… may be unwinnable…
… may be unwinnable…
Regular readers of this blog will remember that one of my cats recently suffered a terrible fate under the wheels of my neighbour’s car. He was badly injured, underwent expensive surgery, but unfortunately did not pull through and is now a sadly lamented ex-cat.
You will also remember that my neighbour’s motoring insurance offered me €750 compensation for the cat, but declined to pick up the full medical bill (just more than double the sum) on the grounds that it exceeded the value of the dead cat. Moreover, aspersions were cast by the aforementioned insurer, regarding the cat’s own complicity in its demise. In short, there was weasling out of responsibility and mud-slinging.
My neighbour is a German lady of some resource though. She was not satisfied by her insurer’s stingy response. And as the possessor of that quintessential German necessity – a Rechtschutzversicherung (legal insurance) – she took them to task.
The upshot, readers, is that there has been significant dead cat inflation in Germany. Little more than a month ago a dead cat was deemed to be worth €750, all in. In the latest missive from the insurers, the dead cat is valued at €1500. I shall be rummaging through my attic for dead cats later!
The catch (there is always a catch when dealing with German bureaucracy), was that by way of revenge, the insurer sent me a completely nonsensical and difficult set of forms to fill in, in order to claim the rest of the money. (Please excuse the paw prints on the image below – one of my living cats was curious about the procedure and inspected the form rather too closely. )
As you will see, before paying me the remaining €750 the insurer was first keen to find out whether my dead cat was actually receiving funds from a private or state health insurance. They were also suspicious that he might have been claiming a state pension at the time of his demise… or possibly unemployment benefits or other social contributions.
Personally I abhor the insinuation that my deceased cat might have been a benefits cheat. He was an assiduous mouser in his day, and apart from a certain tendency to narcolepsy – which he never claimed benefits for – he was an honest, hardworking moggie. So there!
First of all, I have sad news to report. A couple of weeks ago, our cat Rufus (who many of you will know from Planet Germany) was run over by one of my neighbours. He suffered multiple pelvis fractures – and although he underwent an operation to pin the bones back together, he didn’t recover. Rufus, terroriser of rodents, shredder of soft furnishings, sunbather supreme is no more.
Now that I have become German, of course I knew better than to leave the matter there. After all, I had suffered a loss. Someone should be sued. More to the point, there was a small matter of a substantial four-figure vetinary bill to be paid. So after discussion with my neighbour, she reported the accident to her insurance company and I filed a claim. Yesterday I received a response from the insurance company.
For those who don’t read German….it explains that the insurers are willing to pay €750 compensation for the loss of the cat. However, they blame the behaviour of the cat himself, in lying down under the wheels of the insured vehicle, as the cause of the accident and therefore accept no liability. They are unwilling to cover medical expenses of the cat over and above this figure, as this would exceed the total value of the cat.
This raises a number of questions:
First of all… is €750 indeed the value of a cat in Germany? If so, I should never have had my female cat neutered! I could have made a small fortune from her offspring! How do they arrive at this sum? Does each cat have to be dead before I can claim it?
Second, are cats held legally, morally and financially liable for their actions in Germany (i.e. more liable than say, motorists…)? If a child had been run over, would the medical costs have been paid for (almost certainly)? Are cats therefore deemed to be more intelligent/responsible than children?
Third. Given that no financial support is forthcoming for medical treatment for the cat, what should I in fact have done? To fail to take the cat to the vet would have counted as animal neglect or animal cruelty in Germany – a criminal offence. Should I have risked jail by not treating the cat? Or does the insurance company think I should have asked my neighbour to reverse back over the cat, just to make sure….
What would poor old Rufus have said to the insurers?
I think he may even have started to infiltrate the ginger one too.
If I don’t post for a while, call in Sigourney Weaver!
OK. So I’m weird. I have six cats.
Here are a couple of them – the dinner-suit boys.
Well this morning I suddenly found this in my kitchen.
It seems that my eldest daughter is going to Karneval as a black and white cat.
Tuna for lunch then.
You already know that my daughter’s cat is currently under suspicion of being a nazi infiltrator in our household. Well, I suspect that he’s now started to expand his influence within the household… let me explain.
Over the past week or so, my dear husband has been suffering from a bad cold. Now, those of you who either are male or live with one of that species will know that the combination of a man and a bad cold is a pretty serious proposition. We’re talking about a man-cold here. For those who are not aware of the severity of this… I’ve included a short clip to remind you.
Now… it so happens that this man-cold has caused my husband to blow his nose a lot – and he has a sore area directly below his nostrils. As a result of this a scab has formed there. And he is unable to shave the centre part of his upper lip.
Now obviously at first (following the advice of the video) I was sympathetic. I made chicken soup. I said “Poor bunny” and “Can I fetch you something.”
But then, this morning, I happened to catch sight of something that made my blood run cold. I saw my husband stroking the cat.
It all made sense now… the cold must be some form of cat flu, brought into the house deliberately to infect the humans with Hitler-moustaches. The two of them are in league! Before we know it the kittens will have been recruited too and then the Anschluß of next door’s garden will start in earnest.
You have been warned!
I’m worried about my daughter’s cat.
Here in Germany the Green Party is running a set of posters alerting people to the risk of a new rise in neo-nazism. The posters look like this.
Well of course I thought nothing of it when I saw the posters, other than admiring a nice bit of photo-shop manipulation. I thought the image was meant to be allegorical. And anyway, nobody living around our neighbourhood looks remotely like a neo-nazi. In fact most of them don’t look like a neo anything.
But then I arrived home and spotted my daughter’s white cat out patrolling the garden. I couldn’t have been more shocked if I’d been struck on the head by a falling paint bucket!
Here’s the chilling sight that greeted me!
It was all there! The hair, the moustache. The way he was walking along the fence with a clear plan to invade and annex next door’s garden. The tendency to bully small rodents in the garden. The small furry or feathery corpses on the doormat in the mornings.
There could no longer be any doubt. My worst nightmare was realised.
By day, he’s undercover as a lazy fluffy feline who spends 12 hours at a stretch sprawled on top of the radiator next to my desk. By night he’s engaged as a right wing activist in an illegal feline organisation. He’s a turncoat, a traitor, a lickspittle and a cad.
My daughter’s cat is a nazi!
I’ll never live this down!