Gone Boots: Dumped by a Cat

“It’s theft, that’s what it is!”  Exclaims the husband, obviously upset.

He came in after a little chat with our neighbour who claimed that she saw Boots on a woman’s house a few days ago.  She said she told the woman that Bootsy actually belongs to T.  But the woman didn’t seem bothered that the cat she has housed belongs to someone else.

“Well, she can bloody de-fleace her then!”  Added the husband.

“I don’t think it’s theft” I say.

“She entices her in, lets her sleep in her house, knowing fully-well that she belongs to someone else!  That’s theft!” He repeated.

I kept silent, knowing the argument wasn’t going anywhere.  Little T is upset that Boots now prefers someone else, no matter how much we’ve explained that cats are sadly, like that.  Home is where they like it.  And I’m afraid our home with an over-excitable dog just doesn’t appeal to her anymore.

I saw a documentary about cats once on TV.  And there was also this one family whose cat buggered off when their family grew bigger (i.e. children and dogs).  And their cat also decided to find another home, a quiet and peaceful home without kids or dogs.  The cat found an old couple without dogs and probably grown-up children who have long flown the nest, just like Bootsy, who found an old woman who lives alone.   When interviewed, the woman (the cat’s former human) said that it hurts that her cat has chosen someone else to live with, considering they had the cat long before the dog and the kids.  We are exactly in the same position she’s in now.

But what can we do?  Show up on this woman’s doorstep and demand that she stop feeding and letting Bootsy in her home?

While I’m also hurt that she has chosen another family, after all, nobody wants to be dumped, even by a cat right?  I just hope though that this woman really takes care of her.  And I also agree with my husband, she can pay for the vets fees and de-fleaing medicines too.

What do you think?  Is this theft?

What would you do if you were in our shoes?

Filed under Little Pets

I'm a part-time writer, full-time mother and dog-walker living in a small English village by the sea with my husband, daughter and a dog named Doc.


  1. Kate @ Did That Just Happen?

    and that is why I won’t have cats anymore! I’m so sorry for the loss and I know little T won’t understand it – but unless you want to force Boots to become an indoor cat and fight that battle, it’s probably for the best.

    And, it’s not just cats… one of my sister’s dogs ended up all but moving in with a new family when we were little kids!

    • That’s what I think too… Oh no. Wouldn’t want Doc to leave us. T would be doubly heartbroken if he decides that too 🙁

  2. naptimethoughts

    I gotta say, that old lady is a crappy person. You don’t knowingly keep a little girl’s cat away from her. If you know that a kitty has a home, you don’t feed it, you don’t let it inside, and if it does come inside your house, you return it to its owner. She needs to quit feeding boots and get her own cat. Crotchety old lady. It’d be different if she didn’t know, thought Boots was a stray or whatever, but she knowingly lured Boots away from Little T, and that’s just horrible.

    • That’s exactly what my husband said. It’s not as if Boots was a malnourished stray cat. She was a bit chubby actually, so obviously a cat with a home. And the thing is, according to our neighbour, this woman just lives up the road and Boots is known in our small neighbourhood as T’s cat. Oh well. Last time Boots was home (probably more than a month ago), I tried to keep her in, but she was meowing too much to be let out. And I’m not that cruel or deaf, to keep a poor cat in who obviously wants to be let out.

      • naptimethoughts

        It’s not illegal, but it’s oh-so-definitely wrong. Of course Boots prefers it there, she’s a cat. Cats like little old ladies and their doilies and quiet places to sleep. It’s not Boot’s fault, she sees the world as her litterbox. This lady has some serious balls to take a little girl’s cat. If this were my blog I’d tell you exactly what she is. Since it’s not, I’ll stick with balls. You should go ring her doorbell and tell her what a “balls” she is.

        • If I had your balls, I’d do exactly that! 😉 … I think the Brits politeness (stiff upper lip and all that) have robbed off on me!

    • naptimethoughts

      Screw the upper lip– Just stop by her house, you know, to be neighborly. I’m sure that she’s polite enough to ask you inside. Then just hang out and chat until Boots comes and hops up on your lap.
      Then she’ll have some ‘splaining to do.

      • This is one of the reasons why I really like you 😉 … Problem is though, Boots isn’t the kind of cat who hops on laps and likes to be with people. Little T is the only human she tolerates, unless she’s different with this woman. First I think I have to really investigate. At the moment, I think it’s all hearsay. For all you know, our neighbour could be wrong too! Let’s see …

  3. Stella Lee @purfylle

    Well, according to law pets are chattel and chattel so technically it’s theft. But I don’t really believe that myself, I don’t think pets are just belongings. Maybe Boots just thinks the lonely old lady needs the company more. Poor T, it’s awful to have your pet move out.

    • Yes, and she’s chipped too. So if anything happens to her, the vet of course will call us, not the woman.

  4. Erica Price

    It’s a bit naughty really to do it. I know cats have minds of their own, but they usually will return home to be fed unless they are being fed away from home. We did have the neighbours’ cat for a while, when we were growing up, as he seemed to prefer being an only cat to being one of three. That said, we did take on his care too, even searching rescue centres for him when he went missing (we found him too).

    • We kinda knew she was being fed, but would still come home every now and then. But she hasn’t been home in more than a month now and after what our neighbour said, I think she’s made up her mind 🙁

  5. Kriss MacDonald

    Oooh I’m with your husband. I’d be rather furious. Wouldn’t be surprised if this woman was giving cat all sorts of special treats to make sure she kept returning. As for T, there’s a lovely story in James Herriot’s Treasury for Children about a cat who keeps wandering off as it loved being sociable.

  6. debsrandomwritings

    I’d be heart broken if a pet of mine dumped me, but luckily dogs aren’t really like that. We do have a not so feral anymore cat that we feed, he chose us. He calls the shots.

    I’m not sure what I would do though if my pet did move onto someone else. I know the same thing happened to a friend of mine, except the cat chose to live with them. That story ended well as the original owner excepted that he couldn’t do much about it, as it’s not as if they were encouraging or feeding it; he gave them the cats vet book and his blessing.

    All I can say is I hope that Boots comes to her senses and moves back to you!

  7. Rosie @Eco-Gites of Lenault

    It’s a difficult one and without knowing what he old lady has done by way of encouragement then I don’t feel I can comment on her behaviour. I do however think that you cannot force a cat to stay if they don’t want to. Would it be possible to talk to the lady, explain the situation and perhaps let T go and visit Boots? If Boots is adamant that this is her new home you could get the details on the chip changed … but I do think dialogue with the old lady is the way forward.

    Thank you for adding your dilemma to #AnimalTales

    • That’s a good idea. The thing is, I don’t really know the old woman. Our neighbour does, I’m also wondering now if she could be wrong? It’s all hearsay at the moment, I’m still hoping Boots will decide on her own. Let’s see.

  8. Ellen Hawley

    My reading on this is that cats will move in when they want to, so it’s not theft, it’s caving in when faced with the inevitable. Some cats just aren’t happy unless they have two homes. One of ours used to disappear in the coldest Minnesota winters and come home days later, smelling of woodsmoke. We didn’t have a fireplace, and I guess someone else did. That’s how you can tell you’ve got a genuine cat, not an imitation.

    • I’ve actually accepted that perhaps she won’t ever come back? But just today, my daughter said that she wants to knock on the woman’s door and ask for her cat back. I’m not even sure where the woman lives. It’s our neighbour who claimed to have seen our cat in someone else’s house, for all you know, it might be just a cat who looks like Boots. Now that it’s getting warmer, I’m hoping she’ll decided to come back home to us.

  9. Ellen Hawley

    I’ve heard of a black and white cat in your village who adopts an assortment of people and homes. I wonder if (a) that’s the cat your neighbor saw or (b) you’ve claimed a cat who considers herself a rovr.

    • Could be be both! We got Boots from a Cat Rescue centre in Launceston when she was about 6 months old.

  10. lisaslife1970

    I know they say dogs want to please you and cats want to please themselves but some just take it too far! Such a shame that Boots has chosen to lay her hat elsewhere but I hope she comes home soon.

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