The Cat That Refused To Leave Crawlspace When Owners Moved Causes Feud; Finally Back Home

Two families outside of Portland, Oregon found themselves in a battle over a cat that they never imagined would escalated as it has.

Violet, a shy but stubborn 9-year old Tuxie, was at the center of the issue.

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Retreating to her favorite hiding spot when the movers arrived 2 weeks ago, Lisa and Emily Szefel believed she had possibly gotten out and was lost. Heartbroken, they were unable to locate her and had to leave the property.

When the new homeowners found cat pee in the house the following week, they knew Violet was still there somewhere and contacted the Szefel’s to inform them.

Violet was located in her favorite hiding spot, the crawlspace. They could not coax the stubborn tuxie out and were unable to reach her to grab her. They say she’s never gone that deep into her safe spot, refusing to come out.

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Unfortunately, the new owners of the home could only allow the Szefels to return during their limited availability. Attempts to catch the cat in the afternoons was unsuccessful day after day. Not the most active time for cats since they are crepuscular, primarily active at dawn and dusk, this made it harder on both families to retrieve the feline.

Tensions mounted and after a week of trying daily to catch her, both families had become frustrated at the odd situation. The new owners stated that Violet had the food, water and a litter box Lisa had left near her and was using it when no one was around. Lisa and Emily were upset they weren’t given access at more cat-friendly times to have the best chance of catching her.

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Still trying to settle into their new home, the new owners were upset and irritated that a huge chunk of their lives was being taken up by the invasive issue. They’d even cut a hole in the wall to try to reach the sneaky girl! They eventually hired a local cat rescuer to help the catch the cat. Although this may stress Violet out with exposure to an unknown party, nothing else had worked and they were at a loss.

The Szefel family were increasingly angered over the time restrictions put on them and firmly believed they’d be able to save Violet if only the new owners were more accommodating. Outraged when the new homeowners stopped answering their calls and text messages, they even had police intervene on July 31st. Speaking to both the new owners and the hired cat rescuer, officers were ensured the cat was getting food and water.

Taking to social media, the women even started a Facebook page, “Justice for Violet”, which has since been taken down. Here they publicized their anger and claimed that Violet wasn’t getting what she needed to survive. Followers showed their support however it went too far when threats to the new owners started being voiced.

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Then the day after the story hit local news media, Lisa Szefel received a shocking phone call. The Bonnie Hayes Animal Hospital was calling to inform her that someone had just dropped Violet off at their location!

She rushed over to the clinic and was greeted by Violet and lots of blinking “eye love”. They rushed her to their veterinarian so she could get a full check up and ensure she was healthy after her ordeal. On first glance however, Violet seemed to be in good health.

They never received any news from the new homeowners but both families are likely extremely happy that Violet is now where she belongs.

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  1. i was shocked when i saw that cat! she looks EXACTLY like m Macgregor who passed in 2011. i’m glad she is safe now with her family. cats are so mysterious and you never quite know why they are doing certain things. i’m just glad she is with her people now that love her. i can imagine how stressful that situation was, i would have gone nuts!

  2. I don’t think the cat’s owners handled this well. They went for mob justice… and the new owners did what they could in my opinion…

  3. The Justice for Violet Face Book page has not be taken down. I am a member as it is still quite active and will remain up.

  4. I joined the group on Facebook. The cat owners did NOT go for mob justice. The did not divulge the new owner name and addressed even though they were repeatedly asked. I don’t think I saw any serious threat to the new owners, only calls for peaceful protest/picketing, advice on capturing Violet, name calling, attempts to gain publicity, and a few wishes for calamity to befall the new house (bug infestations, etc). Also, this quickly became a closed page so if anyone DID threaten the new homeowners it was only shared within the group and not divulged to the homeowners. I am unaware if anyone directly threatened the new owners on other social media or in person.

  5. The new owners were never threatened because Lisa and Emily never released their names! The new owners should have given Lisa and Emily access in the evenings so Violet could have been caught sooner and the situation could have been resolved. Instead the new owners played the piano, used power tools and whined about the starving, terrified cat who was ruining their home buying experience – yes, folks the new home owners are that selfish! Violet lost well over a pound while in captivity so I seriously doubt the new home owners were providing proper nutrition. The new home owners proved how horrible and uncooperative they are when they caught Violet and took her to the pound rather than calling Emily and Lisa! I wish Violet’s owners had released the names of the new home owners because no rescue should allow such uncaring people to ever adopt a pet! I would also like to know their names to ensure we never hire them!

  6. The cat’s owners did NOT go for Mob justice and the new home owners were NEVER threatened! How could the new home owners be threatened when Violet’s owners, Emily and Lisa, never revealed their names! In my opinion, the new home owners handled the situation very poorly and with no regard for Violet! Everything that was familiar to Violet was gone. The poor cat was traumatized and hiding in fear. The new owners should have dealt with some minor temporary inconvenience and quietly remained on the first floor while allowing Lisa and Emily to come in during the evenings to coax Violet out. Yes, the new owners might have had a few inconvenient evenings but the situation would have been resolved much sooner. Instead, the news story broke and a much thinner Violet was mysteriously and miraculously captured but rather than calling the cat’s owners Violet was dumped at the pound! If Violet had not been microchipped who knows how this story would have ended! I am thrilled that Violet is home but appalled by the new home owners!

  7. Lesson to be learned here…ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS…try and move your pets first so that when other humans become involved (movers, new owners…etc.) the pets won’t freak out and hide or run off. I’m happy the story had a good ending for all. Just going by what the story reports, both sides could have handled things better.

  8. My aunt had a similar situation with a cat when she moved. The morning they were going to load the truck, the cat was NO WHERE to be found. They went back and forth between new and old home for three days thinking the cat had somehow slipped out of the house and was lost in the neighborhood. They left food on the porch of old house, which was being eaten (by something) but could not get a glimpse of the missing cat, none of the “old” neighbors had seen him anywhere. On the fourth day when my aunt went to move the sofa to a different location that where it was placed in the new house on the day of the move, out came the cat, he had been hiding in the sofa the entire time and made the ride in the moving truck to the new house.

  9. The Facebook page, ‘Justice for Violet,’ has not been taken down. Instead, it’s become. a drama-fest of wild accusations and assorted hysterical shriekings about lawsuits and other nonsense. These people are ridiculous, and it’s easy to see why the new owners didn’t want to give them free access to their home. The idiots have two other cats, and they managed to move them without losing them. Why they even put Violet in the crawl space in the first place is beyond me. As far as “dumping Violet at the pound,” the people who rescued her took her to a local shelter and told them how to get in touch with Violet’s owners. It had NOTHING to do with the cat being microchipped. I don’t blame the people who got the cat out for wanting no further dealings with this women.

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Written by JessiCAT

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