Thursday 22 September 2022

Neighbor from hell threatens to kill the stray cats that I feed

USA: This is about a new neighbour from hell and how to deal with him. It is not an uncommon problem, but it is an almost intractable one and my advice based on a lifetime of experience is to move home.

A social media user is desperate for advice. They say that they bought a house five years ago after much effort and he is pleased that he has managed to secure a safe haven for himself and his family. It has a large backyard and a forested area beyond. Therefore, there is lots of wildlife including possums, foxes, raccoons, deer and groundhogs and even an otter. He enjoys this.

How do you combat neighbours from hell who want to kill stray cats that you feed, and this is in the country. Image: MikeB

And there are two neighbourhood stray cats hanging around his carport, so he feeds them every night at the same time that he feeds his three indoor cats.

"At a loss about animal hating new neighbors" - social media user desperate for help.
A new neighbour bought the house next door about a month ago. It is clear to him that his neighbour is an animal hater plus a neighbour from hell. For example, his neighbour said that he saw a groundhog in his backyard and that they are going to feed it with food baited with a constipation treatment so that the groundhog shits itself to death.

"Feed it Ex-Lax so it will sh*t itself to death" - neighbour from hell
And also, the animal hater has told them that they need to stop feeding the stray cats because they scratched his car (probably a lie). The neighbour said that unless they bring the stray cats inside, he is going to kill them.

When they told him that they've been feeding the stray cats for years he said that he didn't care.

As a consequence, they called the police non-emergency number, but they said that there is nothing that they can do because the cats are stray and also because the neighbour from hell hasn't actually done anything yet. Typical police, negative response. They could have at least spoken with the man.

Then they decided to bring one of the stray cats inside, but this made her miserable and the resident cats were also unhappy as expected. The other stray cat gets into fights with other cats and is a genuine feral and they can't get near him.

They want to protect the two stray cats but don't know how to do it except to keep an eye on them. The trouble is that he works and can't protect the cats 24/7.

To sum things up, the man (65 years of age) is seeking advice and has been living in a property for five years and his new neighbour hates animals and is threatening to kill stray cats that he feeds.

My advice

My advice on social media was very negative advice and one that I feel that many people would reject but I think it's the right one and it is this: to move home. I know that sounds awful but when you live with a neighbour from hell you can't beat them. 

Well, you can probably beat them in the end after an awful lot of argument and possible litigation but when you have achieved that you've actually lost because you are then living next to a person who hates you and will probably do all they can to make your life miserable for years.

As soon as you enter into a major dispute or long-term disputes with your neighbour even if that dispute was caused by their bad behaviour, there is no reasonable answer to the problem except to get out and move on.

In fact, my experience tells me that under the circumstances you should not complain about your neighbour from hell's behaviour. You should not talk to them. We should not do anything other than move home quietly.

If you complain about them and put in formal complaints to the local authority or whatever it has to be declared when you sell your home, and it will put off potential purchasers.

Neighbours from hell are irrational. And therefore, it's impossible to deal with them rationally. It's impossible to make progress with them. It's impossible to negotiate or discuss things with them because they want to dictate terms from the onset. Therefore, you either accept what they say, or you get out.

I guess there is another outcome which is to let the madman kill the cats but that is probably less acceptable than moving home. And in any case, you are left with living next to a neighbour who is a complete nuisance and likely to be a nuisance about something else in the future.

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