To consider stealing this cat?(56 Posts)
Awful title and horrible to even think it, i know. I feel i've got myself thoroughly trapped and no one in RL to talk/reason it out with, especially not real cat lovers so apologies if this gets long and thanks in advance.
I moved to a shared house six months ago with my own cat. I was told before moving that housemates cat was an outdoor cat and by choice did not come in to the house.
Once i had moved in i discovered that resident cat was basically neglected, not allowed into the house and fed a handful of dry biscuits once a day. Cat was skinny, fur matted and knotted (long haired) incredibly shy but starving hungry (so would come near to back door with coaxing for bowl of wet food)
I slowly managed to gain the cats trust and now he is like any other pampered puss, sleeps in my bed, plays, plenty of love and food, toys, grooming etc.
When questioned, housemates reason for neglecting his cat is that he is allergic to long hair but did not want to re-home him as he would miss seeing the cat. The allergy has turned out to be non existent now cat is in the house and hm has been happy to turn all responsibility and expenses for his cat over to me (i have done gladly, just to illustrate the situation further)
Housemate is driving me mad for various reasons and for my own sanity i want to move asap.
Trouble is, HM won't let me take his cat on permanently (have even offered to pay him) but i know the minute i go his cat will be returned to the life of being neglected again.
Hard to describe but the attitude seems to be one of a toddler like 'no, mine' with no consideration for the animal just so long as hm controls his fate iyswim.
What the heck do i do? If i just take the cat its theft of property like any other, i could leave cat behind for a few weeks (neighbour knows situation and would keep an eye on him)
Apart from that being crap for the cat though, it will still be obvious where he is likely to be if he goes missing a short while after i go.
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, i feel stuck between a rock and a hard place with no way out other than to stay until cat dies of old age (he's only 3 bless him )
Oh god that's so hard I really would be tempted to steal it.
Absolutely. Steal him. Poor thing. Before you move, take him to be chipped to you. (Is he neutered by the way?). I don't regard this as a moral quandary in any way. Legally, nothing will happen to you if you do it. And morally you're doing the right thing
and i've done far worse
On the legal point - the Police couldn't give a shit and wouldn't pursue it and, if by any fluke they decided to look into it, as soon as you show the cat is chipped to you it's basically game over - they would drop it entirely. But it wouldn't come to that. For all anyone would know, you moving out and the cat going missing at the same time would be entirely coincidental and certainly not worth the cost and trouble of investigating.
Move him to safety before you move and say he must be off wandering.
Take the cat. Deny all knowledge. Poor cat. Can you arrange for it to go "missing" a week or so before you move? Put it in a cattery for a week? They only cost a few £ a day.
Really good idea from WalkingthePlank. If you were to find someone to look after him for a week or two before you leave then no one would even suspect you. I'm disappointed in myself for not thinking of that devious idea
Def take the cat. The 'owner' doesn't give a shit about it, from what you have said. There will be no repercussions and both you and the cat can have a happy life together.
Poor thing. Good idea getting someone else to look after him.
Poor cat. You have been really kind to it. I don't think I could leave it behind in full knowledge of what would happen to it. I would do what GilbertBlythe suggested and put the cat in a cattery, then after a suitable interval move out, collect cat & take it to the new house
Thank you both, cat was neutered and chipped by housemate a week after i started to look after kitty myself. The suspicious side of me thinks that's a bit errm handy with the timing but still, its done now.
Not too worried about the chip, my other cat is still chipped to her old owners who just moved and left her behind and i've never had any problems with scanning at vets.
My main worry is that housemate would make considerable efforts to find me simply through being bloody annoyed at having control removed from him.
He knows where i work so what's to stop him reporting cat stolen and then police come and arrest me at work? Is that likely, never been in official trouble before, anyone know what the penalty is if that does happen?
Yep, I'd try removing the cat around a week before I left so it wouldn't look too suspicious.
- thank you all i mean - can't keep up tonight
Such a relief to finally get this out in the open, round and round my head its gone for months.
Catneuterer, didn't see your post re police as was typing. I can't imagine police would spend much time on it but not sure re chipped to housemate and work etc.
Those of you saying cattery, good idea but then i would have those weeks having to pretend to wonder where cat is, feigning being worried, feels too devious and manipulative. Needs must i suppose
And there is not a chance the police would come round and arrest you, he would be advised it is a civil matter and not a criminal one.
Really, Police are not going to come to your work or home about a cat. That has never happened in the history of the world I'm quite sure. And without a bit of devious manipulation I wouldn't have improved the lives of an awful lot of animals. As you say, needs must ...
Well if you did just take the cat, which I think you should:
a) this HM sounds like a lazy entitle arse, he probably not be bothered or is he controlling and manipulative.
b) let him ring police, you could deny all knowledge of any 'stealing' you are simply continuing the arrangement.
c) move cat to new residence safely, tell HM you are continung to look after cat as agreed and if "if you argue with this I will be forced to write a full disclosure about the state the cat was in when i arrive to RSPCA" and "a neighbour is happy to be a witness too".
Thank you thecatneuterer, you're absolutely right, when i think about it properly, a bit of consciousness discomfort is nothing compared to the long term happiness of the cat. Feel much better already, off to join both furry faces in some zzzz's now so not ignoring anyone else kind enough to post.
Back for more silly dithering tomorrow
Take the cat.
Enjoying 'looking at a cat', even if that means the animal having to be neglected for this to continue, is the most selfish reason to have a pet.
Agree that the cat could go missing before you leave.
Perhaps it was all your boxes and your moving stuff around that scared it off? Cats can be sensitive, as you know...
Oh dear, I'd be very careful about taking the cat with you if the owner is likely to give a sh*t and knows where you work etc.
A cat is classed as property in law and yes, you would be committing theft by taking the cat with you!!! (Theft act 1968 - dishonestly appropriate property belonging to another with the intent to permanently deprive)
Only last week the local PCSO was out speaking to an elderly couple who were enticing cats in and warning them to cease. The only difference with this example is that there is no evidence of permantly deprive.
In your case there is absolute proof to permanently deprive if you take the cat against the owners wishes.....unfortunately.
What is the procedure for getting the details on a chip changed? Do you have to prove change of ownership? If you catnapped cat and took him to the vets before you moved then you could presumably show some sort of proof of your address i.e. proof that your own address was the same as the address the chip is registered to. Would they then be able to change the name to yours? Then the chip will prove that the cat belongs to you, should anyone bother to ask, and you can change the address details to your new address when you move.
"if you argue with this I will be forced to write a full disclosure about the state the cat was in when i arrive to RSPCA"
Don't suppose you happen to have any photos of the cat showing the poor state it was in?
It may well be officially classed as theft, but I can assure you the police would not pursue it. Nothing will happen to the OP.
The chip is only a problem in that it won't be possible to change the details over. So if the cat does get lost and is scanned, then the original owners will be contacted. It won't be possible to get it swapped to the new owners without contacting the original owners. However, as long as the cat doesn't end up getting lost, that won't be a problem.
And I wouldn't take the advice about telling the housemate and threatening with the RSPCA. Much better by far to deny all knowledge.
And if the cat can 'go missing' before the OP moves out, then even the housemate won't suspect anything.
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