Dear Editor: Please allow us space today to air our feelings regarding the cat fiasco that has happened next door to us.
On the evening of May 23, we returned home after being out for a couple of hours to find our property being overrun by many dozens of cats. The door to the house next door had come open and cats were quite literally spilling out of the house. I’m sure that your readers know what happened after that because it was all over the news.
The video we took that night has been seen by 32,647 people all over the world. We posted the video because we were desperate to get this situation resolved. We had been trying for at least four years to get some help from the city but had been told repeatedly that there was nothing they could do. The only thing they would do was tell him to clean up his garbage which he would do by throwing it in his shed and closing the door. If you have not seen the video, go to YouTube and type in Corner Brook cats. If there is any money made on the video, it will go to the care of the cats.
The shed has been removed. The homeowner is being looked after. Most of the cats (about 217) have been captured. Some have been euthanized, some have been adopted, and the rest are being cared for by the SPCA and Scaredy Cat Rescue. Many very kind volunteers are taking good care of the cats.
The house is full of cat feces. The workers who captured the cats had to wear breathing apparatuses and special coveralls to enter the house. That was five weeks ago. The house has been closed up since then and the weather is heating up. Can you imagine the bacteria that is building up in that house? It makes us sick to think about it. We should not have to live like this.
We are only the law-abiding, rule-following taxpayers who are left living next to a house that is a hazard to our health. The people who we talk to and who constantly ask us how we are doing with it all assume that the house is going to be destroyed. Well if it is, we would love to know. We are left in the dark about what is happening while we live with the smell and the flies.
Our minister, Tom Marshall has been to see us twice and has been very sympathetic to our plight. Since this story broke on May 23, not one of our elected city officials has inquired how we are doing. Not one of them has visited or called even though they have to know that we are stressed to the max over this whole thing.
We get the feeling that to them we are still what we have been for the last four years — a nuisance. They will not accept any responsibility for the situation that occurred. In the meantime, our taxpayer dollars have to be used to clean it up.
The bill would be a lot higher if it were not for the thousands of volunteer hours that have been put in, time that could have been used for other worthwhile projects in this city.
Our personal property values have plummeted. Who would buy a house next door to a cat sewer? Would this house still be standing if it was situated on McPherson Avenue, on Cobb Lane or next door to our mayor’s house on Kawaja Drive? Is there one set of standards for the more affluent areas of town and another set for Humbermouth and Curling?
The cats are OK and are being looked after. Our neighbour is OK and is being looked after. What about us? The other residents on McWhirters Lane have read this letter and fully agree to its’ content and would like to have their names signed to it.
Keith and Doris Cormier, and supported by McWhirters Lane residents Doug and Kay McWhirter and Jim and Inez Drover