Irresponsible cat owner sees her cat killed on the road

by Michael
(London, UK)


Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats


I didn't think about doing this article until this morning - in bed! About a week ago, I was chatting to my neighbour who cuts the grass for the block of flats where I live. She was putting a poster up about a lost tabby cat called Freddie. The cat apparently lives with the woman who owns and occupies a large house next door. I am not sure (just guessing) but I think she is divorced and living in the family home, the husband having moved out. That is the way it typically is in the UK on divorce if there are children.

Anyway the house and garden are enormous for London or anywhere for that matter, and it must be worth about £3 million (4.7 million US dollars). Plenty of money, then, for a great cat enclosure or to build a high wall etc. to protect her cats from the London traffic which is no more than 20 yards from her front gate.

About 2 years ago I first met a cat I named Pippa. She was a little black cat, very sweet, a truly charming cat. She wandered into my life - you know how it happens. She often stayed for a bit of food and to rest up, get warm and receive some TLC - tender, loving care. It was nice to see her.

In contrast it was horrifying to see her cross the road, which I can see from my kitchen window. She would frequently and casually walk over the road to a piece of waste ground to explore and hunt. On one occasion I raced out of the kitchen and held up rush hour traffic in both directions to prevent her being injured. I couldn't live with this anxiety any more as this was becoming a kind of routine.

I asked around to try and find the "owner". My first port of call was the right one - the large mansion next door; the home of the same person who had lost Freddie. I explained to the woman what was going on with Pippa. She said that her cat was very smart and would never get hurt on the road..bla...bla... bla..rubbish. Becoming a bit annoyed, I explained that she had plenty of space and (presumably) money to build a very large enclosure or provide a high fence/wall or some such structure. My pleas fell on deaf ears. She refused to do anything sensible and responsible and closed the front door on me.

Well, while my neighbour was putting the poster up about Freddie, I got talking about Pippa. I was told that one day about 8 months ago (the last time I saw Pippa), this "lady" (not quite a lady - sorry) was driving back home and when just outside her home the car immediately in front of her and in full view of her, had hit Pippa as she crossed the road...Pippa had been killed as expected.

I knew she had been killed even though I didn't know what had happened because she had suddenly stopped coming to see me. This just confirmed it. My neighbour who cuts the grass is a nice women and plays golf with the lady in question so I couldn't be too hard but this is a classic case of very poor cat caretaking.

Now to me. Yes, I am being hypocritical. I let my Charlie out and although I am careful and supervise him there is a chance that he might get hurt. My elderly lady cat doesn't go more than a dozen paces into the garden so is safe.

It brought it home to me. I'll have to move and do what Finn has done and build a catio or cat enclosure and leash walk. Or make a really large (garden sized) enclosure for my peace of mind and my cats' safety. In a city a domestic cat has to be an indoor cat plus enclosure to be truly safe. This has to be the best compromise and the most sensible solution.

Maybe I could have done more to save Pippa. I don't know. I feel sad about her. It shouldn't have happened.

Michael Avatar


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Irresponsible cat owner sees her cat killed on the road

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Oct 22, 2010 Lucky to have outdoors
by: Alexsandra Hamilton

We are fortunate to live in Big Sky country, on 11 acres in the middle of nowhere. As such, all my furry children can come and go as they please in our house, the garage, or the barn, by virtue of doggie and kitty doors. They all come in the house, despite the fact that my poor long-suffering husband is allergic to them, but I think their sheer numbers have made his asthma much more tolerant over the years... on bad days, he just sort of sniffles now. But he loves them all as I do. And yes, I am forever vacuuming rugs.

That said, we originally lived in the city, and my first felines were kept indoors for that reason. But once springtime came, even the calico that we adopted who came with no front claws, was the devil to keep in once the weather started to warm. They always managed to get out, but they always seemed to hang around near the house and stay out of trouble. The calico, Evinrude, even could climb trees with no claws, and was a terrific mouser! She and the other two cats lived to be 17, 19 and 21 years of age. In winter, they were homebodies; but in the nice weather, no one was going to keep them inside if they didn't want to be.

And all of my cats since then have been very unique, and I give them their due respect. Except for liking to hang out at the tree nursery next door, where the folks who work there are all cat lovers, none of them stray very far. The dogs give me 10X the trouble individually than all the cats put together ever have!

Oct 22, 2010 inside cats
by: kathy

I know how you fee michael. A while back we had a little calico coming to our adjoining yards. My neighbor Bill, a toltal animal lover, was so glad to have a cat to feed. Well one day she didnt come back. It was very sad for both of us. Even though they are not your cats somehow you get attached and feel love for this animal who has somehow wandered into your life. I even shed some tears one day and was afraid to go to the main highway because I didnt want to see her body on the road. We never saw her again but our feral cat Mr. Grey now trusts Bill enough to eat his food. We look for him every day. Most of these animals do want love. Our new 8 pawed cat is so lovable. She sits in your lap and purrs. No way were we going to take her back to that ladies porch. She stays in the cage alot even though the door is open. Shes a little bit of a bully and our bengal kitten still hasnt recovered from her chasing him. He got batted in the head by her huge paw and he hasnt been the same since. We keep all our cats indoors. Lia was going on the patio with me in the evenings for a while. Aurora walks on a leash. She will stay on the patio as long as Lia is there. Midnight would run away and we dont know Mariel that well yet. Better safe than sorry. We open the windows for them when we can. We love our babies and if anything happened to any of them even Mr.

Grey it would be devastating for us so why take that chance!!!!!

Oct 22, 2010 We can but try
by: Ruth

Poor Pippa, being run over was fated to happen and you did your best Michael to educate her selfish uncaring 'owner'

To let a cat roam around in a busy place is just stupid and irresponsible !

We all know and most UK vets agree, that it's a more fulfilled life for cats to have access to fresh air and sunshine and grass and if we didn't live in a safe cat friendly place we'd certainly have built a cat run in our garden like the one we built for next door's 14 rescue cats.

But even as safe as it is here, we never leave our cats out after dark or when no one is home. But we have a neighbour who leaves his cat out long hours, sometimes all night and we are always looking out to make sure she's safe. He won't take any advice, he won't fit a cat flap so at least she could go in instead of having to wait for his return. He won't let us have a key to let her in. She hates other cats and won't stay in our house or next door. What more can we do ? She's around 12 years old and very streetwise but like you did about Pippa, we can't help worrying.

But to deprive a cat used to his/her freedom of being allowed out at all can cause bladder problems and stress illnesses.

It's all about making the best choice under your personal circumstances and then being responsible about that choice, ensuring your cat is happy and as safe as you can make it for them.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Oct 22, 2010 Thannks Maggie and Darlene
by: Michael

Hi Maggie, we do think the same. A really great enclosure to give a cat freedom to behave as a cat should and some grass to walk on is my ideal in a world that is simply unsafe for a domestic cat.

Thanks Darlene for your kind thoughts. I miss little Pippa; so sweet. She needed someone to care for her.

Michael Avatar

Oct 21, 2010 so sad
by: darlene burrow

hi your story you wrote broke my heart never forget that you did do everything you could have done so please don't blame yourself shame on the woman who owned that cat that person didn't care at all about her own pet you tried your best to protect this cat it is so sad that the owner of this cat ran over her pet now that is sad i bet she feels very guilty now on behalf of what she had caused you tried everything you could to save this poor sweet cat this cat didn't deserve to be killed i am so sorry for you and please take care of yourself and god bless god is always with you you did do a wonderful deed for this cat

Oct 21, 2010 Indoors vs outdoors
by: Maggie

This is yet another case if indoors vs outdoors. Well, we all know my opinions.Pippa's life ended in the same way as Wilson's, someone was in a rush to get home. It's an undignified way to die, and I'm so happy that my Chilli's life will never end that way.

But that then begs the question, is the indoors only life cruel? In theory, it seems as if it is. But in practice, it's not. Although, I have bent the indoors only rule, and I walk Chilli on a lead. We've got a retractable lead now, so Chilli can explore further without me on his heels. Although, yesterday he got hissed at by a blue tongue lizard, it could have even been a snake. So when you're walking your cat you must still be careful, because you can face dangers.

Like you, Michael, I LOVE the thought of an outdoors enclosure. And I have many ideas for Chilli in the future years. But let's face it, you and I are cat lovers and clearly Pippa's 'owner' was not. That's probably why she didn't build Pippa a nice big enclosure, because she doesn't think that so much effort should go into 'just a cat'. I think reality escapes us sometimes, PoC is such a cat loving community that we forget that there are many people out there who couldn't care less about the thing we love the most...

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