When the cat wants out, the cat wants out!

Home Inspector with Charles Buell Inspections Inc.

I would never try to escape

Inspectors frequently have to deal with pets left at home at the time of inspection.

I really appreciate it when they are either gone or corralled somewhere in the house.

On a recent inspection the agent had warned me the cat would try to escape and sure enough, as soon at the door opened a crack the cat launched itself at the daylight.

I have seen lots of pets that wanted out, but this one was SERIOUS about it.

The cat was shooed away from the door and we all got inside.  The inspection went without event except for one short term escape accomplished by the cat.

At the end of the inspection, the agents all left and the inspection of the exterior continued.  This is not my normal protocol but this was a large apartment building and we saved the exterior for last.

The cat’s unit was on the 3rd floor, end unit.  The walkway ended at the entryway door and the bedroom window was located just past the end of the walkway guard railing.  As I approached the end of the walkway the cat launched itself onto the window screen and started clawing at the screen with a vengeance. 

Don't leave pets at the inspection

The damaged screen

The screen came undone along the edge and was ripped open vertically.

I tried to push the cat off the screen and into the room but the cat was having none of that and just clung and scratched at the screen even harder.

Eventually I was able to reach between the cat and the screen and pull the window shut– successfully bumping kitty off the screen and into the room.

The cat was not aware of it, but I probably kept it from using up one of its nine lives by saving it from a 3 story fall to the concrete below.

But I want OUT!

I called the listing agent to let the cat’s owner know about the damaged screen and that the window was no longer  adequate to prevent escape of the beast.

Sometimes cats just want out.

Please don’t leave your pets for the inspector to deal with.

Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

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Seattle Home Inspector


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Comments (31)

Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I especially love it when the two big dogs of the house are in kennels in the basement barking their heads off during the entire inspection.

May 18, 2019 03:43 PM
Charles Buell

Jay, doesn't that remind you too much of home?


May 18, 2019 03:52 PM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Angel isn't loud.

And she's only in a kennel at night.

That's her pillow in my office.

Must be nice.

I need a biggie pillow.

May 18, 2019 04:32 PM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good evening Charles. Wow, what an ordeal. You are right about removing all pets from inspections and showings for that matter too.

May 18, 2019 04:39 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good evening Charles - doesn't sound like your ordinary inspection day.  Certainly not the best choice the owners could have made in leaving the cat home.

May 18, 2019 08:26 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I don't think pets should become the responsibility of the agent, the inspector, the appraiser, or anyone else who has to come into the home. 


May 19, 2019 03:01 AM
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

great story, very funny and congrats for saving that cat's hide!

May 19, 2019 04:36 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
NC Real Estate Transition & Relocation 919-602-848

Wow! Cats can certainly be determined!

May 19, 2019 05:44 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I know of a tenant who constantly tells me to not let her cat out when I have repairs done (or?) and of course I rise to the occasion and instruct all workmen. One interesting thing though: The cat is so overweight (belly drag) why would it leave? How could it leave? How far could it get? If other cats knew the menu here, there would be line to get into this place not out of it

May 19, 2019 06:47 AM
Debb Janes

Richie Alan Naggar this made me laugh and laugh. Garfield, eh? 

May 19, 2019 09:32 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Charles - definitely above the call of duty.  Not your responsibility but I commend you on the willingness to do "the right thing".  I hope the listing agent was appreciative.  

May 19, 2019 09:19 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

That is a hilarious story, Charles.  But, I know it likely made for a frustrating experience for you!

May 19, 2019 10:29 AM
Charles Buell

Myrl, what impressed me was how long it took to realize I would be able to reach in and pull the window closed. 

May 19, 2019 10:33 AM
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 116 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

It is very inconsiderate of a seller, especially since they want to sell their home and should want a good home inspection to be done, to leave their animals for the home inspector (or for that matter, agents, appraisers, etc etc) to deal with.  This is a funny story on one level but the underlying cause of the humor is not funny.

May 19, 2019 02:32 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

If you love your cats and dogs, keep them safe.

If you don't love your cats and dogs - don't have cats and dogs.

Why are some humans such idiots?

May 20, 2019 07:00 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Inspectors, and agents, should NOT have to be responsible for people's pets. If you have a pet and want it safe, then take care of that situation yourself appropriately, rather than relying on someone who might not be as careful or caring.


May 20, 2019 08:39 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

That's one spirited cat!  Crazy that they left you with a cat like that!

May 20, 2019 09:34 PM
Renae Bolton
Marketing 4 Realtors - Garfield Heights, OH
I'm your Professional Real Estate Marketing VA!

Pets are like children. It's just irresponsible to leave them unattended for a long period of time. They start breaking stuff, tearing things up, and yelling at passersby to let them out! hahahaha. Glad your crazy cat experience ended with everyone unscathed!

May 23, 2019 10:54 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Trustme, cats have not entered my life for over 40 years. I feel you pain.

Jun 11, 2019 04:31 PM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

I feel badly for that poor cat that wants to be outside... I can't imagine being imprisoned indoors like that.

Jun 17, 2019 03:58 PM
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Charles, another funny story.  Cats will be cats!  How are you doing these days?

Apr 16, 2020 05:27 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Cats are curious creatures. My cat constantly tries to get out but after she jumped outside~ she has no idea what is next. So, she is home in a few minutes( duh! food, her cozy sleeping bags and ''her people'' are safe at ''her'' home:) 

Jan 30, 2022 11:25 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Charles Buell - Your story read like a chapter in a novel! Oh, the stories you could tell! This one about the cat is really pretty funny but not funny. As an Inspector you have to be mindful of the owner's property but this cat crossed the line! However, you did save the puddy cat's life!!!

Jul 17, 2022 01:51 PM