Real-life MMD: Should we pay vet's bill for the cat our neighbour stole from us?

edited 27 August 2013 at 8:22PM in Money Saving Polls
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Former_MSE_DebsFormer_MSE_Debs Former MSE
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edited 27 August 2013 at 8:22PM in Money Saving Polls
Money Moral Dilemma: Should we pay vet's bill for the cat our neighbour stole from us?

By the time our kitten was two years old, he rarely came home and we suspected another neighbour was feeding him, as we saw him around occasionally. He seemed happy, so we eventually got another cat to replace him. Fast forward six years, I get a knock on the door by the old lady he's lived with since 2006. She said he needs to see the vet, but as a pensioner, she can't afford to pay and as the cat is microchipped and registered to us, can we pay? As she effectively stole our disloyal cat, I’m inclined to say "no", but I'd feel bad if it means he won’t see a vet.
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  • PurpleGoldFishPurpleGoldFish Forumite
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    It's not really your cat any more, (It ran off/she stole it) she's had it for 6-7 years, it's her cat and her problem. You could always point her in the direction of PDSA (or similar) if she's truly in financial difficulty, offer to lifts to/from vets to be nice or offer a token gesture towards the cost of treatment.

    To be honest, if someone cat napped my cat in 2006 and came knocking in 2013 for money towards vets bills, I'd tell them to sling their hook.
  • flossy_splodgeflossy_splodge Forumite
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    Sort of agree with the above. It's a horrid thing to do to 'annexe' some one else's pet. If you do, it's yours to look after from then on.
    Will you be happy to pay a 2nd and a third etc time if there's a need?
    Hard to do but don't pay.
    ;)
    "Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
    ― John Wooden
  • Whoever pays the food bill should pay the vet bill.

    Our neighbours cat moved in with us many years ago, as we had a cat flap (and no cat) and they didn't. We did nothing to encourage her, including not feeding her, but she lived with us for about 5 years until she died. All that time they fed her in their porch but she lived with us, with them paying the vets bills.


    The only awkward times were when we went on holiday and had to ask next door to look after their own cat!!
    I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be
  • krlyrkrlyr Forumite
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    I don't know if I would quite class the cat as stolen or abandoned though. Owners do have a responsibility to their pets - if the owner decided the cat was better off elsewhere, then I feel their last responsibility to the cat is to find it a home with an owner who not only loves it, but who can afford and provide appropriate care.

    I would be inclined to either pay up (just think of all the money the original owner saved on cat food, flea treatment, etc. by leaving the cat's costs to the old lady) or accept responsibility for the cat and take it back into their care or rehome it to someone who can afford it.
  • LagoonLagoon Forumite
    934 Posts
    It's not really your cat any more, (It ran off/she stole it) she's had it for 6-7 years, it's her cat and her problem. You could always point her in the direction of PDSA (or similar) if she's truly in financial difficulty, offer to lifts to/from vets to be nice or offer a token gesture towards the cost of treatment.

    To be honest, if someone cat napped my cat in 2006 and came knocking in 2013 for money towards vets bills, I'd tell them to sling their hook.

    I agree completely. It would be so difficult, but I wouldn't pay.

    I can't believe that she had the cheek to come and ask you!

    That said, if she came to ask I think it's a sign that she does care about her pet, and I therefore think she'll find the money she needs. Right now, she's just pushing her luck.
  • MrsAtobeMrsAtobe Forumite
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    The thought of an animal going without necessary medical treatment horrifies me, but, but. Is she willing to stop feeding the cat, so that he comes home, or is that not an option with your current cat? My gut feeling is that she can't have it both ways, she has had the pleasure of the cat's company for many years, but expects someone else to pay the vet's bills.
    Good enough is good enough, and I am more than good enough!:j

    If all else fails, remember, keep calm and hug a spaniel!
  • can you afford it? if so, then perhaps you could look at the situation as this lady 'fostered' your cat?
    tbh - I do think its a bit of a cheek, but perhaps this lady is desperate? and wouldn't ask if the cat didn't need help? It must have cost her a lot to come and ask - talk to her and find out what the problem is?
  • Person_onePerson_one Forumite
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    Hang on, you just let your pet drift away and then 'replaced' it? This woman didn't steal your cat, you abandoned it and she took it in.

    After all this time, I do think its her cat and she should be responsible for the vet bills, but I think you should at least offer to pay for the cost of transferring the chip details to her.
  • gettingreadygettingready Forumite
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    Person_one wrote: »
    Hang on, you just let your pet drift away and then 'replaced' it? This woman didn't steal your cat, you abandoned it and she took it in.

    Agree with the above 100%

    Person_one wrote: »
    After all this time, I do think its her cat and she should be responsible for the vet bills, but I think you should at least offer to pay for the cost of transferring the chip details to her.


    Personally I would pay the vet bills as I would feel very bad for abandoning the cat.
  • actdactd Forumite
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    next time, get a dog - they don't generally drift off ;)

    I know it's horrible to think that it won't get treatment, but that's the case with thousands of cats all over the country - you can't pay for every cat. I would suggest that, as someone else has suggested, you point her towards the PDSA - by all means, make a donation to the PDSA as they rely on this to operate, but you need to draw a line somewhere.
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