In response to Annoyed Neighbour’s letter on ‘House cats should be kept indoors’, published in the Weekend Bulletin on January 23, I would like to present a different take on the situation, based on the assumption that the writer may, in fact, be our neighbour.
As most people who reside in the country know, cats like wandering around the neighbourhood; it is a part of everyday life in Brunei.
Our current three cats were not house cats to begin with. They arrived on our doorstep years back as strays, and we decided to adopt, shelter and feed them.
All three cats have been fixed. They sleep in a large cathouse outside the house. We also have a few indoor cats that are kept strictly in our home.
The cats enjoy stretching their muscles around the garden daily. There had never been a single complaint regarding the cats during the 17 years we’d lived there until ‘Annoyed Neighbour’ moved in.
To ward off complaints, we keep the cats inside the cathouse until midday, and not before they use the litter tray. Then at 3pm, they are brought back to the cathouse where they remain until the following midday.
In addition, we extend an offer to clean up any mess caused by the cats, which has gone ignored.
Contrary to ‘Annoyed Neighbour’s’ assumption that we are fine with our cats pooping in someone else’s compound, we take it extremely seriously.
As a matter of fact, we take measures to avoid being the source of nuisance in the neighbourhood.
Is ‘Annoyed Neighbour’ aware that our cats are not the only ones wandering around other people’s properties? In fact, there are quite a few stray cats that come and go in the area, particularly during the night. Most would have recognised it as a non-issue and deal with the situation without fuss.
Before making public pronouncements about what constitutes a considerate neighbour, the writer should have taken the time to learn the facts instead of hastening to judge others. To use the terminology in the letter, an ‘equation’ has a few variables. However, the only variable we see at play here is the person’s own.
If the writer found living in a peaceful neighbourhood too challenging, perhaps moving to a high-rise apartment building would be a better option.
A Well-Adjusted Neighbour