For the past five years or so, an old house on the northeast corner
of Dora and Harrison Boulevard has remained empty, sort of. No signs of human habitation, but signs of fresh cat food.
According to neighborhood lore, the elderly woman who once lived there left it to
her cats, to be fed from the reserves in her estate as long as any cats stayed
alive. A relative purportedly keeps feeding them (I guess from the inheritance.) I had been noticing since the onset of Spring that the property was descending into jungle.
According to the Boise P&Z office, this property has had several complaints from neighbors
about the overgown weeds and shrubs, an obvious fire hazard. Someone recently mowed the weeds and decimated the shrubs. I was told that the city allows one to keep an empty house on property in the city as long as it is properly maintained. (Not sure of the parameters.) With plenty of cats, there are probably few mice! The owner claimed to P&Z that someone visits the house twice a day, but if they do, it’s pretty invisible.
Few years ago, I spoke with the friendly former resident when I was out walking–she said she had a lot of cats. I’ve no idea how many, but I could see a lot of them crowding near the porch screen
where she stood during our conversation.
Since her passing, the cats have no access to anywhere in the house where they could be
seen from outside. P&Z said that there had been three offers to buy the property, offers not accepted. If it ever sells, some say that the house would have to be completely torn down. It could
never be occupied again by anyone, as cat urine no doubt pervades everything.
Sic transit gloria mundi, (“Thus passes the glory of the world”) but I wonder about the condition of the cats left behind, cut off from human contact and even watching the outside world, haunting the old house like ghosts of a former life.
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