Love thy neighbour, not?

Someone I know told me that she is greeted by cat poo daily whenever she opens the back door to her home in Kuala Lumpur.

She has resorted to every single tip online – from buying repellents, to placing orange and lemon peel at the back of her home, but to no avail. The cat(s) just keep coming back.

She is just one step away from getting a dog. Perhaps it would be able to chase the cat away when she isn’t at home. But that isn’t foolproof, either. My late Golden Retriever was extremely polite when it came to cats, allowing them to even sleep comfortably on my bikes at night.

She knows the cats are coming from her neighbour’s home, but she also knows that an innocent conversation can blow out of proportion. The last thing she needs is to be labelled as an anti-cat/animal lover or end up in an argument that results in police reports being lodged.

People have become high-strung. And there’s always that one inconsiderate neighbour who would just ruin the delicate balance and harmony between those along the street you live in, or, in the neighbourhood.

From haphazard parking to loud conversations in the early hours of the morning which can be heard for miles away, these are just some of the ‘small’ issues that could trigger World War III between neighbours.

Often, the solution is for the ‘victims’ to have a friendly chat with the neighbour. Easier said than done. Some get away by barking (no pun intended) at you.

Also, many avoid sharing their true feelings because they know no one would truly understand, or back down from their actions. Everyone thinks they are right.

I grew up in the Pekeliling Flats in the 80s and early 90s and my neighbours were like family. Yes, some of them were annoying, but they didn’t push our buttons to the extreme. More importantly, they were the first people we would reach out to in an emergency.

That’s what neighbours should be. Close enough to be there for each other yet respecting the privacy of those living around them.

Generally, people love animals. It’s just that some pet owners give their animals a bad name by allowing them to roam free and not clean up after their furry friends.

I hope my friend’s cat poo ordeal will finally end. Posting a diplomatic message in her residents’ WhatsApp group could be the best approach, for now.

As for the rest of us, it’s best to be considerate and think about our neighbours. Respect goes a long way.

Try to love thy neighbour.

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