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Cat lady puts up a fight

Saturday 15 Mar 2014 5:21 p.m.

Invercargill's cat lady and her son are not giving up without a fight.

Tensions are mounting in an Invercargill neighbourhood after a defiant resident refused to comply with a city council bylaw to remove most of her 37 cats.

Neighbours were hopeful a new council bylaw restricting ownership to just three cats would resolve the issue, but it seems they have only scratched the surface in what could be a lengthy court battle.

The large amount of cats living on the property should have been gone by this weekend.

Despite most being hidden from view when 3 News visited, council staff counted far too many on the property this morning.

"We guesstimated that there were 37 [cats]", says Invercargill City Council environmental health manager John Youngson. "They were locked in the house but we are guessing 37 were there."

He now hopes to enlist the services of other organisations including the SPCA in a bid to resolve the issue out of court.

"We were not able to remove any of the cats, and a lot of people thought we coul,d but that's not the case," says Mr Youngson. "If we can't resolve it we will have to let the courts decide what we do there now."

But fed-up neighbours are sick of the cats' toileting and climbing on their properties and were hoping for a resolution today.

"It has been nearly three years that we've had this ongoing stress and frustration," says neighbour Katrina Robertson. "It's been a long process and I understand council processes take a long time but its just getting dragged out more and more."

For three years they have tolerated the cats and even tried approaching their neighbour to resolve the issue.

"There's nothing personal against our neighbour," says neighbour Fern Webber. "It's just that we want to enjoy our property like everybody else that has a property, but we can't do that under the current conditions."

After the pair assaulted the 3 News cameraman, they refused to comment on the matter and went inside.

3 News

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