Why the Maine Coons Lost Their Home

To see where was the golf cart accident that led to yesterday morning’s dramatic chase and capture, my wife and I walked along Florida to Adams, where I shot additional photos. We returned the same way, passing by a man leaning on the porch railing of the house where feral felines Mimi and Sweet Pea lived for about eight years in the spacious backyard. I profiled both animals in my “Cats of University Heights” series in May 2018.

I asked the gentleman about clearcutting the property, which he confirmed started on Aug. 10, 2021. The action was taken at the behest of the broker, who believes there is a 98-percent chance an investor will buy the place, rather than a resident; removing the lush greenery and trees emphasizes the lot’s large size for the neighborhood and increases likelihood of higher bidding during the September 11 auction.

As executor, he represents 17 heirs and a somewhat tricky situation. His 89-year-old uncle lived in the house before passing away late last year. But the elder gent was not the homeowner. The executor’s grandparents bought the property in 1916 (public records show building date of 1913), and title transferred to his grandmother when her husband died. But when she passed, in 1978, the property was never probated. His uncle lived in the house, but the deed had his mother’s name on it. Forty-three years later, the process finally commences.

By following the broker’s suggestion to hire a restoration company, which will be paid by the estate, the nephew reduces some of the probate burden left by his uncle; by the way, he remained active American Legion, driving around other members, even at advanced age. The involved parties made the decision to clearcut out of expediency and, again, with the presumption that the property will be redeveloped.

For the mother and daughter Maine Coons, destruction of their long-time habit must be devastating. They join the city’s homeless, in a strange way. Yes, they are feral, but another neighbor fed them and took them to the vet when necessary. Listening to the nephew proudly share about his uncle’s generosity, I understand how the elder gent let the strays stay and another resident come by and tend to them.

I captured the Featured Image, of both cats together, on April 5, 2019, using Fujifilm GFX 50R, with Fujinon GF63mmF2.8 R WR lens attached. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 100, 1/180 sec, 63mm; 4:25 p.m. PDT. The lush greenery is gone—as are Mimi and Sweet Pea, hopefully somewhere safe and survivable.

Update, Oct. 16, 2021: While walking past the deforested yard that was once home to the cats, we unexpectedly saw both. Soon after, their caretaker came across the alley and visited.

The property is technically sold, although the online real estate sites list the place as “pending”. Mimi and Sweet Pea still go there; their benefactor speculates to sun and for relative quiet (even if seclusion is impossible). I think territorial instinct plays a role, too. The yard was home for most of Mimi’s life and all of her daughter’s.

The lady has set up welcoming space outside her place, which includes food. From her security cameras she sees that both do come by, usually at night. Mimi mostly is feral and rejects human touch, but Sweet Pea has let her caretaker pick her up—as long as it’s back to.