Couple slams 'nosy' neighbors who complained they 'abused' their cats by leaving them outside all day
WIGSTON, LEICESTERSHIRE: An old couple has alleged that a nosy neighbor has been harassing them because they left their cats outside their home. Fay Massey and Brian Helliwell, who are both 72, said they received an anonymous threatening letter, which stated that the felines “look depressed due to them being on hard ground all day."
In the letter, the person said that they have reported the couple to several animal rights groups and also threatened them, saying they were “not willing to stand for it, especially with you having at least three cats.” The long note stated: “The past few months I have been living in Wigston I have noticed at least three or four lovely cats in your driveway. The more I would see them, the more I would start to question the safety of these cats.”
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“Whether you are in your house all day or not, it is not fair to leave the cats outside all day. I often drive by at different parts of the day and see them all sitting there instead of the comforts of a home as they should be. One bowl of food [and] water is not sufficient for these cats and how rotten that food could get being outside all day is animal abuse. You may love these cats but this is no way [of] life for them, especially one of them looking really young,” it continued.
The letter read, “I can't see any personality in these cats, they look depressed due to them being on hard ground all day. How would you like it? Cats are family and not possessions, you would not have young children on your driveway all day. This is no different - if you disagree, then being a cat owner is not for you. I have raised a case with a number of animal charities that have advised me to contact you to do two things.”
It also went on to advise them on how to take care of cats before adding, “1- Have the cats indoors - please note I have been and will be monitoring the driveway and will continue to do so. 2- Take them to a cattery or animal charity that will give these cats the life they should be living in a warm comfortable home. This isn't a personal attack on you, I am more interested in the safety of these beautiful cats. In this case, I am not willing to stand for it, especially with you having at least three cats.”
But Massey has slammed the letter, saying: “I don't understand why this person is saying they've seen cats on the front and they don't look healthy and they look depressed. How can they say that when they don't even know the cats? You can't keep a cat in. We've got the cat flap, it's never shut so they can come and go when they like. That's what cats are - free spirits. They do what they like.”
The old woman explained, “It just wound us up knowing the way we are with animals for a person to have moved here for a couple of months and say 'I don't think you're looking after your animals' because they're sitting on the front.”
Massey’s retired husband also agreed with her as he said, “Everybody round here knows that Fay is Dr Dolittle - Fay looks after every animal on this earth, she'd have them all if she could. The person that's sent this doesn't know anything about cats - you can't lock any animal up, especially cats.”
Calling the letter, “personal attack,” Helliwell added: “If they're not willing to stand for it, why don't they come and identify themselves? We will welcome any rescue coming round to check our house and animals. That's why we went to the police station because it's bordering on harassment or stalking. The person has put it in the pillar box knowing that we live ten doors away because they've put our address on the letter. But they still put it in the pillar box across the road because obviously they don't want us to see them on the camera on the door.”