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Family Wants To Keep Neighbor's Lost Cat That They 'Found' Because Their Daughter Bonded With Him

Photo: STEFI PANCHESCO / Shutterstock
girl, kitten

A girl was left completely heartbroken after her beloved cat disappeared without a trace. When he finally returned, she was told that she had to give him back to the people who found him. 

Now, she is wondering if she is being unreasonable for refusing and taking him back. 

The girl’s cat went missing shortly after she received him as a birthday present. 

Sharing her story on the subreddit thread, r/AmITheA–hole, the girl revealed that her parents gifted her a kitten for her birthday, and it was love at first sight. 

“He was like my best friend, followed me everywhere I went and always slept on my pillow next to my face,” she wrote in the now-deleted post. 

She added that her mother has a friend that lives a couple of streets over from them and has a daughter with special needs. “The girl has autism, but that’s irrelevant why I don’t like her,” the girl wrote. 

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Going back to her cat, the girl shared that at nighttime, they opened the doors to the back screened-in patio so that her cat could get some fresh air. 

“O’Malley (the cat) loved that room, it was his outdoorsy time to get fresh air,” she wrote. 

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One evening, O’Malley disappeared.

“We were baffled, there were no holes in the screen, nowhere he could have gotten out,” she claimed. “Regardless, we spent weeks looking for him. I completely broke down one day, realizing he was gone forever. I felt like I mourned him.” 

A few months later, the girl and her father were driving through town when they saw a sign for a lost cat. 

“Both of us freaked. It looked SO much like Thomas O’Malley, just a bit older version of him,” she wrote. 

Her father wrote down the phone number posted on the sign and was surprised that it was familiar. 

“Out of curiosity he looks up the number to find out, it’s the friend of my mother that lives two streets over!!” 

A few nights later, the girl and her father began looking for the cat themselves again, and this time the outcome was different. 

“I heard a faint meow coming from the backyard. IT WAS O’MALLEY!” she revealed. 

“I was so happy I was crying… I thought it was a happy ending, I had my best buddy back that I never thought I’d see again.” 

However, a few days later the girl’s mother invited her neighbor and her daughter who allegedly had the cat into their house. 

When the cat saw them, he took off to the girl’s room where she barricaded him inside. 

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The girl’s mother, however, wanted her to make a difficult decision. “My mom came to my door and said we have to give him back,” she wrote. “I was prepared to find out if Amazon could drone deliver us food to my window before I ever open that door again.” 

When the girl refused to hand her cat over to the neighbor, they got the police involved. The family attempted to defend themselves with proof that the cat is theirs. 

“My dad produced adoption paperwork with his microchip that is still registered to us,” the girl wrote. “They produced recent pics of O’Malley with vet records. The cop said it’s a civil matter, take it to the courthouse.” 

The neighbor claims that her daughter has bonded with the cat and they want to keep him. 

“They’re claiming O’Malley is the autistic girl’s ESA (emotional support animal),” she wrote.

“My mom does not want this escalating to the court and says I need to give O’Malley back. She said I need to consider the girl’s disability and the fact they had O’Malley longer than I did (barely). Like let’s just ignore the fact THEY STOLE HIM.” 

The girl’s father has stated that he will support whatever decision that she makes, even it means going behind her mother’s back. 

“I don’t want to give him back, it’s not fair, he is my cat,” she wrote. 

Redditors sided with the girl and believed that she should be able to keep the cat since he was her pet. 

“Do not give the cat back,” one Redditor advised. “You cannot break the law, nor common decency, just because there is a disability at play. If the girl needs an ESA, then they can get one without stealing it.” 

“Send them to the animal shelter to get a new cat. Tell them otherwise you will take them to court and ask for a bench trial where the judge will take one look at the microchip evidence and award you the cat and attorney costs,” another user suggested. 

“The cat is yours. I would press charges against them, honestly,” another user shared.  “You have proof he is yours legally. If she needs an emotional support animal, there are options that don’t involve stealing your freaking cat.”

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.