A Slatington area man has been charged with trespassing for allegedly burying his dead cat in his neighbor’s tomato garden.
John Paly, 49, 6185 Seanor Court, Washington Township, dug the pet’s grave in the garden of Patricia Lapsanky Lutz, 55, 6183 Seanor Court, on May 30, state police at Bethlehem said.
”All I did was turn the soil over maybe 10 inches, and there were paws sticking out,” she said.
She said she could not bear to see the rest of the carcass, so she called state police. Trooper Geraldo Martinez dug up the cat.
”He asked me, ‘Miss Lutz, what is the color of your neighbor’s cat?”’ Lutz recalled. ”I said, ‘Tan and black and white,’ and he said, ‘This might be your neighbor’s cat.”’
Lutz said the trooper called the neighbor over, and Paly admitted burying his cat there. ”He said he didn’t have anywhere else to bury it,” Lutz said.
Martinez charged Paly with trespassing.
Paly said Monday he had taken care of the neighboring garden for 19 years, 16 years of which Lutz did not live next door. He said that because he tended the plot, he thought he had a right to bury Patches there.
He said the problem didn’t have to go to the police. ”All she had to do was come over and say, Hey, I don’t want the cat buried there,” he said.
Paly said Patches now is in a pet cemetery in Slatedale, and he expects to pay a $30 or $35 trespassing fine.
Lutz said she won’t be planting tomatoes in the garden, at least not this year. ”I won’t touch that soil now,” she said. ”I just can’t. I don’t know where I’m going to put them now.”