Reporting Jim Armstrong
CONCORD (CBS) – When a six-and-a-half foot tall cat wearing a pink bow tie and handing out flyers calls the events that brought him here absurd, you know there’s a story to be told.
The costumed cat was standing at the entrance to Wednesday night’s Town Meeting in Concord, meowing in opposition to a proposal brought up for a vote by Concord resident Lydia Lodynsky.
Lodynsky’s backyard on Bedford Street is her oasis. But neighborhood cats, she says, have been attacking the birds that call it home.
She tried to work with the neighbors who owned the cats but says she, “was told to stop contacting them and take the energy that I have and create a bylaw instead. So I said OK, if that’s what I need to do then that’s what I will do.”
Lodynsky’s proposals are now among the bylaws up for a town-wide vote.
If a pet cat causes trouble in a neighbor’s yard more than three times, she wants Concord’s Animal Control officer to step in and either figure out a way to keep the cat in its own yard or, perhaps, impound it until its owner corrects the problem. (Additional bylaws include making sure pet cats are licensed, spayed or neutered, and vaccinated for rabies.)
“I’m just trying to make this an area where the neighbors get along, the animals get along, and the pets get along,” explains Lodynsky. “That’s my goal.”
Concord residents must vote on the plan, even though most who talked to WBZ seemed to misunderstand it, thinking, incorrectly, it’s some kind of feline leash law.
“Absolutely not! Absolutely not,” said Lodynsky. She says animal experts strongly suggest keeping your cat indoors to begin with. But, if owners want their felines to spend time outdoors, she says it is reasonable to expect the pets not to damage her property.
“If I want to do something in my yard I feel that I should have the right to define what is done in my yard,” she says.
The proposal was not discussed Wednesday night due to time constraints. It will be voted on later this week.