Unreasonable Maine Coon owners sought an injunction against their neighbour to prevent feeding their cat

NEWS & VIEWS: This is not a hot of the press news story. It is a story which is, in fact, over one year old but it is interesting nonetheless. In round terms, Mr and Mrs Hall live in a £3 million house in West London and have a solid grey-and-white Maine Coon cat named Ozzy (see below - handsome fella). 

Ozzy was a wandering cat and he was apparently, in the eyes of a local veterinarian, underweight and undernourished. This may explain why Ozzy constantly spent a lot of time with a neighbour of the Halls, Nicola Lesbirel. Nicola and Ozzy formed a good relationship and I'm sure she liked him around and vice versa.

Handome Ozzy a Maine Coon at the centre of a neighbour dispute
Handome Ozzy a Maine Coon at the centre of a neighbour dispute. Photo: Mr & Mrs Hall.

This upset Ozzy's owners, Mr and Mrs Hall who sought high quality legal advice (£20k legal fees) and were considering taking out an injunction against Lesbirel to prevent her accepting the advances of Ozzy. It appears that the injunction would have required her to keep her doors and windows shut and to stop leaving out food for wildlife. She couldn't accept this but eventually they came to an agreement which was for Lesbirel to completely shun Ozzy which must have been hard for her.

The impossibility of proving cat theft and sharing cat ownership

Comment: it appears that Mr Mrs Hall don't want to look after Ozzy properly (based upon what I read which could be biased) but at the same time do not want their cat to visit somebody in the neighbourhood, Lesbirel, who was able to provide good care for the cat. Perhaps they were jealous that they were losing their cat to a better cat owner. I am being highly speculative but the story suggests that this was the true scenario.

It's unreasonable, to be perfectly frank, to prevent, through a court injunction, a domestic cat doing what they do naturally which is to wander around the neighbourhood. It is entirely natural for a cat to do this. To stop it would be to curtail the natural enjoyment that a domestic cat experiences when patrolling their territory which includes neighbouring properties.

I just think that in this dispute Mr & Mrs Hall are being unreasonable while Lesbirel is being highly reasonable. I favour Lesbirel. And I think that she has been hard done by. She will miss the visits of Ozzy.

Apparently, Ozzy is now confined to the Halls' £3 million home. That may, indeed, be the better solution, anyway, because it is a little bit risky to say the least to allow a handsome Maine Coon cat to wander around the neighbourhood. There is quite a good chance that the cat may be stolen particularly during these times when a surge in dog thefts has been reported.

Purebred companions have increased in value and have become an asset for thieves. I suspect, too, that the home of Mr & Mrs Hall is fairly extensive bearing in mind the price and therefore to confine him to the home might not be such a big sacrifice.

They were far too hasty in taking QC advice and threatening a court injunction. Far too heavy-handed. A reasonable compromise would have fixed the problem early on.

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