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Claws out in cat fight

On Pineridge Place in Delmar, you just can't pussyfoot around the issue.

At least according to Katrina Bolen and Lisa DeStaso-Jones, who are collecting petition signatures to urge the town to adopt some manner of cat containment law that would require homeowners to keep felines on their own property.

Neighbors' cats have turned the area into a giant litter box and playground this summer, Bolen said, resulting in what she calls a health hazard and overall quality of life issue for the neighborhood.

The whole street just stinks, she said. "You can't even walk around the circle without the scent of cat urine and feces knocking you down."

Since speaking at a Town Board meeting and publishing a letter in The Spotlight, the duo said that they have received 10 responses from around the area from people who are having the same problems in their neighborhoods.

Jones said that, for her, the situation came to a head when her toddler turned up with a handful of cat droppings while playing in the yard.

"I can deal with the footprints on my car and the spray. It was when they started using my property as a litter box," she said. "I want my child to be able to play outside in the dirt, but she can't because the outside is a litter box."

Both residents said they have tried feline deterrents, including sprays that smell of garlic, fencing and metal grates over flowerbeds, but it doesn't make a dent in the problem. Today, cleanup has become part of the daily chores.

Both Bolen and Jones are dog owners and said that they would prefer cat owners be held to the same standards as canine lovers.

"I'm not a cat hater, don't get me wrong, but we have to contain our dogs," argued Bolen. "I wouldn't dream of letting them do anything on anyone else's property. We shouldn't have to deal with the cats."

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