back...7 days later, a day AFTER the owners came back!!!!!!!!!

So nothing was done, I couldn't believe it.

Sometimes I really dislike the human race intensly.

(Sorry if some of this felt strong...but any kind of cruelty...whether it's negligence or physical really gets me going, I volunteered at Battersea Dogs Home (although they also have loads of cats) and the things that people did..

Even my lovely two babies were found in a tied up plastic bag!!!!!!!
post #19 of 25
I have to agree. I would've taken the kitties to a rehoming centre and then told the owner to ' prove it'.

Failing that, I think I would get the local press involved. Less running and telling tales, but more raising awareness of strays/ferals (the local press always like a sob story), and ensuring that maybe you recount the 2 kitties tale into the deal (again, no names).

Thanks so much for caring when everyone else seems to have given up. I hope the little boy cat gets found very soon.
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
Yola, the local press is a joke. I know who the journalist is and the general attitude of the people working there. And quite frankly it's disgusting as they believe that the only good cat is a dead cat. And for the majority of the population here, they also believe this.

There is a feral cat problem as well as a stray cat problem and owners owning cats with no freaking idea about anything about cats. And I won't even mention the dog problem!! Frankly, I believe that if you want to keep any animal, you should apply for a license and before being approved pass a test with the pass mark being set at at 90%. That way, at least mindless morons who care more for their daily/nightly fix of alcohol than anything else are less likely to fit the bill as a responsible pet owner.

Sorry the local press and town really gets me angry with particular issues.

Tybalt, I was very close to rehoming these kittens. The only problem is that I live in an apartment block and everyone can see what everyone else does on their balconies. This was the only thing stopping me, well that and legal action. >_< I was too worried about my future career, (I can't have any criminal conviction against me), than to do anything and everyone started to keep an eye on me including the local police. I should never have spoken to anyone and did it all on my own. I feel like I have failed both kittens.

And Skye has no intentions of getting the girl kitten spayed at all. I'm at my wit's end in all this mess.
post #21 of 25
I dont't think you should take all that on yourself and blame yourself like that, you did what you thought was right, just because you tried to have faith in human logic and tenderness for other life doesn't mean you should blame yourself because stubborn ignorant people let you down. You gave your neighbours the benefit of the doubt and I really think most people would have done the same, they let YOU AND THE KITTENS DOWN you only tried to do your best and be responsible. It's all very well feeling regret in hindsight but I really think you have nothing to berate yourself about, you simply weren't to know they would end up being...sorry for the hardness...but cruel and stupid!

I think you sound like a really generous and caring person and you did all you could.

post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your kind words. They have made me feel better.

Now I fear that the girl kitten has gone missing too. I haven't seen her for about two days now, maybe longer. I've been so busy with everything I can't be sure. No one seems to be worried about it. I'm no longer talking to Skye and she is no longer talking to me but that is because of her younger children coming up to my balcony to play, knocking my pot plants over, killing two aloe vera plants, chives and three chilli plants and on top of that teasing and scaring my two furbabies silly. So I got REALLY and told her kids off and sent them off from my balcony. It's only now recently that Russell and Esper will approach and look out of the window and a whole lot of catnip, treats, toys and reassurance. And when Skye discovered that her two younger ones were too scared to come up to my balcony, (and they have no reason to in the first place, I'm not the babysitter), she sent her oldest daughter up to find out why and I told her why. And since then I've heard her complain to every other neighbour about me so now I don't talk to any other of the neighbours.

My other half isn't too happy with seeing me worrying about Skye's kittens, nor is he too happy with making complaints the the real estate and has decided that we are moving as soon as possible. They have been given an eviction notice, but they're fighting it so it could drag on for months. I've been leaving food out for the kittens on my balcony. It's always been eaten, though I'm not sure by who but hopefully this weekend I can find out. So if it's either kitten eating it or both, I'll be taking them in and rehoming them. And since it will be looking like we're moving house, it will provide the perfect cover for moving the two little ones to our new place.
post #23 of 25
Sounds to me like you have been stuck with some real *gems* as neighbours maybe it's harsh but they obviously look after their kids with the same attitude as their cats, taking no responsibility for any actions...and fancy sending your own kid to find out why your other kids are scared to play somewhere, a real piece of work. I think if you're looking for somewhere else to live, it's probably going to be a real relief to get away from such idiots!

I'd like to say that the little girl is better off away but the poor little darling has probably strayed, I just hope she finds a kind cat-human who will take her in and give her the love and care she deserves.

I hope you don't have too much backlash with your neighbours for your sake, it sounds extremely unfair. I hope you're doing Ok, sod them all, they're not worth your time if they're treating you like this, after you just tried to help.

Chin up lovey, you're obviously living surrounded by neanderthals! LOL
post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
I have seen the female kitten tonight. She seems well and as usual timid of humans.

Will be leaving food and water out as usual. *sigh*
post #25 of 25
Mags, I'm so glad she's back!!!! I'm so sorry for all you've been through. These poor, poor kitties. You're a wonderful person Mags, and I'm so glad you're there, doing what you can to improve their lot in life, the poor little things.

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