Social Question

lillycoyote's avatar

You're looking for your lost cat, after dark: do you just wander into someone's backyard with your flashlights or do knock on the door and maybe ask for permission?

Asked by lillycoyote (24835points) October 28th, 2011


Some people did this to me a while ago. All of a sudden, out my window, I saw a man and a woman with flashlights creeping around my back yard and I went out there and asked them what the heck they were doing and they seemed, actually, kind of a little bent out of shape about it. “We’re just looking for our cat!”

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29 Answers

mangeons's avatar

It depends on how late it is. After dark can mean anywhere from eight at night to four in the morning. If it’s the latter, then just wait until morning. If it’s the former, knock on the door and ask if you can search.

Blackberry's avatar

Knock on the door, duh. Lol. In Florida they passed legislation years back that essentially gave people the go ahead to shoot trespassers.

“Hey! Who is that?!”

“Oh, sorry, I’m jus-”

chyna's avatar

If I’m not expecting anyone, I don’t answer the door after dark.

mangeons's avatar

@chyna What if you look out the peephole and it’s someone you know?

chyna's avatar

Unfortunately the peephole is two feet above my head, but if I were able to look out the peephole and it was a friend, yes I’d let them in. My friends know this and either call first or when they knock they yell out that it is them.

digitalimpression's avatar

Depends on where you live.

Small town northern california? = Go for it.
Bangkok? = Are you nuts?
Somewhere in between? = Ask.

mangeons's avatar

Get a stepstool or a lower peephole!

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I would just look for the cat.

KidCurtis's avatar

Neither, the cat has made its choice and now has to live on its own in the wild.

gailcalled's avatar

If I were looking for the cat, I would certainly ask permission.

And if I saw strangers wandering around my yard with a flash light (for whatever reason), I would make an issue out of it.

(Could we remove “duh” from the English language, please?)

JilltheTooth's avatar

I’d knock and ask. BTW Did they find the cat?

Coloma's avatar

I’d knock first for sure. But..creeping around like that in my area might get you shot. haha
Everyones driveway is about 100 yards long.
I found a Dachshund awhile back and drove all over for about an hour trying to find his house out here in the woods and rural roads. If a cat goes missing it’s usually Coyote takeout over here.

lillycoyote's avatar

@gailcalled No, we cannot remove “Duh” from the language, sorry. Actually, I’ll make a deal with you. If and when all English speaking people master the proper usage of less vs. fewer and learn to tell the difference between lose and loose I will back you up on the “Duh” thing.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Just go look for the cat. Around here, pretty much everyone has townhouse apartments, so even if you knocked on the door a) no one would answer (probably) b) if someone did answer, they’d only be one of many residents living there and c) they probably don’t know their neighbors well enough to know that you aren’t a fellow housemate or friend of housemate. And, most people don’t answer the door unless they’re expecting someone. Or it’s just the one family/resident, but they have a fence, and you can’t get in anyway. This is why you always take treats with you, so as to lure the cat out of the neighbor’s yard.

gailcalled's avatar

@lillycoyote: Does it count that I know the difference between them? Note that I didn’t say among them.

lillycoyote's avatar

@gailcalled You’re not part of the problem; you’re part of the solution. :-)

gailcalled's avatar

Milo here; You’ve got to be kidding. Gail is a major problem here chez moi. She is actually expecting me to shovel snow tomorrow.

lillycoyote's avatar

Damn! Should that have been a semi-colon instead of a comma? Quick, while I still have time to edit. MIlo, I need @gailcalled back online, just for a moment.

gailcalled's avatar


lillycoyote's avatar

@gailcalled thanks, and thank Milo for me too. :-)

gailcalled's avatar

I would, but he seems to be in the hot tub with several young things and a magnum of champagne, while I am laboring to prepare for his comfort during the impending snow storm.

lillycoyote's avatar

@gailcalled Well, he’ll be in no condition to be shoveling snow tomorrow then. Wily little cat.

Berserker's avatar

I wouldn’t do either. I’m not gonna sneak around in people’s backyards, and I sure wouldn’t bother them, after dark, (or any time for that matter) asking them politely if I can fuck around in their backyard. And with all the backyards there are out there, what the hell are the chances that I’ll find my cat in whichever one I set my sights on lol? What’s wrong with those people that busted on your turf? If that happened to me, I’d get out there and chase them away with a machete or a crowbar.
Prolly not.

On the other hand, you can kinda understand them. I’ve lost a cat once, and I went frantic looking for it…I even went to the fire station…lol.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Symbeline I do get it. I’ve had cats my whole life and I loved them and would do anything to find them if they were lost, but still, you don’t just go into peoples’ yards like that. It’s not about them not having a right to do it or about them violating my property. It’s about them being clueless and scaring the pants off me and possibly getting themselves shot at if I was so inclined. I should have put the time in my details. It was about 9:00 pm, not so late that they couldn’t have simply knocked on my door and at least let me know what they were doing. And it was kind of their attitude that bugged me. They were the ones creeping around in my backyard, at night, uninvited and without warning, and when I asked them what they were doing it was like they were almost offended, as though I had no right. “We’re just looking for our cat.” O.k. You’re just looking for your cat, you’re not criminals, you mean me no harm, fine, but don’t get all huffy because I happen to want to know what the hell perfect strangers are doing wandering through the backyard of my little ¼ acre of suburban paradise in the dark. It may not be much, but it’s mine and they could have at least had the common courtesy to let me know that they were coming onto my property and why.

Sunny2's avatar

I’d just wait for the cat to come home. Wandering around in someone else’s back yard, particularly at night, can get you shot. Or may cause a confrontation with the local gendarmes. You can go door to door in the daytime and ring doorbells asking if anyone had seen your cat.
You could have asked the couple with the flashlight if that wasn’t a foolish thing to do. Ah, forget it. They must have been drinking and their judgment was fogged,

Berserker's avatar

@lillycoyote Well, yeah, that’s kinda what I meant in part of my answer. Whether it’s nine or middle night, and weather you’re allowed to shoot me or not, there are obvious reasons why I wouldn’t go trespassing in someone’s yard. I was just being funny about it lol. I certainly agree…if someone was snooping round here for whatever reason, I probably would have been rude as shit. You’re way nicer than me. I’ve never chased anyone off my quarters with a machete or a crowbar, but that little joke has an actual source.
In your details though, I didn’t get that these people actually felt offended. The way you put it, it seemed like they felt embarrassed. Read it wrong, sorry. (not a perfect English person, I thought bent out shape meant something like being embarrassed?)

lillycoyote's avatar

@Symbeline O.K. Now I’m thoroughly confused. It is either time for me to go to bed or at least to log off fluther and chain watch episodes of Star Trek Voyager on Netflix until I pass out in my bed. :-)

Berserker's avatar

Been drinking, so I prolly make no sense. :D I thought I was though lol. I’m going to bed too, nighty nights, happy watching/out passing. :)

Luiveton's avatar

Idiots shouldn’t wander around looking for their cat after dark. They can wait until the next morning and even then they should ask for permission. I wouldn’t ever answer anyone on the door at night if I’m not expecting them. I’d call the police..

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