Invercargill ‘Crazy Cat Lady’ down to three cats… maybe

Some other crazy cat lady

Some other crazy cat lady

We’ve followed the story of the Invercargill neighbourhood that had 30+ defecating cats roaming their gardens and wanted the council to put a stop to it. ??The Crazy Cat Lady refused, and so a legal process was started…

Averil Gardiner has long fought to keep her 30 or so cats, but reportedly got rid of all but three of this month following an order from Judge David Saunders in the Invercargill District Court.

Neighbour Fern Webber is delighted with the respite after years of removing cat poo from her backyard.

“[I can] mow the lawns, give it a free run and it only takes half an hour instead of 45 or 50 minutes,” she says. “I wouldn’t say it’s enjoyable, but it’s definitely better.”

ICC environmental and compliance manager John Youngson believes Gardiner has finally given up.

“As far as we know they have been removed,” he says. “I’ve only heard this through a third party but we are following that up, but that would be great if that is the case.”

Ms Webber describes it as a “long process”.

“We’re really happy with the outcome and we’re really thankful to the ICC for taking up the fight.”

The council hopes its three cat bylaw and the landmark court case will speed up similar complaints in future so others don’t have to endure lengthy neighbourhood battles.

Not just that, it’s probably cost the rate payers tens of thousands of dollars to do what this lady could have done in the first week: ?follow council bylaw.

It does show that when someone digs in for the long haul, they can be expensive, annoying and a huge burden. ?We frequently see stories about people who use their gardens as a storage tip for old vehicles, household appliances, animal cages and building materials.

When it comes down to it, the process of dealing with the ‘crazy’ neighbours is expensive, lengthy and draining.

It’s the price we pay for the freedoms we enjoy. ?I guess we don’t want to create even more council appointed little Hitlers that come to tell you how to run your life.

– 3 News