May 7, 2007
BY MAUDLYNE IHEJIRIKA Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org
"It really stemmed from they had an abandoned vehicle on the property, and a number of stray cats," said their attorney, Enrico J. Mirabelli. "Before we got to court, we made major strides, removed the car and got rid of almost all the cats. But the city wanted them all gone. We agreed to all but their daughter's pet cat, Felix, she's had for 15 years."
In the ensuing court order, the judge inserted a clause protecting the fat, gray and black tabby. It read: "Animal Care & Control is authorized to enter the subject property, all areas, on the same day of the Dept. of Building's inspection, to remove and take into custody all unauthorized animals (excluding the 1, 16-year-old cat Felix)."
"It can't be much clearer than that," said Mirabelli.
"The couple still live in the house they built 52 years ago in the Southwest Side Clearing neighborhood, and they own a couple of adjacent lots."
Naturally this story got my attention for two reasons, it involved cats and the City's storm troopers from the department of buildings. Some information is missing though. Did the couple go to a hearing for 'voluntary compliance'? From this story, the City bypassed that step and went straight to let's inspect and go to housing court. Granted 30 some cats in one home is too many even for someone not 70 or 89, but for one's space to be invaded by two departments at once? For these so-called inspectors to arrive without the court order? Granted, I haven't seen the property in question, but do note the couple owns 'a couple of adjacent lots', the couple is elderly, and what's in it for the city?
The City has a tendency to 'see what it wants to see' and ignore what it needs to see. What ward is this and who's the alderman and what development plans, if any, are in the pipeline?
IF the City inspectors would purchase a CTA card, get on the any of the elevated trains they would see more than many alderpersons would like. They'd see slanting porches, peeling paint, rusted metal around bay windows and porches, huge cracks in the brick walls to name a few.
Apparently, it's easier to sit by the phone and wait for someone to complain, and do their routine inspections dependent on the size of the building. When they receive a complaint, they spend $3.00+ a gallon for gas to drive from Point A to Point B and back after zeroing in on ONE building. Their blinders are on for the total drive. That's counterproductive and a big gas burner for tax payers.
There's no monetary amount that would replace a feline member of anyone's family. Shame on the person(s) who killed Felix.