Man embroiled in controversy when helping neglected neighbour’s cat

This is about a nice guy living in America who felt that he had to help a neighbour’s cat. The cat was neglected. He posted his story on the website. It seems that the problem started when the woman who owned the cat kicked her cat out of the home because her boyfriend didn’t like ‘it’. It seems that the woman was not neglectful in looking after the cat but was in a dispute with her boyfriend about keeping him/her. She has since dumped the boyfriend.

Jarvis with his Elizabethan collar after his leg amputation
Jarvis with his Elizabethan collar after his leg amputation. Photo:
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The cat (who’s been renamed Jarvis) was a full-time indoor cat when living with this woman. About two years ago she appears to have kicked her cat out of the house. You can imagine that this decent guy was upset because he watched the condition of the cat deteriorate. He became skinny and his coat became matted. It was obvious to him that the cat was distressed and he turned up at his house meowing to try and get in. He felt bad and let him in and fed him.

He did his best to care for him until the woman told him off for trying to steal her cat. He didn’t want to cause trouble so he stopped letting the cat in but he still fed him. It was painful for him to watch him suffer.

The matter came to a head when he watched the cat being hit by a car on the road. That must have been traumatic. He took the cat to a vet. He had to amputate one of the cat’s legs which cost $3000. He didn’t tell the woman what had happened.

He told the vet that the cat was a stray. The vet check for a microchip and didn’t find one. He helped the man search for a local shelter to report the cat as a lost pet. He then took the cat home and kept him inside.

The shelter has a five day holding period during which time the owner can claim their cat. After that the cat is considered abandoned and is up for rehoming. The five-day period expired and therefore he claimed the cat. He renamed the cat Jarvis.

The, now, previous owner, saw Jarvis at a window and came over and told him that she had been looking at Jarvis all week. She demanded that he return ‘her’ cat. She threatened to file a police report saying that he stole Jarvis. He told her that she must be mistaken because his cat had three legs. He shut the door in her face. She screamed at him through the closed door for a while and then left. I feel sorry for the woman but she should have stood her ground when her boyfriend demanded that the cat had to go.

He is now waiting to to hear from the cops and he posted his story on for advice from fellow users. I believe that nothing has happened. I believe also that nothing will happen because what he has done is good and it appears that he has complied with any rules or laws concerning ‘ownership’ if that is the right word. Cats are never really owned are they? There have been many disputes over cat ownership with animal shelters at the centre of the problem. It’s a recurring issue.

The police would not get involved with this in any case because they were regarded as civil matters. They wash their hands of these disputes. This is exactly the sort of problem that the police run miles from. Jarvis is now microchipped, loved, and in a nice warm home both physically and emotionally. He has recovered remarkably well, the guy says. He also says that Jarvis prefers to meow at him to ask to carry him rather than walk on his own! They clearly have a good relationship and he says: “We’re gonna have a good life together”. Yes, you are and well done to you.


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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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