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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I have a 13-years old cat~Annie. While I moved out of USA,

Customer Question

I have a 13-years old cat~Annie. While I moved out of USA, my sister agreed to take care of my cat; more like a long-term/permanent cat-sitter while I remain the owner. And I still pay for Annie's insurance policy, which clearly provides info and evidence that I am the only owner, the original owner. And I never transfer the ownership to my sister.
Now the problem is: my sister~Florence is very emotionally unstable and she gets personal easily. The reason not taking Annie with me overseas is because of the exhausting 16~20 hours long flights and 3 weeks quarantine time. So I worry Annie wouldn't make it and it's too risky for her to move overseas with me. The term my sister and I agree on is: Annie stays in USA and My sister will take care of her. And I can visit to see Annie and use skype or other means to keep in good contact. But in the past year, my sister grow more emotional and she can get upset suddenly during a skype session, and just cut me off immediately. So I can't see my cat. Or like I email her to show my concerns about Annie, with simple questions regards ***** ***** as she ages fast. My sister also ignores it, not responding. She even went so far as: blocking my emails several times. Then she came back to 'normal' mode and somehow get back into the talk session. So we ended up using Line to 'keep in touch' and set up Skype session to see Annie or have a little conversation regards ***** ***** But my sister is just very unstable and controlling. One time, I send over cat's bowel to Annie and ask my sister to change them for her, because I saw her eating bowel is way too small. Florence refused to even open it, and 'bossed' me to return to Amazon or I wasted my money. Lately, she started this kind of 'emotional blackmail' again, over and over. Telling me not to 'say whatever she doesn't want to hear'...which is like "i should be able to predict'. Or she will hang up on me, cut off skype, email, not reading Line all together. I asked her: simple but important questions about Annie's health. She went like: " that is your problem." Rather than giving me a good, clear answer. like when she'd schedule to see a vet, and how her teeth.... Most importantly, when I mentioned about the future, in the event of Annie's passing away, I'd need Annie to stay in home with her for at least 8 hours (this is a safer measurement to make sure all cat's nerve systems and senses are really gone....not have any risk or any chance of being hurt, being burned alive or when the body's any section/any nerve/anything can still feel pain.) And she also refused!
HOW CAN SHE DECIDE WHAT TO DO FOR ANNIE? AND THERE IS NO WAY I CAN 'SET UP TO PROTECT ANNIE'? What can I do, to reinforce my sister: there are certain things she must 'obey' and reply with respect, so I don't feel like being threatened and always worry about Annie, also what can I do to keep an open channel for communication? Whenever she feels upset or just get personal, she cuts me off, she block email or phone calls, and now her cell phone is not in service. this makes trying to reach her like calling an alien, and still not knowing if she read my email and concerns. Just no reply. And only thing she said to me so far is: I let you see Annie by yourself (during Skype, if that is ever....called in.) And you do not talk to me. I don't listen what you want to say.
Don't I have any right, as Annie's Owner for 10 years!? And still is, I am paying her insurance, and insist that won't be transferred to her. All the info must be updated with my sister's 'contact mailing & phone number'. And she makes her phone not in service.
I'm like???? what the hell?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Correction: I send over cat's eating bowl to Annie to switch over her small one, my sister refused. And I discussed with her, she wouldn't listen. I showed her/emailed her how other owners use the cat's bowl, and she wouldn't care. She provided Annie some small bowl like 'dumpling bowl'. very weird. AND NOT SUPPORTING ANNIE'S AGING NECK!!!She keeps changing things she said, so she can avoid 'taking responsibility' for her promise (which she said, I never promise you or whatever....) and changes her agreement with me. For the time I moved out Fremont/CA, she then moved to her current house at Arizona. Back then I bought tickets, would fly Annie with her to her new home and help them settle in. Later, we changed this plan. But she never said~i couldn't go back to see Annie in her Arizona house. ****2013, She said: you can come back to visit. And I even got some old clothes with her moving there. ****Now, she changed her mind because of other things totally not regards ***** ***** her own personal judgement of whatever, she told me: "Georgie, I don't want you to come & stay in my house to see Annie. You must take Annie out to a hotel, if you want to see her." I'm feeling very angry and totally played, betrayed! Had she told me all these kind of things prior to our departing, I would never leave Annie with her. Moreover, she 'orders' me for everything about Annie as far as ......"If you don't like my way, you fly over to take Annie to Taiwan." And this long-flight is the very reason, we both try to avoid for Annie's sake. And she personally insisted stronger than me at the time of my departure. That is why.... I left Annie with her. How can JUSTICE BE DONE?
Our situation is more like 'divorced parent' and one is living with the kid, one isn't. And the one lives with the kid, is trying to boss over the other parent and single-hand rule everything. Yet, the mom is still the mom. and pays for insurance policy, this is not about $$$~ THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING, TO GUARDS ANNIE'S AGING HEALTH, AND PROOF THAT I HAVE BEEN THE ORIGINAL OWNER, THE ONLY OWNER. Had I transferred this to my sister's name, well, she has every power and now she would have cut me off completely, like telling me contact to her for Annie is 'harassment'. That is why, I never want to pass this insurance policy to her name.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

If you still own Annie, you need to return to the US and take control and possession of Annie from your sister. That is the only way to get the justice you are seeking. Once you left Annie with her, she became liable for caring for her to her best efforts. If she is having mental issues and not properly treating the cat, you need to go get the cat from her and find someone else who will take care of the cat the way you want to have it taken care of or take the cat with you and make sure she is prepared for the trip with you (my 16 year old dog does not like the long trip, but she makes it fine).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The current problem is: my sister won't either read Line or email, which we used to 'keep contact'. And then skype sessions to see Annie. She said: she'd arrange Monday evening (her time) for me to skype her, and only I get to see my cat but my sister will step away. And usually that means, the cat can move away and i still have no answer according to whatever I ask about my cat. ~ How is this right? I didn't agree with her, while my departure that she can decide only one time per week or what days she allows me to 'skype' or ask about my cat. The reason we arrange this, was due to Annie's old age and She agree to take good care of her, and also I could always see her and know her conditions. ~ Now, this is the part that is not written down or being 'signed' on paper. But verbal agreement is still agreement. How is it right, that she can decides everything, as far as how my cat should die? or to be sent to the vet? and not giving me any answer, any follow-up response?
IF i had to worry about Annie (my cat) being with my sister, then I wouldn't agree with such arrangement in the first place. Either I had moved my cat with me on a long flight, or I already found some friend to take care of Annie.What to do now? When she refused to even give her phone number 'in use'...(which she deliberately block my call or whatever). She won't read messages I send. So imagine: how can I even try to 'arrange a Rabbie-Shot, Blood Exam, Long Flight.....etc' all these details that need to be discussed and 'confirmed' over? If I could find a friend to fly over to Arizona, then take Annie out....still needs to contact my sister beforehand. Or how can that person/or myself know if my sister is home or she'll come out with a 'shotgun'?
Or in the case of my showing up in her front door, if she's not home, simply because her intentional not-responding, whhile she keeps 'my cat with her' in her home. then can I call police in to help locate her? or bring myself to her door and ask my cat back? ~ You see what dilemma she got me in?
I must have some level of legal right to have access for contacting & knowing my cat's status. Correct?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In short, let me put it this way:
I plan to get Annie out of my sister's hands, until I find someone trust-worthy.
But the current issue is: She simply refused to read messages, refuse to take phone calls.... And the tricky part she plays is:
Whenever I call, the cell phone says:" the phone is not in service..." But then sometime afterwards, she could suddenly message me via 'Line' or suddenly 'Skype' me, and says: "Skype now'.
And say nothing about my concerns for Annie.So if you were me, how can you possibly arrange a long flight, not to mention all the work involved if moving the cat out of USA? If you just get someone over or yourself to bring the cat out of her controlling, then you still have to find a way to 'contact' her and be able to make confirmation....that she will be home, knowing your visit/or your friend's coming to get the cat. Correct?
Should I just let her play all kinds of dirty tricks and purposely put me off...after I fly 24 hours from Taiwan to USA, LA, then to Arizona?It's like, you're talking to a ghost. And she knows what you worry about, simply won't respond. Then play her dirty tricks over and over. The pattern she had is long..... I can't even start to describe. But my cat did live with me and my sister under the same roof for 12 years, now there is really nobody else my cat feels more secure & comfortable with, which is also the reason my cat is with her. Unless my sister did stupid things to her....and i don't know in the future.She is the one who brought Annie home when Annie was a kitten, about 1 month old. Then less than 2 weeks, my sister wanted to send Annie to an Animal Shelter for adoption. I comdemned her for being so irresponsible and cold to the kitty, while she didn't bother to ask for the original owner's contact info. I said to keep the cat, so then she 'forced' me to sign a stupid 'agreement' thing that stating ~ from then on, I will be responsible for all the cat's duty/obligation, vet visits and costs, and then Annie became my cat, not hers!
Annie has had spend her life with me, my sister, and my mom who passed away 10 years ago. So at the time of my departure of USA, there really is nobody else better than my sister to care for Annie.
Who knew she'd become this weird and not even willing to read messages and just respond politely? It's not like I email her everyday! Usually it is when~ my sister had some big, stupid emotional 'blackout' and hung me up suddenly during a skype session. Then I had to wait almost a month to try to contact her again, just to let her cool off.
But i don't see her getting better. So now I'm starting to worry about my cat's wellness with this 'mentally & emotionally unstable woman'.
My sister has no idea, if one day she single hand send my cat to a vet for 'Euthanasia' without informing me, or my consent. Then she's like 'destroying my property'!
If she sent my cat to any service afterwards without my awareness & consent, it does the same thing!
~Especially I had told her : All Annie's ashes will be collected and kept well in a ash-container and Annie's Ashe belongs to me. Either mail to me in a trackable, reliable delivery service, or I personally pick it up when possible.
~However, she can forget and/or ignore completely, UNLESS SHE SEES THE 'SERIOUS DAMAGE' THAT WILL CAUSE HER, UNDER LEGAL TERMS. so this must be warned and sent in mail to her, via a legal service firm.
***Anything about Annie's health routine, exam checks, and test/exam results must be updated and forward/informed to me.
Or she should notify Annie's current vet to email/contact me for such results and updates.
***My sister's mailing address & phone number must keep in correct, current, updated Insurance Policy, because Annie's is under the Insurance Policy and all these are important to be on file. ~ She knows this, yet she doesn't care.
~ All the above and some other things.... must be OFFICIALLY, LEGALLY INFORMED TO HER. SO SHE UNDERSTAND MY OWNER'S RIGHT, AND HER 'WILL-TO-EXERCISE' TO WHAT EXTENT.Can you provide such service? or recommend some law firm to draw up such a notification letter to my sister?Thank you for your help.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply, none of which was as you claimed "short."

Bot***** *****ne here based on everything else your replied, you have one recourse and it is not the police and it is not continuing to call your sister because she is not responding and that is to file suit for replevin (return of your property).

Your sister seems to be having some mental issues and you are playing into her mental problems. You are going to have no solution here other than suing her. If you continue to make calls to her, one day she can actually turn around and file a harassment complaint against you and you find yourself fighting that when this was all caused by her conduct.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Excuse me.....Here. Sorry, I don't think your answer helps me to get issue resolved.
I understand everything you say, but that's my right, that is not what i am required to do for now.
Also, my question is simple:
How do I take my cat back, if she does not even reply my email or message? How do I make connection to tell her: Hey, I'll come to pick up Annie at such day & time? instead of just showing up at her door, and risking some danger....or wait hours outside when she's home....maybe even go for her own vacation and leave my cat to a vet??? ~ This is what I want to know.
If you were me, what can you do? thank you. Instead of making things more complicated, I just want to take more gentle approach to get the cat out of her hands. At least there should be some 'contact' in solid ~ one phone call or one email to confirm: "Yes, I'll be home...what time, and you come over to pick up Annie.' ***you know what I mean?Thanks.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

The answer tells you the legal way to get your cat back if she will not give it to you, whether you care to follow the legal process or not is up to you.

If you come back, you have the right to go to her premises, pick up your cat and leave with it. If she stops you, then you need to go through court whether you like it or not.

I have no interest in this case on either side, all I can tell you is the process you need to follow legally and to avoid going to jail. If you call her ahead and she tells you "no" then what are you planning on doing? It is best to show up out of the blue and tell her you were in the neighborhood and are coming to see her. Once in, you can take your cat, but again if she objects, you are going to have to go to court.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I see. Thank you for your advice.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply,

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