I just spoke with a complainant who started out rather irate. Apparently the cats had been urinating and defecating in the corridor for quite some time and he was rather annoyed. He said that he had come home last night and the cat had urinated on his raincoat. He said that he was going to 'whack' the cat. I asked him if he was aware if anyone had cats as pets. He did - and he knew which household. He had tried to speak with the person but to no avail.
I told him hitting the cat was wrong, and that it didn't solve the problem. I explained that this was a problem with the person - he expressed the view that he might hit the person too if his patience was tried some more.
I got the feeling he was speaking more out of frustration than of wanting to hurt the cat (though I did warn him that abuse is a crime). I asked him if he really wanted to hurt the cat who wasn't at fault, and he said he didn't, but this had been going on for some time.
I also explained that usually community cats don't walk upstairs unless they are being fed. He asked me how I came to his conclusion and I explained because of the cases I had dealt with, this was what I had observed and he accepted that.
I explained that we would ask some caregivers in the area to try and speak with his neighbour and that he could try mothballs in the meantime. He said he had complained to his town council for some time but to no avail.
He calmed down and said that he actually did like cats but that he was frustrated and this made him say unnecessary things. He said he was glad that he had spoken with me because it sounded like I understood his problem, whereas he felt his TC officer didn't know what to do. It ended quite cordially with him agreeing to get the mothballs. Now I hope that the person with the cats will be co-operative!