Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Clash of personalities?

What a huge mess! The complainant wrote again this morning and the TC officer got back to me about the woman he complained about and whose number the officer had. I called her up and spoke with her and it turns out that she did indeed go up to speak with the complainant's wife, but not she says, about the cats as he alleges. She claims that she was unhappy that the complainant's wife had scolded her son in the lift earlier that day for what she felt was something unwarranted, and she wanted to set it straight. She said since she was up there, she did bring up the cats (and she did bring up the issue of dogs). She said that she left the flat not knowing there were hard feelings.

The next day, the complainant came down and took photos of the cats. When he took photos, she came down and asked him what he was doing, and told him that if he wanted to take photos, she should take photos of her together with her cats. She said that this was when he started yelling at her and claimed that he wanted the cats removed. She said that he claimed he was with the SPCA or was a member of the SPCA, and that at this point she told him that she knew them and also knew me and CWS (Incidentally, she did refer to all the residents living around her as being CWS people - when in fact none of them were, so I did correct her on this as I don't know them. She had also gotten my number from someone in a different estate, though she had not spoken with me before).

The complainant now claims that the woman is harassing him and that she was in the void deck this morning waiting for him. The woman on her part said that she is usually in the void deck at that time of day, and the complainant happens to be on leave these two days and this may be why he saw her.

She did admit her cats are let out to wander and that there is a cat that takes a lift up to her floor. I have advised her to please keep her cats in and not allow the cats up in the lift.

It seems to me that this may be a misunderstanding that has blown up to epic proportions. The complainant is very upset that the woman went upstairs to look for his wife and as he claims, threatened her, and could not understand how she knew where he lived. I am guessing from what has happened that he is the type of the person who does not like to directly speak with their neighbours and would rather call the TC, talk to the MP, etc. The idea that she would approach him may make him feel threatened for some reason.

On the other hand, the woman he complained about is the more direct sort. When she speaks, she sounds very excited and speaks quite loudly, and it can perhaps come across to some people as sounding aggressive or even angry. She in fact, wanted to go and speak with him directly about this, though I advised against it as now he is saying he wants to take out a Personal Protection Order against her. She in turn said she was thinking of filing a police report. She is also the sort of person who likes to get to know her neighbours and so she knows whom lives where more or less. When I asked how she knew where he lived, she sounded surprised and said that of course, they were neighbours. She said that if she had a problem with the neighbours, she would approach them directly.

It seems that words probably were exchangedby both sides in the heat of the moment, but this may be a case of just two different personalities and possibly even cultures, clashing. Hopefully the cats will not again bear the brunt of this.

I also spoke with the TC and have asked them about the possibility of Mediation. I have said that we are happy to help but wanted to know if the TC could help out as well since this seems to be a more neighbourly dispute which really isn't about the cats per se. The TC was agreeable.

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Anonymous belle said...

if this woman really loves her cats, she MUST keep her cats indoors so that they do not become an issue of contention betw herself & her neighbour... when that is done, then she & her neighbour can carry on fighting like all neighbours do ... bad neighbours, that is ...

14/2/07 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

indeed it does not sound like a "cat problem" at all. it's a misunderstanding blown out of proportion and might be resolved if sensible third parties such as CWS or TC help mediate.

14/2/07 5:14 PM  

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