Dear Urban Diplomat: should I tell my neighbours I think I may have accidentally killed their cat?
Dear Urban Diplomat,
I accidentally killed a cat with my car. It didn’t having any tags on it, so I scooped up the body and buried it in my yard. A few days later, I ran into a couple who lives on my block putting up posters for their missing kitty. I was so taken aback that when they asked if I’d seen her, I blurted out “No” and rushed off. First I killed their pet, then I lied about it. I feel awful. Should I tell them?
—Cat Got My Tongue, CASA LOMA
Should you kill another pet with no tags (and please don’t), the proper course of action is to call Toronto Animal Services. They can check to see if the animal was implanted with an ownership chip, and they’ll dispose of the body, so you won’t have to add to your pet cemetery. As for your current conundrum, what you should do is knock on your neighbours’ door and apologize profusely for the act itself and for lying. Spare the gory details and assure them the cat died quickly (even if it didn’t). Of course, the right thing to do is usually the hardest thing to do, too. If you confess, you might become known as the neighbourhood’s duplicitous cat flattener. So if you choose to drop an anonymous confession letter in their mailbox, the Urban Diplomat won’t judge you. I’ll leave that to the ghost of Mittens.
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