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A dilemma with the neighbors' cats... help

Discussion in 'Cats - all breeds / types' started by lunaguy, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. lunaguy

    lunaguy New Member

    Hi everyone,

    Yes, I'm still alive! :)

    I live in an apartment, and the people upstairs have at least one indoor cat, and 2 outdoor cats. We noticed a pattern of the people being gone each weekend from like 6 am on Saturday morning and coming home at 10 pm on Sunday night. Well, on the weekends, their cats started acting crazy with us whenever we would come or go, they would meow incessantly and try to get in our apartment. Their meows were the "pleading" or "distressed" kind that Luna does sometimes when she has to go to the vet. Definitely not something I ever hear from any of the local cats, so it got my attention.

    Knowing that the people are gone each weekend, I started to wonder if the cats had food and water upstairs, so I looked and I saw two very small empty bowls. (Each bowl can hold maybe 1 cup). This was on a Saturday night at 5pm, and keep in mind that the people don't come home until Sunday nights at 9 pm. So to do the math, that means the cats are without food and water for 28 hours. The first week I noticed this, I did nothing, hesitant to get involved, thinking (hoping) that it was a one-time thing. The second week, when the same thing happened again, I put out a bowl of kibble (2 actually, because they were fighting over the one bowl) and some water. I have never seen cats eat so fast.

    I forgot to mention that the one cat weighs probably 5 pounds, and she's at least 3 years old. I think she just doesn't get enough food, and she has to compete with the bigger cat for the one bowl of food that gets put out. She's the one that has reached out to me the most, even though she used to be so skittish that she would never even come near me when I tried to make friends in the past. She acted almost like a feral. Now she is the most affectionate thing with me and wants to jump in my lap and start purring and kneading.

    Anyway, this weekend, it all happened again, but instead of leaving Saturday morning, they left a day earlier. So those cats have been without food since Friday afternoon. It's now Sunday night and the people are still not home. I just wrote them a nice letter and put it on their door and told them that if they need help feeding their cats while they're away each weekend, to let me know and I'd be happy to help.

    Wish me luck, because I have a feeling that they're not going to be happy about being "accused" of being bad cat parents.

    I'll let you know what they say to me, if anything.

    Do you guys think I handled this in the right way?
  2. Chezza

    Chezza New Member

    I think you have done things very very well, alot more than I would of :x :x I cant believe they could be sooo irrisponsible :x :x :x
    Probably thought "Ohhhh well, they are cats, they will fend for themselves"..What a load of Rubbish.. :x I would of called the nearest RSPCA, Or Animal welfare, like I said you are softer than me..
    People like that do not deserve pets...It angers me no end...
  3. halaroo

    halaroo New Member

    Poor cats. Hopefully they'll take you up on your offer. If not, I would probably keep feeding them anyway and then call the humane society.
  4. coppersmom

    coppersmom New Member

    Hey, I think what you did was great! I'm not sure I would have handled it as well either.

    Uh, are you available the first week in November? I need someone to come in and feed Copper :lol: . He eats all of the food in the gravity feeder before I'm out of the driveway!
  5. lunaguy

    lunaguy New Member

    Thanks for the input! I just love you guys. I told a friend about this yesterday and she said that the cats are coming to me because they can tell I'm a "sucker." If having empathy for creatures in need makes me a sucker, then so be it!

    The people came home last night and we still haven't heard anything from them. This is probably the 4th sad cat-related situation I've had while living in this (my first ever) apartment. Some people just have no clue about cats and their needs, I guess.

    What's happening with these cats is very similar to how Luna came into my life. I am developing a bond with the one small cat, she just breaks my heart. I call her Pinky because of her unusual nose. It's heart-shaped and red (it looks bright pink sometimes). Here is a picture I took of her on Saturday when she was calling me through the patio door:

    <img src="http://static.flickr.com/113/277202747_cf34aa38dc.jpg">

    And here's a pic taken a couple of years ago. I was standing on the patio and wanted to get a picture of Luna (seen on the right, back when she was an outdoor cat), and "Pinky" all of a sudden stuck her head down from the patio above mine, it was so cute:

    <img src="http://static.flickr.com/101/277205677_92ca9881c4.jpg">

    I can tell that she doesn't trust people very much, and that I'm probably one of the few people that she was ever brave enough to reach out to. Probably because I ended up giving her what she wanted and needed, both food and affection, she now hangs around my doors almost all the time. I just looked outside, and she's laying near the front door right now, probably waiting for me to open it. Meanwhile, her humans are upstairs and she obviously knows that there's no point in hanging around their door.

    What's weird is that when she was eating on my patio on Saturday (shortly after that picture was taken), another upstairs neighbor came down the stairs and walked by, and she stopped eating and tried to hide behind something on our patio. Why? I have no idea. I don't think she's had an easy life. Maybe she was partially feral at one time? She doesn't hide from me, though, just the opposite. I wonder why her instinct to hide was stronger than her instinct to eat at that moment. Sad.

    I'll only call the authorities as a last resort. I'd rather just keep feeding them if need be, and hopefully my letter was a wake-up call that someone is watching how they treat these cats.

    Since they're outside during the cold Oregon nights, and winter is already in the air (40 degrees at night), I'm making a cozy enclosed bed out of a thick cardboard box and leaving it out on my patio for them to use if they need to. They have a makeshift bed upstairs (like a wicker basket), but it's not enclosed and it must get awfully cold, especially if they're hungry.

    People suck.
  6. lunaguy

    lunaguy New Member

    The profanity filter got me. :) What my friend called me was a s-u-c-k-e-r.
  7. halaroo

    halaroo New Member

    Just "kidnap" her and make her an indoor cat... you know you want to!
  8. Steph'n'Del

    Steph'n'Del New Member

    I think you handled it very well - I would have done the same thing, to be honest. I'm definitely a sucker when it comes to animals in need - and I'm proud of it :D

    Pinky looks like a little sweetheart! She has such a sweet little face!
  9. lunaguy

    lunaguy New Member

    Don't tempt me. ;) I'm giving her humans a chance to turn things around. They seem to be otherwise intelligent people, so maybe my letter was the wake-up call they needed to start being more responsible with their cats. People tend to act differently when they think that others are watching. We'll see.

    Tonight I heard a noise and it turned out it was Pinky climbing up my sliding screen patio door. I was surprised to be at eye level with her when I looked out. That was a first. I think she wanted to get in so badly that the only thing she could think of was to try to climb in.

    I'm putting out my cardboard box/enclosed bed tonight, I wonder if they'll give it a try. It's supposed to be in the upper 30s tonight.

    Thanks Steph'n'Del, halaroo, coppersmom, Chezza, and everyone who sent me a private message!
  10. i_love_my_ollie

    i_love_my_ollie New Member

    i cant believe that ppl dont care enough to look afta there own pets i told my mum wot u wrote she couldnt believe it ur doin a good job lets hope they ppl will either wake up or hand the kittes to beter ppl ie YOU!! :eek: :eek:
  11. sunset05

    sunset05 New Member

    I definitely think you did the right thing lunaguy. The kitties can't speak for themselves so you were there to speak for them. I hope it will be a headsup for the kitties owners. Keep us posted. I'm curious what they will do.

    Poor kitties. They can really get a bad deal sometimes. So sad. People should know better. These kitties are lucky that you are there for them.
  12. Ehilse

    Ehilse New Member

    What you are doing is great! i feel sorry for the cats if you do call the animal shelter. Where i live (Qld Australia) they would be lucky if someone else took them in, they mostly get put down. Sorry to put a sad outlook on it. Atleast there are people like yourself who are willing to give them love and food. How is your cat getting along with them? :wink:
  13. lunaguy

    lunaguy New Member

    Thanks for the nice comments & words of support, i_love_my_ollie, sunset05, & Ehilse!

    Here's the latest development. They put a note on my door this morning that said "Thanks for your concern w/ our cats. You're more than welcome to feed them as long as you know they'll continue to bother you if you do... we'll give you some food later this week. Talk soon..."

    Well, I'm relieved that they responded in a non-hostile way, and are open to the idea of my feeding them (while they're out of town each weekend, I guess they meant). That's good news for the kitties!

    Ehilse wrote: How is your cat getting along with them?

    Luna hasn't come into contact with them, except through the screen door a little. Luna hisses at them and sometimes smacks the screen with her paw to try to get them to go away. One time, Pinky ran inside our front door when we were coming in, and Luna just sat there, stunned, while I quickly picked Pinky up and brought her back outside.

    While Luna was still an outdoor/indoor cat, and Pinky was new to the neighborhood, she wanted to follow Luna around. She would sort of creep behind Luna a lot, and then Luna would turn around and hiss and make "get away" noises (that high-pitched siren-like sound) but Pinky wouldn't seem to get the message. I think she was trying to make friends. Luna's original human told us "she doesn't like other cats, she never has" and everything I've seen has reinforced that. I think it's because she had to struggle a lot outside and views all other cats as serious competitors. That's one of the reasons (along with my bad allergies) why I don't think I can ever bring another cat into our apartment!

    Thanks again, everyone. Your support has meant a lot to me. I'll keep you posted on any new developments!
  14. Chessmind

    Chessmind New Member

    Hi. I just wanted to say that you are handling everything really well. :y_the_best: Keep us posted.
  15. i_love_my_ollie

    i_love_my_ollie New Member

    thats goods news that they were ok with u. sum ppl might get funny bout it and then u no that they r fed and ok. it annoys me so much that ppl arent responible to looke after the pets that the choose to get y have them?? sum ppl jus shouldnt b allowed!!
  16. lunaguy

    lunaguy New Member

    Thanks Chessmind! And you are so right, i_love_my_ollie.

    Update: When they left for the weekend early on Saturday morning, they hung a bag of food on our door with some instructions. So I made sure they were well-fed over the weekend and it was nice to not have to feel like I was sneaking around.

    Now my biggest concern for them is that they're outside all the time and it's getting cold at night. They haven't yet learned to use the enclosed bed I made for them, but I have been tossing treats in there and getting them to go inside. My hope is that while they're in there looking for the treats, they'll discover how comfy & (comparatively) warm it is. I'm thinking about putting one of Luna's semi-enclosed "igloo" beds out there for them too.

    Thanks again everyone. I'll keep you posted.

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