Cats
Rescue Won't Give Cat Back To Owner
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Britanie Leclair
02.18.18

This past month, a Chicago artist named Rae Bees has been embroiled in a legal custody battle over her beloved cat Reggie.

Rae Bees/Facebook
Source:
Rae Bees/Facebook

Reggie, a 15-pound Main Coon named after comedian Reggie Watts, has been in the limelight ever since he escaped home and found himself back at the shelter where he was originally adopted.

According to sources, Reggie escaped Bees’ house the day before Halloween. The 30-year-old artist took to Facebook with a humorous photo meme, hoping the post would help him be found.

The post read: “i’m Reggie and i’m lost (again). i don’t have a collar. i coulda been catnapped. i will escape again.”

Chicago Tribune
Source:
Chicago Tribune

After the meme was posted, somebody spotted Reggie roaming Chicago’s streets. When his microchip was scanned, it brought up information for Feline Friends, the group that adopted Reggie out to Bees five years ago. Reggie was returned to Feline Friends, but when the organization took a look at Bees’ social media, they decided she would no longer be allowed to keep her cat.

When Bees had adopted Reggie, she had signed a promise to keep the cat indoors. But when Feline Friends checked out her Facebook, they were unhappy to discover various pictures of Reggie lounging in Bees’ backyard. They also spotted posts which show the cat had gone missing before.

Rae Bees/Facebook
Source:
Rae Bees/Facebook

Bees claims that she doesn’t actively allow Reggie outside; the little Houdini just seems to have a skill for escaping their home. Still, Feline Friends refuses to give him back and the two parties are now embroiled in a vicious custody battle.

Bees’ case raises the debate over how much power rescues have to impose conditions on animal owners. Feline Friends says they are entitled to take back Reggie because Bees breached the contract which stated he would be kept indoors. Bees’ attorneys, for their part, say the agreement is not legally binding.

“This is not an enforceable contract. It is a list of aspirations,” Bees’ attorney Mariana Karampelas tells The Chicago Tribune.

Until the case goes to court, Bees is allowed weekly one-hour visitations with Reggie— and she says she has no intention of giving him up without a fight.

Chicago Tribune
Source:
Chicago Tribune

“I think [Feline Friends] thought that I was a simple art kid and would give him up like I didn’t care. But I am so adamant about trying to get him back. He’s like a family to me.”

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By Britanie Leclair
hi@sbly.com
Britanie Leclair is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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