The worst thing about renting a home is if you have a pet and must find “pet-friendly” landlords. Ridiculous deposit fees are demanded up front or even a monthly rate is applied! Yes, I understand there are nightmare tenants and their pets that destroy homes. But that can happen with ANY animal–most often HUMANS. (There aren’t “children deposits”; just saying.)
So when a couple living in Poland found a nice father/daughter landlord team that had four outdoor cats themselves, they were thrilled. They happily settled into their new home with their beloved 6-year-old female cat, Lumen.
But when the landlords decided to later use scare tactics to remove them from the property illegally, Lumen almost lost more than her home.
Life for Lumen had been difficult. Her devoted human, Kaiserin Kinga and her boyfriend had rescued her from a feral colony while living in another country. She’s been with them since she was just 3 months old.
Sadly, local pigeon breeders had decided the feral community garden cats would be better off dead. They poisoned all the felines in the colony. Heartbroken, the couple believed their sweet feline friends to all be dead, including the newly born Lumen.
But when they later spotted her wandering the area, they were quick to act! They were able to catch her and offer her a safe alternative to street life. Since that day, Lumen had remained with them. And the sweet tuxedo girl gratefully accepted their devotions, wholeheartedly loving them in return.
A few years ago, they moved back to Poland where they found the cat-loving landlords and the purrfect lower floor flat.
Lumen loved the area but there was one new neighbor that hadn’t won her affections. It was the neighbors outdoor cat, Kitek.
He took liking to us almost immediately, but got on Lumen’s nerves for jumping on the windowsill (one on the outside, of course). He seemed to like her still though, and kept slow blinking to her.
The love/hate relationship between the felines continued without much forward “meow”mentum–until recently. And it’s possibly that ongoing power struggle is what helped save Lumen’s life.
The day came when the landlords decided they wanted to sell the house instead of using it for rental income.
However, it seems they ignored the fact you have to provide your tenants with time to MOVE OUT. I’m not 100% sure of the laws in Poland or every detail of this situation. But clearly things could have been handled much better…
Because things escalated quickly and it became physically threatening.
The landlords turned up with their friends when we were away. When we tried to enter our flat they threatened us and tried to beat us up. They demanded money for letting us into the flat we’ve been paying for.
And they had been trying to scare Lumen, as she was observing the situation sitting on the windowsill. The window was slightly ajar and not enough to pry it open or gain access. So they squirted water and threw cigarette butts in at her.
The frightened and angry couple contacted the police, who informed them they could file an incident report. But the officers never came to the property to follow up. Feeling devastated and helpless, they went down to the station to document the events.
When they returned to the flat only hours later, they were met with new locks that had been changed while they were gone.
We knew she was not in the flat. I had special knock on the window for her and she would know it was me and jump onto windowsill. But this tine she didn’t. They had even thrown her bowls out, but left all the rest of our stuff in the flat.
They began frantically searching for Lumen as night settled around them. That didn’t stop them from exploring every nook and cranny in the area. Alas, she was nowhere to be found. Additional anxiety loomed in the back of their minds as there was a river a short distance away. They feared she had been taken to the water and drowned.
After about an hour of searching, they were approached by Kitek, perhaps offering his support?
And then I saw Kitek chasing Lumen towards us and heard Lumen screaming! I caught her immediately, unable to believe my luck. Kitek followed, purring loudly, very proud of himself.
Although it meant saying goodbye to Kitek’s daily visits, they were happy to put plenty of distance between themselves and the nightmare landlords.
They got into the flat eventually and filed the appropriate reports. The issues weren’t ignored this time and they sued the landlords for animal cruelty, among several other offences.
We made a tough decision to place Lumen in cat hotel for a while. Thankfully, we found a flat a few days afterwards. Quite on the contrary to what we expected, she recovered quickly, and adapted well to the hotel. And now at the new flat, she is quite relaxed around us.
Don’t take it purrsonal Kitek!
I am sure Kitek couldn’t comprehend what my boyfriend asked him for. He heard the name Lumen and I am sure he associated her name with her. But he could have figured out that we want him to fetch her, having heard us calling her out.
Thank you to Kaiserin Kinga for reaching out to me on the Cole & Marmalade Facebook page to share her story! Please be sure to give Lumen an extra hug from us. And if you ever run into Kitek again, toss some treats his way on our behalf too!
REMEMBER: SPAY/NEUTER, FOSTER, VOLUNTEER, TNR & AS ALWAYS, ADOPT, DON’T SHOP!
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