Local Authority takes 91-year-old man from his beloved cat Fluffy

In the UK, a man referred to as P, in court proceedings, had lived in his family home for 50 years. He had developed dementia but was still able to make decisions about where he should live. It appears he was coping and I say well done.

Since his sister died in 1988, Fuffy, his cat has been his only companion, we are told. I don’t think Fluffy has been his companion throughout that entire time because it would have made his cat 27-years-of-age, which is possible but unlikely.

This gentleman, an RAF veteran, was forcibly removed from his home and away from his beloved cat into a dementia unit, against his wishes. He remained there for 17 months. He was charged the fees. A judge ruled that the local authority acted illegally and in breach of (a) Article 5 – rights to liberty and security and (b) Article 8 – rights to respect to family life under the European Convention on Human Rights.

In a Court of Protection hearing he was awarded £60,000 damages and the fees for the home were ordered to be waived. The judge was horrified at the behaviour of the local authority.

Throughout the entire 17 month enforced stay at the dementia unit P expressed his desire to go home. A friend came to his rescue by raising the alarm of his ill-treatment at the hands of dogmatic social workers.

What I liked about the story was P’s devoted attachment to his cat Fluffy. This caught my eye. It reinforces what we already know that a cat companion can be a very reliable and life-enhancing friend for many single, elderly people.

I’d have liked to have learned more about the fate of Fluffy. I believe P has been reunited with Fluffy in ‘domiciliary care arrangements’, which I understand to be support from social services while the ‘patient’ lives at home. This was obviously the better arrangement and one that should have been adopted at the outset.

Such an arrangement would have meant the relationship between P and Fluffy could have been maintained. This is a valuable relationship in respect of the welfare of both parties.

When I was a solicitor I occasionally encountered local authority lawyers in family proceedings. I found them to be bullying and rather unpleasant so it does not surprise me that the social workers in this story were high-handed and dictatorial towards a very elderly and vulnerable gentleman who we should have respected far more as a society.

The social workers also ignored the welfare of the cat. I hope and believe that Fluffy was looked after by the friend who raised the alarm but that is a guess. The source story in the Times does not clarify.

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6 thoughts on “Local Authority takes 91-year-old man from his beloved cat Fluffy”

  1. Did this poor man .. get his cat back? GOD .. I truly hate people who think they are above all and are so high and mighty that no one else matters, would do this. I wonder if they even stop to consider that having a pet can help a person with a disease or illness. It was not fair they did this to P or the cat (Fluffy). This makes me extremely angry. Having a loving pet companion can increase yout life.

    • It made me angry just like you. And as you say, what about Fluffy? I’d like to know what happened. Not enough was said about his cat. I don’t know where Fluffy ended up but I have made some guesses in the article. At least he has a nice friend but if he hadn’t this old guy would have died in some crappy dementia unit. The bastards.

      • Thanks Michael! You’re a very sweet person for keeping us posted on such stories. I appreciate getting them and keeping informed on certain things this way.
        I’m not sure if I ever mentioned this before or not. But, I have a great deal of respect & admiration for those who help animals. Anyone who can help in any way improve an animal’s chance in certain ways is awesome in my book.
        At times I hate being part of the human race to see what heartless bastards they can be to other species. To see their lack of compassion, sympathy, empathy, caring, love, respect, consideration for others.
        There are those who just DON’T deserve to be part of humanity because they certainly don’t act human. They are cruel, heartless,evil people who show utter contempt & consideration for everything it seems.
        You are a awesome person for what you do!!! I know on my face book page I’ll show posts for the most part that are all animal related.
        I may not be the most perfect person in the world and I can always use improvement in some ways. I do try to help(as you do)to share stories on them and make others aware of certain things.
        Sorry for the long post .. but I just wanted to let you know that. I think you’re awesome and a very special person. I respect & admire you! You’re even better because your a cat person.

        • You are being very generous – too generous in your words but they are welcome and they make me feel better. Thank you very much.

          I agree that the human race leaves a lot to be desired. I sometimes wonder if my view of humankind has become jaundiced because of my age or whether humankind fails to improve, fails to become more civilised and in some respects is going backwards in its behaviour.

          Through experience, I have learned that in many respects and in general, the domestic cat is better as a companion than a human being. That sounds as if I am a crazy cat person but I’m not. I am simply applying logical thought to my personal experiences.

          For me, humankind is a bit of a failure and even people as distinguished as David Attenborough the television personality and zoologist would agree with me because he has referred to the human’s presence on the planet as a “disease” in reference to the way the population keeps on climbing relentlessly at the expense of the other animals that we share on the planet who are being squeezed off it one way and another.

          A lot of people don’t get this and they see animals as creatures to be used to the benefit of humankind and which are subservient to humankind in all respects. I don’t get them. I don’t understand them because I see all of us on an even playing field and all as equals, both humans and animals, all trying to do our best to survive and be as content as possible.


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