Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I've lived in my present home since 1991. The house to our left has seen 3 different owners.
I sometimes wonder if I/we are the cause for the frequent turn over of occupants in that cute little Cape Cod. But then I remember, that can't be so, because we are AWESOME neighbors.

The first owners of that home were perfect neighbors. A married couple around the same age as my wife and me. The added attraction was they were a professional couple with no kids, so they were rarely there. Ideal.

A few years later the professional couple left. They assured me it was not any fault of mine.
In moved a 50 something year old widow. We did the right thing, you know. We went over and introduced ourselves and welcomed her to the neighborhood as we were surrounded by 2 of my dogs and a cat or too. She seemed nice. She didn't seem bothered by my dog that was sniffing her up and down as we stood in the front yard. I thought to myself, "Perfect, another neighbor who won't be bothered by the meanderings of my unleashed animals." It seemed we lucked out and got another perfect neighbor.

That was until I received in the mail an obviously lawyer assisted letter, complete with links to the local codes explaining in great detail the need for owners to have their dogs on a leash at all times. It seems, my dogs were leaving her little "gifts" in her yard, which she didn't appreciate.
Her not being a dog owner, I could feel her pain and totally understood that. What I didn't understand was why, since I gave her a friendly little neighborly wave each day, she just didn't say, "Hey Mark, could you walk your dogs in your yard because I just stepped in......"
That would have been enough. I would have gladly leashed my dogs. Well, I wouldn't have been glad, but I would have found their leash.

So, instead of thanking her in person for the tips on the local pet laws, I wrote her a letter, and thanked her for giving me a nice pine tree a few months back. It seems she wasn't as familiar with our property lines as I am and plopped her new tree in my yard. So I included the longitude and latitude of our property lines. I thought that was the least I could do.
In a weeks time, the nice pine tree was relocated 10 ft farther south.

2 years ago, my animal lover neighbor left and again new neighbors move in. Same story, a couple about my age, she works, he's retired. I met the wife, who seemed very nice. The "dog issue" is not an issue any longer because thanks to the previous animal lover neighbor and her helpful hints concerning local pet laws, I have now been trained to walk my dogs on a leash at all times.

I met the man of the house for the first time, yesterday, 2 years after he moved in. I know, not very neighborly of me. I just wasn't into it.
He seems like a very nice guy. As we stood in his driveway talking, he motioned to one of my cats that was sunning himself next to the tire of his car, and said, "Do you know who's cat that is?"

A red flag instantly went up. Oh no, here we go again I thought. I wondered if I was going to received, in the mail, helpful tips on cat ownership.

I said in a very apologetic voice, "He's our cat, does he bother you?"
"No," he said, "I thought he was a stray. There's his food bowl over there."

Not only is my new neighbor feeding my cat, he built him a small shelter in the back yard.
Not only did he build him a shelter, he and his wife gave the cat a name!

I haven't laughed so hard in a long time.

Tiggy is now known as "mittens."

I think I like my new neighbors.


Marilyn said...

So funny! Neighbors definitely can be an issue at times. We have a new neighbor with two dogs, hummm? hope they don't poop in my yard. At least now we have neighbors. In the past 10 years there have been 5 different residents there and the house has been empty for the past 2 years. We got a letter one time from a neighbor's lawyer about a tree in our yard that the branches were hanging over the property line and they were afraid the tree would fall on their house. The tree was 12 feet tall. Oh neighbors! Some good and some not so good.

beth said...

oh neighbors.....
don't we all have our stories....BUT the ones who live next to you now....KEEP THEM
tell them they can't move....just like that....
"you can't move, ever...especially since you've name our cat, you have to stay here now forever"

that's what are neighbors did after our son moved out....they said we know your house is too big for just the two of you now, but please stay....we love having you right next door for neighbors. you can't move !!

obviously we're still here.

SueAnn said...

Glad your new neighbor totally loves your cat, Ha!!
Your life in the neighborhood will now be enriched.

Karen said...

I LOVE your new neighbors. What a great story :-)

Joycee said...

Why don't I come here write about the same stuff that goes on here in this crazy neighborhood! The POA is going to be the death of me, this time fighting over boat dock rules. The only redeeming quality is that we're all laid back about our pets. It's the country and we let our dogs and cats do their thing. We even feed and invite the neighbors dogs in for "visits!" You have jogged a memory loose... tomorrow's post for sure!

Anonymous said...

This made me laugh! And you know how I feel about cats!

Jerral Miles said...

Was it Robert Frost who said "good fences make good neighbors"? Maybe it's true of cats as well as fences.