A woman living in Birmingham, UK, became flustered when she saw her neighbour’s cat inside her home. She decided to call the police as an emergency.
In the UK you dial 999. The police (West Midlands) became exasperated because they get quite a lot of time wasting calls.
They decided to put up a poll on the internet which is featured on their Twitter account asking whether a person who encounters a cat inside their home should (a) call the police or (b) talk to their neighbour or (c) stroke the cat.
The image on this page shows the result of the poll, which I also find extraordinary. This is because 10% of the participants agreed that she should have telephoned the police. Some people say that if you pay your taxes then why shouldn’t they get the service.
The response to that argument is that this is not an emergency and it is a waste of police time to involve them in this sort of incident.
Of course, it is not a police matter. It is not a criminal matter for a cat to enter someone else’s home. It is probably not even a civil matter although under certain circumstances it might be classified as a nuisance. It cannot be classified as trespass. Cats do not trespass!
What would you do if a strange cat entered your home? Personally, I would not make the assumption that I could stroke the cat as the police have suggested. That may well lead to a nasty scratch or bite which in turn may lead to an infection. This has happened to a neighbour of mine.
The best thing to do is assess whether the cat is friendly or not and if friendly then you can do as you please more or less. They cat is probably there for food so you might feed the cat although it might upset the cat’s owner.
Alternatively you can simply shoo the cat out of your home but do this gently and carefully as the cat might become defensively aggressive. Perhaps the best way to get him out of the home is to put some food outside the door and then close the door once he had started to eat. Or simply wait as he’ll no doubt depart when he wants to but if the home owner is terrified this suggestion would not go down very well!