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Cat-Infested Home Declared a Nuisance

October 22, 2004

TEMPLE CITY, Calif. (AP) _ A cat-lover whose home was declared a public nuisance because dozens of felines turned the house into a urine-soaked, feces-strewn mess called City Council members names like dictatorial terrorists, Nazis, communists and al-Qaida members.

William Oliver Cain, said he tried to get rid of the cats but the animals are hard to catch. The property was cited for having cat feces and urine inside the house, along with piles of debris, excessive feces in the back yard and a deteriorating roof.

City Manager Martin Cole told the council Tuesday he visited the Arden Drive property.

``While I didn’t go inside, I could smell cat urine when I got out of my car,″ Cole said.

Former mayor and community activist Cathe Wilson helped remove 30 cats from the property and said several remain. Most of the animals were so sick they had to be destroyed, she said.

Code enforcement and public safety officials said it was a health and safety hazard. Debris was so extensive in the home that Cain couldn’t escape if a fire started, they said.

``I’ll go out of a window, that’s what I always planned,″ Cain said.

Cain, who said the charges were vague, said the city entered his home illegally.

``I’m going to get a pro bono attorney, go to federal court and go after the city for damages,″ he said. ``The more you do to me, the worse damages I can have. Your ducks are not in a row.″

Gary Winberg, the son of an elderly couple who own the home, asked the council for more time to clean up the property. Cole said he still had 30 days to correct the problems and the city can help him.

Winberg said Cain hasn’t paid rent in four months and eviction proceedings had begun.

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