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Caring for mistreated kitty/Introducing outdoor cat with indoor cats.

Discussion in 'Caring for Strays and Ferals' started by twinkles21, Sep 15, 2014.

  1. twinkles21

    twinkles21 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Sep 15, 2014
    Alberta, Canada
    Hi I’m new, I came across this website while looking for advice on introducing an outdoor cat to my indoor kitties. Sorry if this is in the wrong spot [​IMG]

    It’s kind of a difficult situation, I’ll tell you what happened and I need advice on what to do. Saturday Hubby and I were replacing some siding on the house when I heard my neighbour (home behind us) yell something and as I looked over he’s tossing their cat out of the house and across the yard, I didn’t see how he tossed her, just that she went about 20-30 feet across the yard and at least 8-10 feet in the air.

    Well I started yelling – a lot more expletives than I usually use in conversation – and neighbour retreated in to his house quickly. His fiancée came out of the house then with their kids to take some photos in the garden. She made some off-hand remark, while being completely unable to look me in the eye, about not eating of the counter. Their kitty was around them while they were taking pictures and then sprinted away when a truck pulled up into their yard, NEARLY being run over by the truck. Well the fiancée and kids started laughing about it and one of the kids says “you should just do it [run over the cat], I don’t even care.”

    I went back over the fence to start yelling again, but Hubby decided he had heard enough and told me to go inside and grab a plate of kitty food, and HE went over to the fence and called them to come over for a talking too. (He’s a VERY patient person, unlike me who is very quick to anger). Apparently they wouldn’t come over to talk with my husband, they all just retreated indoors he said.

    I coaxed the kitty through the fence (hole) with some food and she ate about 2 cups worth, no wonder she was eating off the counter, nothing but skin and bones. I can count her ribs through her fur. She spent the afternoon in our yard following us around the yard. She’s really friendly with us and when we would take breaks she would come over and purr and sit on our laps.

    On Sunday, the kitty came running when I called her and I gave her some food and wanted to follow me in the house, which DH and I are fine with, she’s a sweet girl. I left the door open and let her poke her head in, but we have 2 indoor kitties already (7yrs & 3 yrs) So she kept getting frightened of the other two and running out. I’m not sure the best way to handle this.

    TL;DR version: Witnessed abuse, feeding neighbour cat, she’s in heat and wondering about the questions below:

    [if !supportLists]1     1.  [endif]How ethical is it to steal someone else’s pet? Obviously they’re not feeding her and they don’t treat her well.

    [if !supportLists]2.    2. [endif]She’s about 4-5 months old, because I’m almost sure she’s in heat. She’s really vocal and nipples are swollen and she’s keeping her butt up in the air.

    [if !supportLists]3.    3.  We’re still living in our starter home (moving 1-2 years, just fixing up the starter for sale, hence the siding repairs) it’s really small, just a 1 bedroom 1 bathroom dealie and if we just took neighbour kitty, the only place safe room for her would be the bedroom, which would mean locking out the current indoor kitties from sleeping with us. (which they would hate, spoiled things. Lol)

    Obviously I’d like to take her and have her spayed right away so she doesn’t end up with kittens. Husband says we should just take her have her spayed and tattooed and then neighbours can’t prove she was theirs to begin with, but it seems so underhanded. I need encouragement, is that the right thing to do?
     

  2. jodig

    jodig TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jun 24, 2014
    I would want to report them for animal abuse but can understand your misgivings because they are your neighbors.

    With that said, what horrible people they are!

    I would definitely take the cat to be spayed as soon as possible, especially if you suspect she is in heat.

    Only you can make the decision on whether or not to keep her based upon your current cats behavior

    and other factors.  I know it may be difficult but maybe you can keep the cat confined to your bathroom until

    she gets acclimated to your home and other cats.

    Maybe you can talk to you neighbors, say something like: It's seems you are not interested in having a cat anymore.

    I would be willing to take her in, find a home for her etc.  In my opinion, you don't even have to do that beings as you

    witnessed them literally kicking the cat out of the door! If someone kicks their cat out the back door and says they

    don't care if it gets hit by a truck, I'd say the cat is fair game and they just essentially just gave up all rights as a pet

    owner.

    Good luck, it does sound like a sticky situation but I would want to get that cat in my house asap in case the neighbors

    let her back in again where she will continue to be abused further.

    I was in a similar situation where I saw my neighbor repeatedly kick his (not spayed) cat out  as punishment.

    This was many years ago but me and my sister "stole" the cat and brought her into our home when he kicked her out one day.

    She eventually went to live with my  Aunt and she still has her. It was sorta funny at the time because before she went to live with

    my Aunt my dad would always be fearful the neighbor would see her in our living room window!  I don't know if the neighbor

    ever saw her but he clearly did not give a crap. Not like he posted flyers around the neighborhood or anything.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014

  3. ondine

    ondine TCS Member Veteran

    I am not giving you advice but if it was me, I'd let the cat decide.  Oh, look, she wants to live with you - how nice.

    If there is an authority you can report their behavior to, you should do that.  Don't be surprised if they can't do anything but having a record is as important.

    Our animal control is excellent in responding to complaints about mistreatment, although sometimes his hands are tied.  He can be a witness, though, and maintain a record of complaints.  Perhaps you can get this kind of support, too.

    The sad thing is, if you are able to rehome this kitty, they may very well get another pet to mistreat.  They sound like they are teaching their children how to be mean and irresponsible.

    Good luck.
     

  4. vbcatparent

    vbcatparent TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Sep 14, 2014
    Virginia Beach
    The cat we adopted was also traumatized and now showing various signs of abuse. We did everything by the book, alerting animal control and letting him go through the process. I would call the animal authorities in your town. Even if they don't take the cat, there is record on file that they need to be watched, and perhaps you can get evidence of their attitude. In the meantime, if they really don't care where she goes, I would let her stay with you until they say something. Odds are they won't bother, but if they do, you want to have the system on your side.

    And yeah, even assuming you take this cat and never alert anyone, that family will have free reign to adopt again.
     

  5. vbcatparent

    vbcatparent TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Sep 14, 2014
    Virginia Beach
    I do not want to judge or cast aspersions on anyone, but for me, if I saw abuse of a pet that violent, I wouldn't be able to keep silent.
     

  6. msaimee

    msaimee TCS Member Top Cat

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    Jul 21, 2013
    Western PA
    Keep the cat and don't tell the neighbors you have her. When you get her spayed and vaccinated, you'll have legal proof that she's yours. I would not get Animal Control involved. You can report their behavior to the Humane Society officer, but it will be your word against theirs, and since they no longer have the animal, there's nothing the officer will do. They can't prevent them from getting another cat. The important thing is to keep this cat safe in your home.

    There are lots of people on this site who can give helpful advice about introducing a new cat into the household. It will take a bit of time for them to adjust to each other, but you can do it. Thanks for rescuing this cat!
     

  7. twinkles21

    twinkles21 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    98
    62
    Sep 15, 2014
    Alberta, Canada
    Thanks for all the replies, definitely a lot of good advice here. 

    We live in a small rural community, Bylaw is extremely efficient when it comes to this type of thing. I went (half-way) through the complaint process with my other neighbor (they're not all idiots, I swear! I do have some good ones) with his dogs. I would need to go to the town to file a written complaint, a Bylaw officer would review the complaint and then investigate the incident (i.e. speak with neighbours), and if he believed my complaint was justified, they would receive a fine of up to $500. IF they contested it, it would go to court. But then as MsAimee  said it's completely my word against his, and I mean it's not like they wouldn't know it was me that filed the complaint. I was seriously yelling at him after.

    But Ondine and VBCatParent you're both right, even if it never goes anywhere, I should at least make the authorities aware of it. I doubt that Bylaw will block them from owning pets in the future, but it may make them think twice about their actions. (wishful thinking?) Honestly, I cannot believe that she is not hurt by how far and high she flew. I can't say that she isn't traumatized already, but as soon as she sees me outside now, she comes running over. Although that being said, when I was sitting with her on Sunday, some other kids were riding their bikes down the road and as soon as she saw them she started to growl. 

    I'm going to talk to DH tonight, but I think we'll contact the vet and get an appointment set to have her spayed and vaccinated, then have her in the bedroom until she gets comfortable with the house. That's how we worked our other rescues and it worked out fine. Then contact Bylaw in the meantime. 

    You know Jodi, our bedroom windows face their yard. lol so yeah, I'm sure they'll see her in the window. You're right though, throwing her out of the house like that, and saying she should get run over, is pretty cut-in-dry, there's no misunderstanding that, they definitely don't want her. 

    (Oh, fyi, if you're curious, I didn't go all the way through the process with the dogs because I didn't half too. The night before I was to meet with the officer, someone else called the RCMP and they took the animals away. They moved shortly after)
     

  8. msaimee

    msaimee TCS Member Top Cat

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    Jul 21, 2013
    Western PA
    Is there anyway you can bring her inside today and keep her in a room by herself? I would hate it if those awful people took her back in and abused her again.
     
    jodig purraised this.

  9. ondine

    ondine TCS Member Veteran

    Yes, if you decide to keep her, make sure she is not visible to these neighbors, at least until you know for sure they don't want her.  People like this are likely to want her back just because you have her.

    And it wouldn't be just your word against theirs - your husband witnessed the actions, too, didn't he?  So there are two witnesses to the abuse.  Too bad you couldn't have filmed it.

    Oddly, I'd set up a video camera to try to video a bird at my feeders I'd wanted to identify.  It was in the window facing a neighbor's yard and I ended up filming them kicking their dog.  Apparently, Animal Control had been called before and hadn't had enough evidence.  One look at the video and they confiscated the dog.  (I never got it back, either and was never able to identify that darn bird!)
     

  10. twinkles21

    twinkles21 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    98
    62
    Sep 15, 2014
    Alberta, Canada
    I'm sorry MsAmiee, I couldn't find her last night. Doesn't surprise me though, the last kitty in heat I took in would disappear like this.

    I just spoke with my Vet, and filed a claim for a "found missing cat" with Bylaw, with a written complaint left on file for abusive neighbour's name and address. According to Bylaw, the "owner" has 3 days to come forward and claim the kitty otherwise I can choose to keep her or send her with the Bylaw officer to Animal Haven Rescue in the city. 

    If abusive neighbour tries to claim her (lol seriously doubt it) the Officer will move forward with the abuse complaint and they will be investigated. If someone else comes forward as her owner they will be fined for improper animal licensing. 

    Either way, Hubs and I are totally in traping mode now. As soon as I see her again she's mine [​IMG]

    Thanks so much for all your replies.

    (Ondine sucks you never got your tape back, but it's good you were able to catch her in the act. I've often thought about putting up a camera, just never seems to happen lol)
     

  11. vbcatparent

    vbcatparent TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Sep 14, 2014
    Virginia Beach
    Let us know if/when you catch her.
     

  12. ondine

    ondine TCS Member Veteran

    Yes, please do.
     

  13. twinkles21

    twinkles21 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    98
    62
    Sep 15, 2014
    Alberta, Canada

    After being missing for 2 days (Monday and Tuesday) she was sitting on my steps this afternoon. Completely dehydrated and starving. She let me feed her and bring her in. Lol She's hearing my camera click in the picture, is what's up with that face.

    The Bylaw Officer came to see me yesterday and said that even though technically after 3 days she is ours (to surrender or keep at that time) I should wait at least a week, and show that I made an effort to find an "owner" by bringing her into the Vet office to have her scanned for a chip, make a post on Facebook and put up at least one flyer. He said while it's not required, if someone tries to take us to court over her, it will help our case.

    She's upset about not being outside, but neighbours are outside and she keeps growling everytime she hears them outside.
     
    thehistorian purraised this.

  14. peaches08

    peaches08 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Jan 11, 2013
    GA
    What a cutie and I can't stop laughing at her facial expression!  Good on you for taking her in.
     

  15. jodig

    jodig TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jun 24, 2014
    Yay! I am so happy you managed to find her and bring her inside. Also, best. Picture. Ever. So funny!

    I highly doubt those people would take you to court over a cat they kicked in the street but you never know with people like that so perhaps I would do what the officer suggested to the bare minimum. So like, one flyer. Across town.
     

  16. ondine

    ondine TCS Member Veteran

    or in the next town  [​IMG]

    Kudos to you for doing this - and doing it right.

    That's the kind of face that could easily get a zillion hits on the Internet.
     

  17. msaimee

    msaimee TCS Member Top Cat

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    Jul 21, 2013
    Western PA
    Wow, what an expression, lol.

    I would do the bare minimum--have her scanned for a microchip, which she clearly will not have, and wait the 3 days, and claim legal ownership. My concern is that if you post a picture of her that her neighbors will claim her back just to spite you, or because they won't want her to have a loving home. I wouldn't take the chance--but that's just me!

    I'm so happy that she came back and went inside. Of course she's going to complain until she's spayed, because if she's in heat, she wants to be out and about. I hope she will adjust to being a spoiled indoor kitty, because if she goes outside, there's always the possibility that someone in this awful neighbor's family will snatch her back up again just to torture her.      
     

  18. thehistorian

    thehistorian TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Jul 2, 2014
    United States
    Dude - just take the cat. The moment they started abusing her they forfeited all rights to her in my book. Underhanded my bum. Your neighbors are underhanded scumbags and I hope someone backs over all of them with a semi-truck - their disgusting worthless spawn and all.

    The planet does not need more human trash. Forgive my harshness but I do NOT tolerate animal abuse and that automatically gets people thrown into the "you don't deserve to breathe" category.
     
    jodig, helsic and zoneout purraised this.

  19. vbcatparent

    vbcatparent TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Sep 14, 2014
    Virginia Beach
    Aw she is a doll! So glad you are able to help her.
     

  20. twinkles21

    twinkles21 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    98
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    Sep 15, 2014
    Alberta, Canada
    Lol, I made 1 post on facebook and a sign up to put on the bulletin board downtown. No worries, I didn't put any pictures on the sign, just a description.   Thats a link to the flyer fyi. 
    You know Historian, Add a few more f-bombs and that's almost exactly what came out of my mouth when I saw him do it! As I said, when I get angry I lose my brain-to-mouth filter. [​IMG]

    Although on a slightly more concerning note, I took her to the Vet on my lunch today to be scanned, no chip (obviously) the Vet thinks that she is just a stray that they were feeding. However she is lactating, I thought she was in heat by how much she was yowling. That means she has babies somewhere [​IMG]  the Vet said if she's still nursing they could be anywhere from newborn to 6 weeks, but also said that judging by how 'full' she is, she probably hasn't nursed in a couple days at least. 

    She's only been in my home for 14-16 hours? I don't know what to do. I don't want to let her out lest these terrible people a hold of her again, and everytime she comes back to me she is hungry and dehydrated. If she comes back at all a second time? I don't want her to end up with a second litter either. The Vet was totally supportive of keeping her indoors, she said to have a good look around our area, but they may be dead already (remember, rural, lots of coyotes around) and to just look to her well-being and future. She is 5 pounds, they want her to gain at least 3-4lbs before she is spayed.  DH agrees with the Vet and doesn't want to let her out. Of course I agree too, I just want her to be ok, and now that I know she may (or may not) have babies, I want them to be ok too. 
     
    thehistorian purraised this.

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