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Legal Question about my Cat

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm not too sure if this post belongs here, but as my time in Japan comes to a close, I have to think about moving back to the US. My parents said that I could stay with them for a few months until I got my own place and after much debate, they have allowed me to bring Miya with me (there is NO WAY I would EVER just dump her off with someone). Now, my mom said I would have to keep her upstairs exclusively, but Miya is a super affectionate cat and she won't be able to handle being by herself for the whole day and will need to come downstairs where her mommy is. My mother said, even though she agreed Miya could stay, if she catches Miya downstairs, she would chase her out of the house or call the animal police (but I'm the owner!).

Can she do this? What can I do to stop this? (I am still trying to look for a place I can just move straight into from here, but that's not going to be very easy).
post #2 of 8
I know that at my shelter here in the US we cannot adopt a person living with their parents if their parents object. It's technically a rent situation, with your parents being the landlord. What they say goes because they own or rent the property and it's in their name, not yours.

I guess if she made a real stink about it, she could call the pound and have the cat removed from her property. And unless the cat is declawed, it wouldn't be a crime to place her outside the house.

I live with my mom, too. She agreed to only two cats, and I'm bringing my fourth home tomorrow. Once she realized how responsible I was, how clean I kept the house and litterbox, and that she wouldn't have to spend a dime on food, vet bills, and accessories she could care less. I mean, I just talked the women into letting me take a ringworm cat home! My mom is a super-clean freak! Your mom may just be freaking out about the idea, expecially if you haven't had cats before. Maybe once she gets to know the cat and realizes it's not destructive, harmful or dirty she'll change her mind.

You also really need to look into what goes into bringing a foreign animal into the US. You'll probably need vet papers, shot records, and I'm pretty sure there's a quarentine time where she'd have to stay at a facility for a set amount of time (though I may be wrong about that. I know other countries do this to prevent new diseases like rabies from entering the country, but I'm not sure about the US.) I think if you contacted an embassy or the State Department they can fill you in on the details.

Good Luck! (By the way, I am so totally jealous. I've always wanted to go to Japan!)
post #3 of 8
Since your mom said you can have the cat, albeit upstairs only, she cannot remove the cat. What she can do is have you served with a 3-day-notice to fix the problem or quit staying there. If you do not quit (leave) and do not correct the problem, she can then file an unlawful detainer action against you. You will have 30 days to respond to the summons for the unlawful detainer (filed with the court). It is illegal for her to remove your property (Your cats, or other possessions) and your recourse is to sue her in small claims court. At the unlawful detainer hearing, 30 days from your mom's filing, the judge will decide if you need to leave or not. Somehow, I find it difficult to believe your mom will take you to court. But, I think your best bet is to just keep the cat locked up; if you wind up living in a hotel room, or other unsavory situation, the cat will still be locked up just the same. Be glad that your folks are taking you in & your cat is welcome. It will be safer anyway, as the cat may be nervous from so many changes, including quarantine, and will be less likely to go missing if she's locked up. Just spend as much time in your room as you can, save as much money as you can so you can have a home of your own. Hope this helps! Susan
post #4 of 8
That's a lot of great information!
Sure hope you are able to find a home of your own very soon so you and Miya can feel most comfortable. Please do keep us updated on the situation.
post #5 of 8
my dad said pretty much the same thing when we first got maverick but the rule lasted 2weeks at most. in those two weeks she was too scared to go downstairs anyway as she was just getting used to her new enviroment. maybe your mum will change her mind when she lives with Miya for a while and realises her fears are unfounded.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. It was really helpful. I just want to make things as comfortable as I possibly can for her before moving out (I am only planning to live there for 2 months while I try to find an apartment in the US). I'll have the money to move back, it's just that I don't know how long it will take to find a place.

(There is good news: Miya won't have to spend any time in quarentine according to some research I did.)
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Oh, I am having a very funny feeling that my mother *may* let Miya roam around a bit. My economic situation is slightly better than hers, and I offered to stay longer and help pay some family expenses. This was actually a huge reason why she agreed to letting Miya come home with me in the first place.
post #8 of 8
I would only add that I am sure your Mom will come round when you are there, and if you are not financially destitute then the worst that will happen is you have to find a temporary place before you get a real home. But try and work with your Mom, and see things from her point of view too. I think it so sad if families come to legal blows and you wouldn't want this to come between you forever.
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