“Feral cats owner” faces eviction from council house in Scotland

A Scottish woman, Elspeth McVie, 58, says that:

“I have a tendency with animals to let my heart rule my head.”

Bless her. I can understand that.

Further she says:

“I got confused and didn’t want anything to happen to the cats. We were like a little family….I re-homed some and was going to re-home the rest, which I should have done. I wasn’t well. I was depressed.”

The BBC says that Elspeth was hoarding 16 “feral cats” (this description is incorrect). She’s desperate to not lose her home which has been provided by the council (social housing) and under which she is not allowed to keep pets at the property.

If it is true that council tenants in this part of Scotland (Perth and Kinross Council) are not allowed to keep pets it is very unfair because a lot of tenants don’t have work or are elderly and they need the companionship of a cat or dog.

Anyway, I am strongly for this lady keeping her home but the authorities are deciding whether to evict her or not.

The BBC reported this story and the reporter has described the cats as “feral” which has to be incorrect because they were being rehomed by Elspeth. They must be stray and unwanted who have wandered into Elspeth’s life and home. She may have acquired a reputation as a cat hoarder so people have abandoned their cats on her.

Perhaps the cats’ behaviour had the appearance of being feral. They can’t be true feral cats.

Sadly the council house was in an appalling condition as is commonplace for cat hoarders. The lady inspector who visited on behalf of the local authority says it’s the worst she has seen:

“I have worked in housing for about 20 years, and I’ve gone into properties over the last 20 years, and I honestly have to say that in my opinion that is the worst I have ever seen…They were quite feral. It was quite alarming for me because I had never seen so many cats.”

There was a court hearing about evicting Elspeth. Some cats were in poor condition – also typical of a hoarding situation. It is was decided to take them for rehoming – confirmation that the cats were not feral.

What the BBC meant was that the cats were running around the house probably startled at the presence of the inspector. This gave a false impression that the cats were feral.

The response of the authorities in this instance should be to rehome the cats after giving them a veterinary check and treatment. Then to clean the house and insist that Elspeth complies with the terms of the lease.

Finally, the lease needs to be amended to allow one pet per household. People, especially lonely people, get a lot of comfort from the friendship of a companion animal. Don’t take that away from them.

2 thoughts on ““Feral cats owner” faces eviction from council house in Scotland”

  1. The issue of hoarding has gotten way out of control.
    Frankly, I’m sick of loving people like Elspeth being accused because she cares for 16 healthy and well cared for cats. And, to face the loss of her home is over the top.
    If I read correctly, the lady inspector had no other criticism other than the cats appeared feral. Like you, Michael, we know that no true feral is adoptable. Apparently, the living conditions were up to par or she would have noted that.
    It sounds like some sort of neighbor witch hunt to me.


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