Monday, February 1, 2016

I am Switzerland

For all of those that are regular readers of TAOBC, you know I have lived in a lot of communities.  After 21 moves, I can safely say that I have never had to actually verbalize to my neighbors the phrase "I prefer to remain neutral".  I have recently told 3 neighbors (soon to be 4) TO THEIR FACE, that I am the Switzerland of the neighborhood.

The reason I bring this up today, it seems that I missed a new chapter in an ongoing  list of neighborhood skirmishes.  Evidently the cops were called at around 2 AM this morning. This is not their first visit to our street and I am confident in telling you in won't be the last. The last incident that brought the police cars to our street involved a shared fence dispute when one neighbor decided to paint both sides of the fence a color that was questionable...whole other story. 

Last night's problem is a result of ongoing pet insurrection.  As an animal lover, I particularly want to stay out of the fray. I do my best to keep my own cat unaware that anything exists outside of our house.She seems rather content sleeping 16 hours a day.
Who needs to go outside?

Over the summer the neighbor on our left of our house (whom I will refer to as Neighbor A) mentioned that she was having trouble with a cat peeing on her shrubbery and supposedly killing it.  Who knew that there could be death by urine?  The offending cat, named Jason, is owned by people directly across from neighbor A and I will refer to Jason's family as Neighbor B.

The first blow (figuratively, speaking) was launched by email from Neighbor A to Neighbor B in the form of an email telling them to keep their cat home. Within the email it said "if I wanted a cat, I would buy a cat." ( an effort of full disclosure this neighbor is  usually quite nice but evidently had reached her limits concerning Jason.)

Do I need to tell you that Neighbor B didn't like the tone of the email and shot one back saying that Jason was an "outdoor" kind of cat and that Neighbor A should get a life.

The emails continued  back and forth with the tone turning decidedly more hostile as time went on.  The final blow was when an email from Neighbor B said that "Jason doesn't feel like staying indoors." Turns out the Neighbor A doesn't give a s*** what Jason feels like.

During the following couple of weeks Neighbor A was busily taking pictures of Jason around the neighborhood to collect ammunition before calling Animal Control again.

In our community, neighborhood disputes are initially handled by Police Officers before handing it over to the appropriate agency that handles that particular problem such as, in this case, Animal Control.  Neighbor B had an officer knock on her door asking her if she was Jason's owner and if she was aware that our city has a leash law.

She didn't appreciate the visit, it seems and pretty much told the officer that she thought  "leash laws" were stupid when it applies to cats.  The officer issued her a fine. That was right before Neighbor B slammed the door in the officer's face.  (I know this because of the officer's testimony in the ensuing   court case....yes...there is more to come)

Poor little Jason looking dejected.
A little more time went by, with Neighbor A  continued collecting more pictures of Jason "catting" around, which resulted in additional calls to Animal Control and prompting more and more fines for Neighbor B.

Me...being Switzerland and all, was trying to remain neutral even as Neighbor A texted me a picture of Jason sitting on my front porch.  Again...I didn't want to get drawn into this fight.

In fact, I was finding a bit of humor in the fact that Jason was pretty much flaunting his freedom and driving Neighbor A nuts.

I decided to text a photo back to Neighbor A.

A more confident Jason.

 She didn't think is was nearly as funny as I did.  It could be said with some certainty, that my sense of humor is usually paddling against the stream.

Anyway...the next thing I know I get a call that Neighbor A has been issued a subpoena to appear in court.  Neighbor B is contesting that her cat is the one that is hanging out in the other neighbor's yards. She was also refusing to pay the stack of fines that had accumulated. As it happens, our city doesn't share my stance on "not getting involved".  They roll more with the "getting the money that is due them" philosophy.

 Will I testify?....No, thank you.  I am Switzerland.

As not to make this post into a book...I will tell you that the fines stand,  the judge doesn't care that Jason doesn't want to stay indoors and the fines will increase if he continues to be an "outdoor" cat unless he stays in his own yard.

That didn't exactly end the problem as there have been various Jason sightings and Neighbor A was turned into PETA by Neighbor B, saying that she had mistreated the nomadic, Jason. (She didn't, of course, but it's Jason's word against hers.) turns out that Neighbor C, the homeowners behind my house have a new dog.  A barking... non-stop barking.... kind of dog.  Neighbor A called Animal Control in the middle of the night last night resulting in Police officers making a visit to Neighbor C's residence, waking them up and asking them do something about the dog. 

I slept through all of this as Hubby and I sleep the undisturbed sleep of neutrality,  but  I suppose I might tell the backyard neighbors it wasn't me that prompted the cops to be knocking on their door at 2AM. Guess, I should fill them in on my being Switzerland an all. 

My husband, however, did text Neighbor A telling her that we bought a new St. Bernard and  his barking will get better in time. He sent it along with:

(NOTE:  It appears that the 12 hours of DOGS BARKING Video isn't showing
up on some of the emailed can see it at

It could be with these types of antics,  Switzerland will ask us NOT be the Switzerland of our neighborhood...but then we will start saying:

We are Liechtenstein.  

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