Margate, UK: Shirley Key, who is 79 years of age, began feeding an emaciated black cat who liked to visit her bungalow. She said that the cat could hardly stand up and that you could play a tune on her ribs and backbone. The cat was clearly neglected.
In other words, Shirley was doing the humane thing. She was doing something nice and decent and she was enjoying it because it helped to heal her aching heart she said. She had recently lost her brother and she’s the last one in the family.
And guess what happened? The police, for some unknown reason, are treating her as a criminal. They slapped a Community Protection Notice on her requesting that she refrain from feeding the cat. Let’s be clear, a police Community Protection Notice (CPN) is designed to prevent “unreasonable behavior that is having a negative impact on the local community’s quality of life” (I have quoted directly from a police website).
How on earth could her behaviour be described as having a negative impact on the local community’s quality of life? This lady was helping the community. She took pity upon a emaciated cat. Domestic cats like to wander and they find a home which is more sympathetic if their original home isn’t good enough. We all know that. Apparently the police don’t.
The police told Shirley that if she didn’t comply with the CPN she would be fined £80 and taken to court! Can you believe it? The police went around to her bungalow three times. It should be stressed that if a citizen is a decent person and they are visited by the police it is intimidating and stressful. The police seem to be ignorant of the impact of their behavior on this woman and the community. Perhaps the police should be given a CPN.
There’s a reasonable ending to the story because police have since retracted their warning and admitted that it was made in error. Thank heavens for that! The police are going wrong again, though, because they say that there was a dispute between two neighbors. That is incorrect. The police officer who gave the warning has since been spoken to. I’m sorry, but this sort of police behavior is unacceptable.
The police have advised Shirley to stop feeding other people’s cats. That’s all very well and good but it is impossible sometimes to comply with this sort of request; it’s unreasonable. The police should realize that domestic cats wander into other people’s homes and what do you do when that happens? You feed the cat, that’s what happens. Despite the outdated legal situation, domestic cats are not truly owned by people.
Shirley wisely said that: “With all what’s going on in Margate, and the police are running after a cat. It’s ludicrous”. Amen to that!
Source: Kent Live.