Thursday, May 8, 2008

Love thy neighbor

I'm currently having a very hard time with this command.
Back in February our neighbors across the street came to complain that my cats were coming into their yard and making messes. I didn't quite believe it due to the messes she described weren't characteristic of my cats or really any other cat for that matter. I gave her some tips though to try to help with steering cats clear of her yard. Ones that don't require anything but common house hold items. She has young children, and I didn't want to suggest anything that might harm them. Well this didn't work, so a week later she sent her husband over to talk with my husband. He didn't act quite appropriately for part of the conversation, but we did appreciate them confronting us with a problem they had. So I researched and found a "kitty alarm". It is a motion detector set at cat level that puts out a high pitch sound only animals hear and scares them away. We bought one of these for them and Larry set it up in their yard. They were happy with the results and thanked us a number of times for our cooperation.
A week later though I got a letter from the city in the mail that a neighbor complained of our cats running around. I grew up in a neighborhood where my cats were free to be outside (which is MUCH healthier for them and they are much much happier and better behaved when they get that outside time). This upset me dearly because I checked with neighbors when we moved here if they minded if our cats were outside and they all said it was fine. So I know it has to be one of these neighbors for the letter to be sent directly to us in the mail. Larry called the city and they said we did need to make the cats indoor cats. But said that they do agree it is healthier for animals to be outdoors, so they suggested getting an electric fence that works with the cats collars to give them a mild shock to keep them from leaving the perimeter.
So with this letter we made them indoor cats again. I took out their kitty door within the hour of getting the mail. As you know from a previous post, Flash didn't handle this well so I had to give him up.
After making them indoor cats, I went to retrieve the kitty alarm from the neighbors. Since we ended up fixing the problem in another way, I didn't see the need for paying for a pricey alarm for our neighbors. They were supper kind and asked if they could pay us for it so they could keep the strays from their yard.
So with this turn of events I was sure everyone knew my cats were inside now. I haven't had anymore complaints...
Until yesterday. I went to retrieve the mail and was supper excited to see the wedding invitation for another of Larry's cousins sticking up out of the pile. I have been looking forward to receiving this due to talking with Staci about her invitations a number of times. She was doing hers herself and I was excited to finally get to see it. My excitement was quickly squashed as I shuffled through the envelopes and found one from the city that I could see had a picture of a dog inside. I quickly opened this letter to just as quickly turn to boiling. It stated that a neighbor was complaining of an animal of ours was defecating (pooping) on their lawn. I couldn't figure this out. My cats haven't been allowed outside in 3 months. If they do get out it's for only a few seconds because we are on their heels catching them and bringing them in. As for our dog, she is old and only goes outside in the back yard so I can clean up her messes and so she can get her exercise and sunning time. When I do bring her out front she wont do more than pee and she will only do that in our yard. She likes certain spots to use the restroom and doesn't go outside of her areas. I never trained her to do this, it is just part of her personality. So it isn't possible that our animals are doing this. We are having a problem with someone allowing their dog to defecate in our front yard too, but since we don't know who we haven't said anything.
I called into the city to inform them of the false accusations made and to see if they could mark it somewhere that I have made my animals all indoor animals months ago. I told the gentleman that I was connected to that I had received a letter and felt that it was a mistake. He asked why and I told him about the previous letter we had and how I had brought my cats in immediately after receiving the first letter and not let them out since. I also told him about our dog and how she is. I told him of our problem with someone bring their dog to our yard to relieve itself. He said the complaint was for 3 loose cats. He said nothing can really come of the letters unless someone wanted to file and affidavit and that rarely happens. And since we fixed the problem we couldn't get in trouble. I told him I didn't want to take the chance of it going that far though. He was very kind and marked down that we had already fixed the problem and said we would not get any letters for at least 6 months. I said we shouldn't get any after that and shouldn't have gotten this one, because we work to fix problems immediately when they are brought to our attention.
A few hours after this talk something hit me. I have had a suspicion as to who has had the letters sent, but one comment of his confirmed it. "the complaint was for 3 loose cats" Only 2 sets of neighbors knew we had 3 cats. And one of those sets were the ones we had gotten the alarm for. They also know we only have 2 now. The others were ones I asked a number of times if they were OK with our cats being loose and each time they said yes. I have felt for a while that they didn't like us for some reason. They were very kind when we first moved in by making a meal for us due to my recovering from surgery. I thanked them greatly for this, sent a card, and told them to let me know if they ever need our help with anything. I don't think they like the fact that my husband has a fascination with cars and has a few (they are kept put away and aren't even in the driveway. The only ones we keep there are the 2 we drive all the time). I also don't think they like how we keep to ourselves for the most part. They are my parents' age, so we don't have much in common and I am not a nosey body who has to be in every one's business. I don't think she likes that, she is the kind who does need to be. I also think they just like to complain. I mowed my lawn for the first time in early March, and the husband drove up as I was finishing the front and he complained how they are going to have to start doing that all the time now since I started mine. (the yard has a weed problem that obviously has been going on for a few years due to how bad it is, and I was mowing it do a quick fix before my best friend who was visiting from out of town got there) Mowing doesn't make a difference of how often you have to do it.
So as you can see this leaves me struggling with that command. So prayers to give me strength with this would be appreciated. Hope is better for each of you. I am going to start my day now and see if I can't get it to be a better one than yesterday.
P.S. If anyone could help me figure out what to do to make this show my paragraphs rather than just being one huge one, I would appreciate it.

1 comment:

Hurtado Family said...

I'm sorry your dealing with all of this. Unfortunately there are people like that out there who tend to make life for everyone else a little harder....wish i had some words of wisdom for you. Maybe after talking to that guy at the city he can say something if they call him again.