This is the full story about the cat who refused to go with her owner when she moved home. The cat’s name is Violet. The owners are Emily and Lisa Szefel. At the time I wrote about this in a previous post (opens new window) the press had scant detail. We now have the full story thanks to Oregonlive.com and it’s basically about the less than acceptable behaviour of Lisa Szefel in my opinion (based on what I read and that this is the full unmitigated story).
The Szefels moved home. They put one of their cats, Violet, who is timid, in an attic space. You can see it in the picture below. I have no idea why they did this. Why not put Violet in a cat carrier like normal people?
Violet wriggled through a hole in the attic and into the walls of the house and could not be coaxed out. The Szefels moved without their cat and the incoming couple, the purchasers, Patin and Soldo, inherited a cat! They possessed the cat temporarily but did not own her.
To cut to the meat of the story the Szefels wanted to return to their former home and be alone with Violet to entice her out. Patin and Solo were uncomfortable with this. So…
Soldo and Patin hired an expert cat catcher/rescuer, Bob Stewert to get Violet out. As Violet was coming out of her hide at night to fed and toilet, Stewert placed a one-way cat door over the hole through which Violet passed to go and feed. He informed the Szefels about it. They were pleased with the update.
The next day the Szefels created a Facebook webpage: Justice for Violet. They claimed that Violet had not been fed and was near death. She had hours to live and that Patin and Soldo were uncommunicative. In short they blamed Patin and Soldo for slowly letting their cat die of starvation.
These were untruths because it was known that Violet was feeding at night and that Stewart had hatched a nice plan to catch Violet. Patin and Soldo had asked the Szefels to communicate with Stewert who told them that Violet was feeding.
There was uproar on Facebook. The FB mob slagged-off the Szefels mercilessly. You know how it can get on Facebook. When people are anonymous the worst side of their personalities come out and bam. Mob mentality and anonymity are a dangerous combo when fed misrepresentations of the facts. TV crews came down and it became big news.
Then the Szefels appointed a lawyer, Geordie Duckler, to write to Patin and Soldo in which they threatened legal action unless they allowed the Szefels access to their home to retrieve Violet. The letter was hand delivered. Things were hoting up and all the heat was coming from the Szefels.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, Stewert’s ploy proved successful. Violet had been trapped. He got quite badly scratched for his troubles but who cares. He’d done his job and done it well. Stewert, Soldo and Patin took Violet to the Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter for a controlled handover!
For Patin and Soldo it must have been a kind of nightmare but the Szefels see it very differently. They said:
“We are in awe of the outpouring of love and support from total strangers,” Emily Szefel wrote after Violet’s return. “You have renewed our faith in humanity.”