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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I am having a dispute with a neighbor over cat ownership. I

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I am having a dispute with a neighbor over cat ownership. I had a cat visiting my home and eating from October to January. I believed the cat was a stray and wrote to my landlord for permission to keep her, and followed the advice outlined on this Blue Cross website: https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/what-do-if-you-find-stray-cat I checked with a vet to see if she was microchipped, and when I she wasn't I paid for her vaccinations. I then put a collar on the cat with my phone number and address on it for several weeks while letting the cat come and go as she pleased and waited but got no phone calls from anyone claiming to own her. After a month, I then took her back to the vet and had her microchipped and registered to me. 10 days after I had her microchipped she disappeared for 38 days. During the 38 days I printed posters and posted them all over the neighborhood. I put flyers in mailboxes in a wide radius, and I used an online service to report her missing. After 38 days she showed back up at my house with her collar and ID tag missing. That night I got a threatening phone call from a man who said, "You have my cat, I know who you are an I know where you live." and things have gone very downhill from there…
The short story is that I reached an initial agreement with him to "share" the cat. We agreed that the cat would come and go as she wished, and would wear a collar with an ID tag on it. But… he hasn't been content to leave it at that. He has harassed me with multiple phone calls not just from him, but also from his three daughters, trying to renegotiate the original agreement we made. He has tried to demand that I take the collar off of her. The daughters have called and asked for my vet's information. He has requested multiple times that I explain to his daughter the agreement that he and I have made. I have repeatedly said "No that is your job to to explain that to your daughters you are the parent. I have had to explain this to my children. You need to explain it to yours" But he has shown up at my front door with his daughters with him, basically refusing to accept no for an answer.
He isn't asking for the cat back… he's making demands regarding changing our agreement to share her. At this point I am trying to decide what is best legally. If I can make a claim that the cat is mine legally, I think that might be best. Otherwise, I'd just like to get some kind of way to make him stop calling and showing up at my door and give me some peace.
This is complicated. I know.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 9 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.Is anything in writing regarding your agreement to share please?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No it's all been verbal.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
What is NOT verbal is my vet records. My online registration of the missing cat. Having the cat microchipped and registered in my name…
Expert:  Ash replied 9 months ago.
Ok. Why are they seeking to change the agreement now?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I'm really not. He has been. I would have been fine leaving the agreement the way it was. The original agreement was to:
1. share the cat.
by letting the cat come and go between our houses as she wished.
Initially at our first meeting he didn't want her to wear a collar, but I convinced him to let me put a collar on her with an ID tag, because I said if she were lost or hurt we'd want her to get back to us safely. He relented and agreed. So The second part of the agreement was that she would wear a collar with an ID tag.The trouble is that since the initial agreement, standing in my driveway on March 21st, when We shook hands on it, He and his daughters (who are teens/young adults) have called/texted/shown up at my door repeatedly and tried to go back on the agreement.They have asked me to take the collar off.
He has asked me to explain our agreement to his daughters (rather than explain the agreement to them himself.
He has asked me to let his daughters into my home to see the cat when she is in here sleeping.
He has come to my door late at night when my younger children are in bed…He has not stuck to the initial agreement. I am getting frustrated and I believe what he is doing amounts to harassment. The cat seems to prefer to stay at my house. But I am letting her come and go as she wishes. I have kept a written record of when I let her in and out. I take photographs of her sleeping for hours outside on my patio. When I do let her out, she doesn't go to his house over the fence. She just sleeps on my patio and stays close to my house… but the agreement was to let her come and go as she wished.So, I'm not trying to change the agreement. I'm just tired of being harassed.Now his daughter is asking me for the information to contact my vet who put the microchip in the cat. I don't intend to give it to her, but I think where this is going is an ownership dispute. They haven't been able to stick to the initial agreement, and now I believe an ownership dispute is what will happen next.
Expert:  Ash replied 9 months ago.
What you have agreed is a contract. Therefore you have an original agreement. This can NOT now be changed unless you agree. Therefore you dont have to do anything which is beyond the original agreement. If you do technically its all in breach of contract.So the original agreement MUST be stuck to.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
So if I don't wish to change the contract and have said so, and I am holding up my end of the bargain, but he continues to badger me repeatedly, asking to change it, is his behavior arguably harassment? Can I call the police if he persists in calling me, texting me and showing up at my door after I've asked him to stop?I guess the other question I have is outside the contract, and I'm motivated to ask this because he continues to bother me about changing the contract. If he won't stick to the contract anyway… How strong is my claim to full cat ownership if it were to come to a cat ownership dispute? How can I determine which of us is more likely to win a cat "custody" battle?
Expert:  Ash replied 9 months ago.
If he is harassing you then yes, call the police as thus could be an offence. I think your claim for full ownership would sadly be down to the judge you get on the day. It could go either way. Can I clarify anything for you about this today please? Alex
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your time.

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