Can you trust your neighbour to look after your cat when you are away? This story will tell you that you cannot. That does not mean that you have to totally write off the idea of your neighbour taking up cat caretaking duties while you are away but it might put you off.
A person in Jackson, Mississippi went away for four days. She’d made arrangements for her neighbor to pop in to the house once or twice daily to clean the cat’s litter box and feed her cat. These are the basics and no more. The neighbour had offered to do this.
But guess what? You can guess. When she returned home after her four day trip, it was clear that the neighbour had not put a foot inside her house. He or she had completely ignored her responsibilities to the detriment of the welfare of the cat. This could have ended tragically.
The cat’s owner (I have assumed that she is a lady) was naturally very upset with her neighbour. This is a shame because neighbours really need to get along.
The cat’s owner had bought a gift while away to give to her neighbour but decided against it. Neither would she pay her any money. She was concerned about how to deal with the matter.
Should she simply ignore her irresponsible neighbour or confront her? Note: as far as I am aware there were barriers such as sudden illness which would have prevented the neighbour from carrying out her duties.
What would you do? I think you have to discuss the matter with your neighbour. You have to find out what went wrong and why it happened and decide where the truth is as there are bound to be lies.
There may have been an agreement to pay for the service and that needs to be discussed. I’d discuss the matter but in a non-confrontational manner. You can’t afford to fight with your neighbour for years.
I have always felt with conviction that it is not a good idea to let your neighbour look after your cat or cats while you are away unless you know them very well indeed and have had good experiences in the past.
The story I have recited is not uncommon apparently. One problem is that the cat owner’s expectations are higher than those of the neighbour looking after her cat. There needs to be real clarity as to objectives and standards which could make the arrangement too formal. However some sort of written agreement might be suitable for the avoidance of doubt and to avoid excuses. Agreements are useful to focus minds.