Pets spark bitter feud between Keelung neighbors

By Lin Chia-tung and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Fri, Nov 08, 2013 - Page 4

Neighbors in a community in Keelung have recently taken each other to court over cat droppings and human urine.

According to police, the neighbors — a 48-year-old named Chang (張) and a 53-year-old named Hsieh (謝) — both own cats: Chang has three former strays, as well as two dogs, while Hsieh has three cats: an exotic shorthair, a Scottish fold and a Persian.

A police report said that Chang had never had any problems with neighbors until Hsieh moved in a year ago.

The narrow space between their houses — only 5m — led to Chang’s pets often leaping over to Hsieh’s house, leading to tension between the two families, the report said.

At 1am on April 24, Chang returned home and, unhappy with Hsieh’s wife allegedly having smeared cat droppings on the windows of his house, called for Hsieh and his wife to come out and “have it out.”

Both Hsieh and his wife obliged, Hsieh’s wife carrying a small shovel.

Chang allegedly instigated a fight by hitting and pushing Hsieh, causing him to fall over, the report said.

Hsieh’s wife allegedly hit Chang on the back with the shovel, and was allegedly thrown to the ground by him.

The shovel flew out of her hands, the report said, adding that Hsieh then picked up the shovel and attempted to hit Chang.

Both fell to the ground and sustained injuries while fighting to grab the shovel. The pair are suing each other on assault charges, the report said.

During questioning by the police, Chang’s wife said that she had discovered that her front and back door had been defaced with cat droppings and urine, which had been smeared on her screen windows.

She was quoted as saying that a surveillance camera revealed that Hsieh’s wife was the culprit, adding that Chang had reported the incident then.

Chang said that Hsieh’s Persian cat often visited his garden and urinated in it, but he had not chased it away or taken any action.

He was infuriated that cat droppings had twice been smeared on his property, ruining his screen doors and windows.

However, Hsieh’s wife was defiant.

“If they want to take it to court, two can play that game,” she said, adding that they had caught Chang’s wife pouring human urine near their house on the family’s surveillance camera.

Hsieh’s wife was quoted as saying that the dogs Chang kept were noisy and prone to biting people, and his cats had also urinated in the cat litter they placed in their back yard, as well as in the garden.

Hsieh’s wife was quoted as saying that when she complained to Chang, he said to her: “Just toss it [the cat droppings in the cat litter] back here.”

She said she simply “did exactly as he said.”