5 hours ago
Wednesday, 17 April 2013
Distressing confrontation regarding my cats.
Every day for the last twelve years or more I've let Blackso outside, early mornings usually between 5 and 6, through the front door downstairs after his breakfast, then bring him back in half an hour later for 'seconds' and then let him out again. No problem. Until now.
As I was letting him out this morning the guy in the downstairs flat pulled his door open, stood there red-faced and barked "D'you have any idea what f*ckin' time this is!" I said, taken aback, that I did know. "I've just about had enough of you and your f*ckin' cats. Every f*ckin' morning you wake me up. Just because you don't work do you think that no one else does? Did you know that you're not allowed to have pets? I'm going to report you to the landlord." I said that the landlord knew I had cats. He ignored that. "I'm going to see to it that you have to f*ckin' get rid of them!" He ranted on for a couple more minutes in similar vein while I stood there silent and gobsmacked. Then he retreated back inside, slamming the door so hard that the whole house shook. I couldn't believe what had just happened. I came back upstairs and sat paralyzed, until I had to go out for my review appointment with the diabetes nurse. (Latest prognosis results are good, though my thoughts during the session were very far away).
This downstairs neighbour is a little younger than me with a face that says he's lived a lot. I think he looks considerably older than he is. Separated from his wife, who still visits him here weekly, together with their daughter, maybe about 10 years old. Evidence from his bin, which I put out every week for both of us, is that he's a hardened drinker.
On returning from the nurse I knew I couldn't just leave things as they were but had to try to move forward. So I wrote out a long note to him, basically saying that I've never had complaints before from the previous five tenants (including two working couples), but that as he's genuinely disturbed by my routine I'll have to get Blackso to learn to use the back window, (though how, now at the age of 13, he can learn that, I don't know).But I also managed to put a bit of a sting in the tail. I asked him to let me know from what time in the morning I can be allowed to use my own door. A bit cheeky but I needed to get a dig in somehow. I went on further, among other things pointing out that the landlord had, in fact, permitted the previous tenant in his flat to own a large dog. After checking that I was satisfied with my effort I left the note downstairs in the hall for him.
About an hour later I heard a knocking on my door. The transformation was immense. He was profusely apologetic about what he'd said to me. He'd been wound up by the young guys in the house next door making so much noise throughout the night depriving him of sleep. (I hadn't heard them.) He was sorry he'd threatened me about the cats, knew how much they meant to me and knew that I regarded them as my 'children'. He said he had no real intention to report me. He was determined to find out who owned the house next door so he could to report them. (I think the guys actually own that house themselves!) He begged me, in spite of what he'd said, not to change my routine. But he also went further and said that he could hear every step I made in this flat above him - he knew when I went to bed and could even hear me snoring. I wish he hadn't said all that. It's news to me and it's now made me acutely aware of every move I make here.
Despite his insistence I dare not uses the front door again at that early hour. He is the kind of person who I suspect could well have had a violent past and I don't want him to be charging out at me, knife in hand. Blackso will just have to go out through the back window - and if he doesn't work out that he can also come back in that way at anytime I'll just have to leave him sitting outside on the garden wall looking up longingly for me to go down and carry him in. The worst thing I can imagine happening is not just the chap complaining about me to the landlord, but if he does anything to the cats themselves - or makes me have to give them up. In the latter cases I just don't know what I'll do, but I'm pretty sure it will be something drastic.
So that's the position as at now. How it'll develop I don't know. I just wish I could scoop up all (4?) of my pussies and go and live with them in an isolated house somewhere.