Foreseeability of Damage

The cats came to the conclusion that they would have to get inside Pee Wee’s house to take their revenge.  They made a plan and set to work.

The cats removed from their toy box one of Bowser’s bones that they had stolen and buried it among the prize peonies grown by Pee Wee’s owner. The cats left an end of the bone sticking up above ground level. Then they stood in front of Bowser’s property and let out a few meows to attract his attention. As he came running toward them, they raced back to Pee Wee’s house and led Bowser to the peony bed with the end of his bone visible. Then they scampered up a tree. Bowser saw the end of his missing bone and began to dig it up from the peony bed. As Bowser was digging in the peonies, one of the cats approached him from behind and clawed his hind leg. Bowser started barking and chased the cat back up the tree and then returned to digging in the peonies. The barking attracted Pee Wee’s owner, who came to the door and saw Bowser in her prize peonies. She ran out of the house to chase Bowser out of her peonies, leaving the door open behind her. The cats saw their chance to get that little fur ball and entered Pee Wee’s house through the front door.

Pee Wee was watching everything from her window ledge. As the cats entered her house, Pee Wee, in feigned terror, let out a high-pitched wail loud enough for her owner to hear from outside. Pee Wee then led the cats to the back of the house, where Pee Wee scooted through her tiny cat door to the basement, leaving the cats staring at the tiny opening, too small for them to follow her. Pee Wee’s owner heard Pee Wee’s wail and raced back into the house to see those horrid cats from next door inside her house trying to do God knows what to her precious little Pee Wee. She grabbed a broom and swatted one of the cats with it. She took a swipe at the other cat but missed, sending a Japanese ceramic vase with a hand-painted crane flying to the floor, where it smashed into a dozen pieces. Pee Wee’s owner gasped in horror, and this allowed the cats to escape through the open front door and to run back to my house.  From her little cat door Pee Wee watched everything.

Pee Wee’s owner, in a rage, came over to my house with several of the shards from the Japanese vase and demanded that I pay for it. She explained that it was destroyed in the process of her chasing my cats out of her house. I agreed that the vase would not have been destroyed but for my cats’ trespass into her home, but I told her that the destruction of her vase in the manner that she described was not foreseeable, and I am not responsible for unforeseeable damage caused by my cats’ conduct. She stormed out of my house, and I felt terrible, but not as bad as the cats were going to feel once I got hold of them. I had a grim expression on my face as I descended the stairs to the TV room and heard the barking and theme music of the cats’ favorite program.

Allen Drescher has practiced law in Ashland and Southern Oregon since 1973.  His practice areas include business law, real estate, estate planning and elder law.

21 S 2nd St.
Ashland, OR
97520
(541) 482-4935

© Allen Drescher