A letter to my neighbor


1) I did to my knowledge not receive the letter you mention. Perhaps you shoved it under my door and the scampering neighborhood hooligans took it, or the 80 year old Swiss woman you insist is spraying poison all over the yard and running a methamphetamine laboratory in her parlor. Or the spies you seem to believe are hiding in the bushes.

Also, for future reference, shoving a note under someone’s door is not a guarantee that they will find it, see it, and certainly not that they will read it.

2) As for the $160 vet bill you presented us with: I called the vet and she told me in no uncertain terms that there was nothing wrong with Erwin and that he certainly wasn’t poisoned or sick or “intoxicated”, as you put it. (I suppose he might have been drunk, but I didn’t ask the vet if she’d given him a breathalyzer test. He has never shown a predilection for alcohol, however, as he is a cat.)

She also told me that you claimed to be my cat sitter and that I’d authorized you to take him to the vet. Neither of these is true. So you took him to the vet, incurring this bill, without my permission and for no sane reason at all. Your claims that our other neighbor, Pia, was poisoning the animals is as utterly insane and groundless as your claims that she is some sort of meth cook, and suggests to me that you are possibly a paranoid schizophrenic.

However, we’ve paid for half of your fraudulent bill, and will pay the other half at our convenience — not because we believe we owe it to you, but because we want this matter settled. But that’s as far as it goes. Consider yourself lucky that we don’t litigate against you. I’m sure there’s some legal prohibition upon stealing your neighbor’s cat and taking him to the vet because you’re a madwoman.

3) As I’ve told you twice previously, I don’t have Erwin’s vaccination records, nor do I remember the name of the veterinarian I took him to to get them. There’s no legal requirement for me to keep these records. He is a cat, not a human child.

4) I absolutely, categorically refuse to pay for your $1000 doctor’s visit. If you hadn’t felt the need to fraudulently abduct my cat and take him to the vet without my permission, he wouldn’t have scratched you. Nor was he “intoxicated”, according to the vet who saw him. You are merely demented.

Also, my wife has warned you — in writing — that you play with our cat at your own risk.

If you feel the need to take this matter to court, feel free. I have an excellent attorney and will promptly countersue you for harassment. I suspect the court will find in my favor, as I am not a paranoid lunatic who takes pictures of my neighbors because I believe they are all conspiring against me.

5) For at least two years you have felt the need to take my cat into your home without asking my permission and feed him and generally behave in a terribly creepy fashion. To avoid a confrontation, we’ve allowed this. That ends now. I demand that you leave my cat, Erwin, alone. Your Erwin privileges are, as of this moment, revoked. Don’t feed him, don’t allow him into your house, don’t touch him. If I see you put food out for him I will throw it away. If I see you picking him up I will take him from you physically.

And, God help you, don’t harm him, or I will have you prosecuted for animal cruelty. You will go to jail.

6) If you want to pursue this matter, do so through your attorney. My wife and I wish no further contact with you, and if you harass us — or continue to behave as though our cat is your pet — I will, again, pursue the matter with the authorities.

I understand that you’ve been evicted from your apartment for basically behaving like a madwoman. I advise you to simply drop this matter and leave. Perhaps your lunacy intimidates others, but you don’t frighten me with your maniacal legal threats.

Signed, Joshua Ellis

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