Wedding Woes

WTF? No. Just, no.

Dear Prudence,
We live in a rural, wooded area. My neighbor has a cat that lives primarily outdoors. He is often gone for days at a time, and other neighbors feed the cat and have taken her in during the winter. I feel bad for the cat for being out in the bad weather, and there are lots of animals such as raccoons, coyotes, and foxes that could harm her. We often see cats that have been killed by cars, too. She wears a collar and otherwise looks well–cared for. I’m moving into a new house and want to take the cat with me, keep her indoors, and give her a loving and safe home. The consensus among most people I have discussed this casually with say I should take her. A couple have said it would be unethical and maybe even illegal. What should I do?

—Would-Be Cat Thief

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Re: WTF? No. Just, no.

  • So so many people do this. If LW wants a cat, they should go adopt one. 
    DrillSergeantCat
  • cupcait927cupcait927 Western NY wine country member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    No. You cannot steal someone's cat. Just no.
  • edited March 2017
    LW has a case of Holier Than Thou Syndrome. Clearly the cat is being taken care of. How obnoxious of the LW. 

    ETA (Because I accidentally hit post): the cat clearly already has a loving and safe home by the owner's standards. 
    mrsconn23sparklepants41short+sassyInLoveInQueens
  • Just no. We had lots of outdoor cats on the farm. They were fine. Fat and healthy. If a cat is NOT well cared for you can easily tell. Leave this cat alone and adopt your own. 
    MissKittyDangerOurWildKingdomshort+sassyMesmrEwe
  • It is true.  The average life span of an indoor cat is much longer than for an outdoor cat.  For all the reasons the LW mentioned.  But it is hardly neglect.  LOTS of cats spend most or all of their lives outside.

    Haha, I actually did ask a previous neighbor if I could have her cat.  I really liked that cat and she was about to move across the country.  I tentatively asked, "Are you bringing Nightshade with you?  Caauussee, if you aren't or don't want to, I'd love to take him in."  Nope, she was bringing him with her, which was what I figured.

    He was always outside, unless it was really cold, but was well cared for.  This was how he charmed me.  Every morning when I was leaving for work, he would be sitting RIGHT at my door.  Because he loved affection and, of course, I would take an extra minute to give him pets and love, before going to my car.

    But I would have never, in a million years, stolen him.  WTF?!?

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  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I don't really like when people have their cats outside, BUT if the cats are otherwise well fed, healthy looking, and cared for, I have no problem with it.  I would never steal a cat like that.  Wtf, LW.

    SO's sister stole her dog.  He was a puppy and she walked up, reached over a fence, and took him. She said he didn't look cared for, and that's why she took him, but I couldn't believe it when she told me. It was so fucked up. The irony is that she doesn't take really good care of him either. I bet that family was devastated when he disappeared.  


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    SP29cowgirl8238
  • When I was a kid, we had a super social cat named Fluffy that would howl at the door and beg to go outside. Sometimes he wouldn't come home for days at a time. We had food and water outside for him for that reason. But he slept in my bed about 50% of the time. He was healthy, neutered, and fed. Maybe too well fed.

    My family was at a block party and Fluffy came walking through the party. Some neighbors my parents were talking to said "oh look, it's PJ! That's our cat PJ. He's a wanderer." My parents were like "Uh, that's our cat Fluffy." Everyone  laughed about it and realized both families had been caring for this cat. Some other lady said she gave him the occasional canned cat food, too. 

    Anyway...No, LW. You should not take this cat. If someone had assumed Fluffy had such an awful life they had to take it upon themselves to steal him (extreme eyeroll)...they wouldn't have just been in the wrong, they would have broken the heart of a 6 year old girl whose cat never came home and she never knew what happened to him. 

    Note: He truly was our cat because we got him from the Humane Society when we lived in another state before we moved to that community. 
    *********************************************************************************

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    short+sassycharlotte989875OurWildKingdomMesmrEwe
  • When I was a kid, we had a super social cat named Fluffy that would howl at the door and beg to go outside. Sometimes he wouldn't come home for days at a time. We had food and water outside for him for that reason. But he slept in my bed about 50% of the time. He was healthy, neutered, and fed. Maybe too well fed.

    My family was at a block party and Fluffy came walking through the party. Some neighbors my parents were talking to said "oh look, it's PJ! That's our cat PJ. He's a wanderer." My parents were like "Uh, that's our cat Fluffy." Everyone  laughed about it and realized both families had been caring for this cat. Some other lady said she gave him the occasional canned cat food, too. 

    Anyway...No, LW. You should not take this cat. If someone had assumed Fluffy had such an awful life they had to take it upon themselves to steal him (extreme eyeroll)...they wouldn't have just been in the wrong, they would have broken the heart of a 6 year old girl whose cat never came home and she never knew what happened to him. 

    Note: He truly was our cat because we got him from the Humane Society when we lived in another state before we moved to that community. 
    Fluffy sounds like a smart cat ;).
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    kimmiinthemittensouthernbelle0915OurWildKingdom
  • What the hell is wrong with people?

    And if said cat wears a collar, there's a good chance they're chipped too.  I almost want LW to steal the cat just so she can get busted.

    And that Fluffy story is awesome!  I love that she was two timing you guys with another family!

    If Fluffy could talk, "Ooohh...you've all met.  This isn't what it looks like!  I swear!"
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    MissKittyDangercharlotte989875southernbelle0915
  • Not to digress, but this whole discussion keeps making me think about that Friends episode where Mr. Heckles took someone's cat and named it Bob Buttons. 


    lovesclimbing
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    levioosa said:
    I don't really like when people have their cats outside, BUT if the cats are otherwise well fed, healthy looking, and cared for, I have no problem with it.  I would never steal a cat like that.  Wtf, LW.

    SO's sister stole her dog.  He was a puppy and she walked up, reached over a fence, and took him. She said he didn't look cared for, and that's why she took him, but I couldn't believe it when she told me. It was so fucked up. The irony is that she doesn't take really good care of him either. I bet that family was devastated when he disappeared.  
    Is her name Krista? 

    I know someone who did exactly the same thing. Reached right over the fence and stole the chihuahua because she said the owners neglected it by leaving it outside in the fenced yard. 
  • levioosa said:
    I don't really like when people have their cats outside, BUT if the cats are otherwise well fed, healthy looking, and cared for, I have no problem with it.  I would never steal a cat like that.  Wtf, LW.

    SO's sister stole her dog.  He was a puppy and she walked up, reached over a fence, and took him. She said he didn't look cared for, and that's why she took him, but I couldn't believe it when she told me. It was so fucked up. The irony is that she doesn't take really good care of him either. I bet that family was devastated when he disappeared.  
    Is her name Krista? 

    I know someone who did exactly the same thing. Reached right over the fence and stole the chihuahua because she said the owners neglected it by leaving it outside in the fenced yard. 


    Krista and @levioosa's SO's sister sound like the kind of losers who will make whatever LAME excuse to justify their bad acts crimes.

    @CMGragrain, people are delusional and make me ragey.  "They're animals, so they'll be so happy running through the forest."  More like, they'll be terrified the rest of their short lives.  But will soon be attacked and killed by another animal or will starve to death.  Because they're pets.  Who didn't grow up in a forest.  Who have lived in homes and had people provide for them.  I'm glad your daughter found such a sweet and loving cat.

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  • CMGragain said:
    We used to live in a wooded area in Maryland where people would sometimes dump their unwanted pets.  :'(  There was one particular cat who tried to get into everyone's house.  He would jump into my arms if I held them out.  We searched for his family, but found no one who would claim him.  One of my neighbors wanted to call the shelter.  (They had a five day euthanizing program.)  I scooped him up and called my daughter, who was deep in grief for her ex-boyfriend.  (I never liked him.)  The cat is now called "Moochie" because half the neighborhood was feeding him.  He has had a happy home for the last 10 years, and he helped my daughter get over the jerk of an ex-boyfriend, and find her husband.
    I worked/lived at an equestrian facility that had a large stereotypical red barn near the front of the property.  For some reason it acted like a beacon for people wanting to dump cats (because obviously all farms want more of those).

    During my 2 years there we rescued and re-homed 4 lovely and obviously super domestic cats, captured and euthanized one that was extremely sick, and failed to capture at least 2 that were too terrified to come near us.  It was sad, but I am happy we were able to save some of them.  The facility already had 3 "barn cats" who were all spayed, loved, and well fed (they could come and go from heated buildings as they wished) so we really couldn't just keep them all.

    People can be awful.
    short+sassy
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    levioosa said:
    I don't really like when people have their cats outside, BUT if the cats are otherwise well fed, healthy looking, and cared for, I have no problem with it.  I would never steal a cat like that.  Wtf, LW.

    SO's sister stole her dog.  He was a puppy and she walked up, reached over a fence, and took him. She said he didn't look cared for, and that's why she took him, but I couldn't believe it when she told me. It was so fucked up. The irony is that she doesn't take really good care of him either. I bet that family was devastated when he disappeared.  
    Is her name Krista? 

    I know someone who did exactly the same thing. Reached right over the fence and stole the chihuahua because she said the owners neglected it by leaving it outside in the fenced yard. 
    lol, no.  And the dog was definitely not a chihuahua.   


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  • Cats are so funny. The University of Ga did a study to find out where cats go by attaching gps trackers to their collars. A surprising amount (I want to say 10%) were living double lives with two owners, lol. 
    short+sassysparklepants41southernbelle0915
  • I know rural "outdoor" cats are a little different than suburban outdoor (feral?) cats - I wouldn't steal it, but I would hand it over to the humane society if it became a nuisance on my property. (We had a huge issue with (probably) ferals when we moved in to our TX home, and turned over ~14 cats and a dog in a 2-3mo span.) In our case the cats were basically invasive nuisances - they would breed, destroy the property, risked carrying diseases and transferring them to our pets, and killed a lot of local wildlife (the bird and squirrel population has made a considerable recovery after the cats were gone.) 

    I'm judgy about pet owners that regularly let their animals out to roam the neighborhood because of all of the dangers. 
    InLoveInQueensjaprincess24
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    *Barbie* said:
    I know rural "outdoor" cats are a little different than suburban outdoor (feral?) cats - I wouldn't steal it, but I would hand it over to the humane society if it became a nuisance on my property. (We had a huge issue with (probably) ferals when we moved in to our TX home, and turned over ~14 cats and a dog in a 2-3mo span.) In our case the cats were basically invasive nuisances - they would breed, destroy the property, risked carrying diseases and transferring them to our pets, and killed a lot of local wildlife (the bird and squirrel population has made a considerable recovery after the cats were gone.) 

    I'm judgy about pet owners that regularly let their animals out to roam the neighborhood because of all of the dangers. 
    Me too.  Especially in our neighborhood.  We live in a semi-shitty area with busy streets all around.  Recently on our Next-door pet owners have been complaining about people shooting their outdoor pets or throwing rocks at them for "fun."  It's so fucked up.  There's no way I want Kitty anywhere outdoors here. SO was all upset she would "miss out on the outdoors experience" and I told him if we never take her outside she'll have nothing to miss.  So far she seems perfectly content to be indoors.  Right now we have four cats who have basically made our backyard their favorite place.  I don't think they have a real home because they don't look well taken care of or even well-fed. They're obviously not fixed.  I want to catch them and bring them to the shelter before we have a huge feral problem, but SO is convinced they belong to someone despite how they look (and the fact that 90% of the time they are in our yard). I figure it they belong to someone, the shelter is the first place they'll look.  

    One of the cities near us will fix animals for free if you bring them in. It's a way for their vet students to get practice and to control the local feral population.  


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    InLoveInQueens
  • cupcait927cupcait927 Western NY wine country member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    levioosa said:
    *Barbie* said:
    I know rural "outdoor" cats are a little different than suburban outdoor (feral?) cats - I wouldn't steal it, but I would hand it over to the humane society if it became a nuisance on my property. (We had a huge issue with (probably) ferals when we moved in to our TX home, and turned over ~14 cats and a dog in a 2-3mo span.) In our case the cats were basically invasive nuisances - they would breed, destroy the property, risked carrying diseases and transferring them to our pets, and killed a lot of local wildlife (the bird and squirrel population has made a considerable recovery after the cats were gone.) 

    I'm judgy about pet owners that regularly let their animals out to roam the neighborhood because of all of the dangers. 
    Me too.  Especially in our neighborhood.  We live in a semi-shitty area with busy streets all around.  Recently on our Next-door pet owners have been complaining about people shooting their outdoor pets or throwing rocks at them for "fun."  It's so fucked up.  There's no way I want Kitty anywhere outdoors here. SO was all upset she would "miss out on the outdoors experience" and I told him if we never take her outside she'll have nothing to miss.  So far she seems perfectly content to be indoors.  Right now we have four cats who have basically made our backyard their favorite place.  I don't think they have a real home because they don't look well taken care of or even well-fed. They're obviously not fixed.  I want to catch them and bring them to the shelter before we have a huge feral problem, but SO is convinced they belong to someone despite how they look (and the fact that 90% of the time they are in our yard). I figure it they belong to someone, the shelter is the first place they'll look.  

    One of the cities near us will fix animals for free if you bring them in. It's a way for their vet students to get practice and to control the local feral population.  
    Our next door neighbors have a cat that's always outside and LOVES to spend her time in the beds around our house, on our front porch, in our outbuilding and in our trees. She had a litter of kittens last summer that followed suit. A few months after that, she had ANOTHER litter of kittens, this time in our garage. H was PISSED. He gathered up the kittens and promptly brought them next door and told the neighbors what happened - they didn't seem to see the issue. I told H that the next time I find out the cat has a litter of kittens, I'm taking it to the humane society to be fixed because I'm sick of their cat and her babies seemingly living on our property. Have outdoor cats all you want, but at least get the damn cat fixed so it stops having babies constantly that you don't take care of.
    CMGragainshort+sassycowgirl8238japrincess24
  • Our next door neighbour lets his cats outside. We have an indoor cat. Our neighbourhood has a spate of rabies cases as well as hawks and coyotes. Our neighbour's cats are constantly trying to come into our house and hang out in our yard, we would never dream of taking these cats in. LW needs to mind their own business.
  • I have outdoor rabbits, and I have been flat-up told that I am a neglectful owner and that my rabbits will get diseases that I, being incompetent, will not notice and they will die young.  I've had a 14 and a 12 year old rabbit, and my latest one was "only" 11 when he passed.  I sometimes wonder how long this particular person's indoor rabbits live for ...
    I understand letting cats outside (because frankly fresh air is good for so many things), but due to cats tending to be predators, I wouldn't let them out unsupervised in the city.  I worry about what they will end up killing, or what might kill them.  My bias comes from having cats try to kill my rabbits, even after I warned owners.  I'm all for cats being free, but come in my yard and cause my bunnies any discomfort and I will get rid of you ... by catching you and either bringing you back to your owner with an explanation or bringing you to the humane society if it's a repeat offence.  
    I just recently got a cat for an extended period, and I've already started training it to a leash, so I'm going to be that weird person who walks her cat.

    kimmiinthemittenshort+sassycowgirl8238
  • kerbohl said:
    I have outdoor rabbits, and I have been flat-up told that I am a neglectful owner and that my rabbits will get diseases that I, being incompetent, will not notice and they will die young.  I've had a 14 and a 12 year old rabbit, and my latest one was "only" 11 when he passed.  I sometimes wonder how long this particular person's indoor rabbits live for ...
    I understand letting cats outside (because frankly fresh air is good for so many things), but due to cats tending to be predators, I wouldn't let them out unsupervised in the city.  I worry about what they will end up killing, or what might kill them.  My bias comes from having cats try to kill my rabbits, even after I warned owners.  I'm all for cats being free, but come in my yard and cause my bunnies any discomfort and I will get rid of you ... by catching you and either bringing you back to your owner with an explanation or bringing you to the humane society if it's a repeat offence.  
    I just recently got a cat for an extended period, and I've already started training it to a leash, so I'm going to be that weird person who walks her cat.
    Are your rabbits in cages or pens outside? If so, I don't see the big deal, I know lots of people who have them like that. 

    I know a few leash trained cats, it's completely by personality which ones take to it.
  • Bunnies as indoor pets is still a relatively new concept here in the U.K.
    It's expected that a bunny lives in a hutch outside.

    People used to think I was crazy putting my bunny on a lead and walking her at the beach.
    She loved it. 
    She got to the point she would step into the harness and bow her head so I could snap it shut.

    I sometimes feel guilty that my cat lives indoors, but, she has the run of the house, and there's far too many cats go missing round my way.

    I could never consider taking in someone else's cat unless it looked close to death/needed help, at which point I'd try to alert the owner, not just, move the poor thing across the country. That's crazy.
    short+sassyMissKittyDanger
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