Tuesday, 27 May 2014
CAT RESCUER OR CAT THIEF?
(Some details have been changed or omitted because of the delicacy of this post's subject matter.)
Last week I received a call from Person A who alleged that a relative, Person B, was an alcoholic whose life was a shambles and that B was not capable of looking after the cats that B had adopted from us. A wanted to know if we would take the cats back. I said that we would and soon after A took them to our re-homing centre at Ferry Farm.
A couple of days later, Person B rang me and told me that the cats had been taken by A without B's knowledge, that they weren't neglected, and that B wanted them back. I asked B a few questions and said I'd get back in a while. I rang the re-homing centre and was told that the cats were in a good condition, something I verified myself when I went round the next morning. They appeared well-nourished, healthy, and friendly.
After some thought I decided to return them to Person B. A was wrong to have taken the cats without permission. They were B's property and what A did amounted to theft. Given the condition of the cats, I saw no reason to keep them at the re-homing centre and, besides, the law was on Person B's side. B had also alleged that A was very religious and judgmental which, if true and being neither, was not likely to endear B to me. A had told Mark of Ferry Farm that B went on binges every few weeks which lasted a couple of days but not mentioned this to me.
So I took the cats back. B's house was clean and tidy. Both B and B's teenage child were acceptably dressed, articulate and pleasant. The cats seemed happy to be back, wandering around and letting themselves be stroked. They showed not the slightest sign of distress. If it is true that B does go on an occasional bender, the cats seem no worse for it. As far as I could see they were being well cared for.
Person A is on holiday for a week and when A returns I shall inform A of what's happened and that if, in the future, A has concerns about the welfare of the cats then the correct procedure is to inform the RSPCA.
And there you go and I can go back to typing he he, she she and he she instead of trying not to identify the gender of the parties involved.
Talking of the RSPCA, I just had a call from them about something I reported last week. I won't go into details but, suffice to say, I got a call about an underweight abandoned pregnant cat which was frequenting the back yard of an empty house which had an open gate. I agreed to meet the person but shortly after got a second call in which it was outlined that the problem was more complicated and the caller felt a little intimidated. So, with her permission, I contacted the RSPCA and passed on the info.
Which brings us back to the call I've just received from them. They tend not to go into detail but did say there was a problem which they were attempting to resolve -I think it was a case of too many animals in a house.