Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Boundaries...With Cats

Dear Jocelyn,
I live in a house with 3 roommates, one of which owns the house. One of the other roommates decided to catch the 10 feral cats in the neighborhood to get them fixed. We were all for this... 5 weeks ago. The roommate has not actively done anything to get the cats fixed, although he says he will. My other 2 roommates have taken 2 to the vet themselves and then released them. Our basement smells so bad you can't open the door without getting knocked out, because this roommate hardly ever changes the litter box. When asked, he'll tell you his plans, but always gives excuses. The roommate landlord says he'll talk to his about it and does, but nothing ever happens. Now I found out that one of the feral cats escaped into out storage section of the basement and has lived there for 2 weeks, peeing on everything. Landlord and cat roommate don't seem to think this is a huge deal, and landlord won't confront him on it. What do I do besides call animal control? These people are my friends, but this is ridiculous. I’m sure I have a lot of ruined stuff in the basement.
-Too many cats


Dear Too Many Cats,
You and your roommates must love cats to agree to housing TEN of them, even temporarily! While I commend your roommate's desire to "fix" the problem of feral cats, it is obvious he does not have the follow-through necessary for this task. At this point, his idealism has resulted in a smelly basement and destroyed possessions. Since the landlord is not willing to confront the issue, tell the roommate who brought the cats in that if the cats are not fixed and released before the end of the week, you will release them yourself back into the wild. The "project" has caused unwelcome odors, the potential for disease, ruined items, and all-around unsanitary conditions, which you have a right to oppose. Then follow through - they lived on their own once, they can do it again. As for your belongings, go through your basement and see if anything is actually ruined. If you think it is worth it, you can show your roommate the damaged items and ask him to reimburse you a specific monetary amount for them. Otherwise, chalk it up to a life lesson - NEVER agree to house feral cats! As for your friends/roommates - when your lease is up, I recommend finding a new place to stay. The roommate who started this is showing a lack of respect for others' property, and the landlord doesn't sound like he can handle confrontation. It might be better for the friendship if you didn't live with them.
-Jocelyn

1 comment:

Nancy said...

I think this is great advice. It is very realistic and a good "life lesson"

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