Our Himalayan Cats - The Neighbours From Hell

[Cats]

31st March 1997

The new neighbours have not turned out very nice. They are young and arrogant, and they bought for investment and plan on moving soon, so they don't really care about fitting in with the neighbours. Okay, that's their privilege, whether I like it or not. But when it extends to the safety of our cats, I really don't like it, and I am taking steps to solve the problem.

Things have changed slightly next door. There's only one couple left. The other couple started having pre-marital fights, and were bought out by the married couple. That solved some problems. The Friday afternoon drinking sessions that went on till 3:00am have stopped. The noise and the yahooing has stopped. The house is starting to look respectable. The young couple left are doing a good job on renovating.

The new fence did go up, although later than expected. It's pretty good. The whole back yard is safe and protected and no dogs can go in and annoy our cats. But sadly, it hasn't stopped the problems. It keeps out dogs, but it doesn't keep out cats, and we have a problem with one cat right now.

We never realised the cat density of our neighbourhood. Almost every household has one or two cats. So in the block we are in, there are eight houses and ten cats. In the block in front of us, there are eight houses and twelve cats. Up till the new neighbours moved in, all these cats lived together very peacefully. There were no fights and we rarely even saw the other cats. Most of them are neutered females.

Since the new neighbours arrived, and brought their two cats, the neighbourhood is full of cat squalls, and midnight fights, and repeated visits to the vet. They brought a neutered male called Max. He's grey and white and looks really sweet. At home, he's placid and gentle and happy and looks as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. When he leaves the house, he believes that all the neighbourhood is his and he must go out and mark his territory and fight and make sure that all the other cats know that it's his. So he fights. The Siamese next door has been attacked and been to the vet for abscesses. Our two cats have been attacked about five times each in the last six months, with vet visits each time for the abscesses and wounds. The vet bill is already close to the $1500 mark. Oscar next door to us has been attacked, so has Henry behind us, and two cats in the block in front of us. They are the ones we know about. The vets love Max because he's causing so much business for them.

$1500 is a lot of money. You don't notice it when it's $200 for one abscess on one cat, and then $150 two weeks later for the other cat, and this repeats and the money steadily builds up. I could have spent that $1,500 on other things like a new motherboard, processor and hard disk. Or stamps or cds or books. I don't like having to fork out money repeatedly because of a new bloody cat in the neighbourhood.

Max is such a bastard that he's even started attacking Biscuit, the little tabby that came with him to the neighbourhood. We've spoken to the neighbours about it, and they look concerned and say they'll pay half the vet bill. They've made this offer to three households already, but naturally, no money is forthcoming. All mouth and no action. As one neighbour says "What can you expect? She's Harry the Conman's daughter." Her father is well known in the neighbourhood, and has been around for many, many years. Known, not liked. And like father, like daughter. They've taken to locking Max indoors some days and some nights, and most of us are locking our cats indoors. But this is pissing us off. We had a nice neighbourhood until these people arrived, and now we are all living in a state of siege. There are enough riled households now, that an end is in sight.

Everyone is gunning for Max. When he gets into a yard, he is chased out, with missiles hurtling about his ears. If he gets cornered, he won't be going home. It might be me, it might be one of the others, but if Max makes one mistake, he will be garden fertiliser, and we will all be relaxing. The next item in this page will be news of his death.

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