Ask An Ambassador: Feeding The Neighbor's Cat

Real Estate Agent with Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 SAL.2002007747

Our home is a magnet for stray cats.  We live on a dead end country road just off an interstate exit (can you say PERFECT for anyone wanting to dump unwanted cats??).

We suspect there's a cat language road map that points them to our house as a great place to gain food, water and shelter.  We maxed out the inside of our home long ago, and the two outside cat enclosures are full occupancy, so any other furries that show up can duck into one of the houses on our front porch or in the back yard, and we'll feed them as we see them on the front steps.

But not ever cat that shows up is a true stray.  There's a black cat we've named Inkwell that shows up periodically, and based on a neighbor's Facebook page posts, we're about 99% sure that Inkwell actually belongs to the neighbor.  When we put out food for Ansel (a black and white cat that is a stray and spends most of her time here), Inkwell claims a share.   We don't chase Inkwell off and the cat gets a full belly.

How does this apply to real estate you may ask?

Well, I'm in the business of collecting "stray cat clients", home buyers and sellers that don't already have an agent relationship established.  We put out detailed information to bring them to our virtual front door so both sides can determine if we're a good fit for each other. 

We're not looking for home buyers and sellers who already have an agent.  Their agent SHOULD be the one providing them all they the care and information needed.   

You want to know more about a listing?  Your agent has access to full information.

You need to schedule a showing?  Your agent can set up a time for you to tour.

Does this mean that we don't provide food/information to other agents' clients?  Nope.  Our webpages are fully open, no registration required unless you want to save a search. 

The information food dish stays full on the front porch at all times with the latest listings, so if someone else's cats are acting like they're strays, we wouldn't know at first.  But it usually doesn't take much of a conversation before you find out which "cats" are strays and which ones are "straying" from their agent and are in need of being pointed back to their agent.

Time meow out!
Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help!
Bill & Liz aka BLiz

The cat in the picture is Lily, one of our senior kitties at about 19 years of age.  She started as stray kitten found at the top of our driveway as part of 2 mom cats and 5 kittens.  We adopted them all.  Of the Magnificent Seven, she and her sister Paisley are all that remain (from that group, we still have a total of 14 cats that we care for in addition to the Chis and the Bees).

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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of Transaction Alliance
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418


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Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good afternoon Bill,

I love have once again come up with a great analogy!  I too am open with information and stometimes when a customer's last agent does not stay in contact and ignores them they do stray and become another agents clients..and sometimes mine!

Jun 25, 2024 12:29 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

In particular with our niche, sometimes people realize their agent doesn't know enough about the niche to really help them.  Not unusual for them to try and pick my brain before finally admitting they have an agent.  And if an agent calls me, I'll usually do what I can to guide them about possibilities that might fit their buyer's needs.

Jun 25, 2024 03:53 PM
Mike McCann Nebraska Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farm & Commercial Land Broker-Auctioneer Serving Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm & Commercial Property For Sale 308-627-3700

HI Liz and Bill Spear   Bliz, Cats are a no no at our home as my wife is severely allergic to cat dander.  I am allergic to cat poop in my yard.  

I do, however, like stray clients and have snagged a ton of them over the years...sometimes just by actually contacting them at their request. 

Have a great week!

Jun 25, 2024 02:48 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

The nice thing about niche blogging is we find people seeking information and either don't have an agent at all or don't have an agent giving the info to them.  Our current listing has an agent living next door to them, but they sought my help on the buy side (niche work) and then hired me for the sell side (not specifically in our niche). 

Jun 25, 2024 03:55 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Now this post takes the cat's meow! It's absolutely purfect!You are so clever Bill. I love the way you pull things together and it makes 100% total sense. Cats and real estate - love it!


Featured in BananaTude!


Jun 25, 2024 04:11 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Some days it's good to have an engineer's brain :)

Jun 25, 2024 07:24 PM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

I enjoyed this post. You really tied it all together, and with the title, I had no idea what was in store. Meow!

Jun 25, 2024 06:14 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

We fed the neighbor's cat tonight, AND a raccoon that showed up!  Maybe the last wasn't our target audience :)

Jun 25, 2024 07:25 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

When the cat is that cute, I don’t blame anybody for feeding that cat. :$ Great point. though. :)

Jun 25, 2024 10:06 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

She's a sweet cat :)

Jun 26, 2024 08:28 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Feeding the neighbor's cat brings to mind a funny story for me.  A friend of mine was over and thought that a cat near my house was a stray and looked scrawny, so she bought some cat food and a dish for water and made me promise that I would feed it.  I did so, then ran into the neighbor the next day, who told me that it was her cat and had a good laugh at the story.

Jun 26, 2024 05:27 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

"Free range" kitties can be a bit leaner (or they fatten up because they're hitting up the entire neighborhood!).

Jun 26, 2024 08:29 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Excellent analogy! We had a cat that used to come to our house and we fed him. He had no collar or tag so we didn't know whose it was. A month or so later, a neighbor from down the road came and told us the cat was theirs, and to hit it with a garden hose so it would leave and go back home. No. Keep your cat at your house. So they took the cat, and the next morning he was outside our window howling for us. We tried NOT feeding it for a while but it kept coming back. It would jump on my lap when we were enjoying our firepit, purring like crazy. Even our dog and the cat developed a respectful relationship. I loved that cat. Anyway, the neighbors moved and took the cat with them. I kept imagining it finding its way back to us. :-) It didn't.

Jun 26, 2024 05:40 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

We suspect some of the outdoor cats that show up at our house have other homes on our street.  But we seem to be the one getting the vet work done when they get torn up.  And if a cat is staying at our house enough, there's a good chance it'll be visiting the clinic for a snip job.

Jun 26, 2024 09:43 AM
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

Thank you for taking care of the stray fur babies!  I grew up on a farm, and there was always room for one more stray (folks love to dump cats near a farm and "assume" it will be taken care of).  Just like clients, we can take in others and care for them without "owning them.  Just like the stray cats that would eventually be friendly to us kids, "stray" clients find we are there when they are ready.

Jun 26, 2024 06:03 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

We're not a farm, but I suspect people consider our street the equivalent.  We've had multiple mom cats "find" us over the years.  Sometimes we can adopt out some of the kittens, but mostly they wind up as part of our zoo.

Jun 26, 2024 09:44 AM
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417
HomeSmart Stars - Addison, TX
Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate

That's the "cat distribution network" in full swing. And now there's a "client distribution network" as well! Great post! Thanks.

Jun 26, 2024 06:34 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Lorrie, I don't like to do the math on how much the cat distribution network is delaying my ability to retire :)  Fortunately the client distribution network offsets it some!

Jun 26, 2024 09:45 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Bill (and Liz too) - doggone it.  Once again, you have not pursued a pussy footin' path around an important issue.  Your analogy is appropriate in many aspects as it corrals together a bunch of thoughts. 

And after several attempts at comment-making on your post today, the reminder of proper expectation is timeless.  

Jun 26, 2024 09:28 AM
Michael Jacobs


Jun 26, 2024 09:50 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

A hard day to leave comments thanks to heavy bot usage of the site.  Seems to be back to normal again, so we can go back to cattin' around the neighborhood.

Jun 26, 2024 09:46 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

I’ve been feeding some cats for years now. They love our leftovers and will eat almost anything ! 

Jun 26, 2024 06:25 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

There is a never ending supply of them!

Jun 26, 2024 06:36 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Every neighbor's cat thinks food is tastier in OUR GARAGE.

Sam Shueh


Jun 26, 2024 06:26 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Fortunately ours don't seem to be into munching on TP or paper towels.

Jun 26, 2024 06:37 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I think I already commented on this, but that cat is just adorable and it just adds to the presentation quite a bit

Jun 26, 2024 11:55 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I didn't have any pictures of Ansel or Inkwell, so Lily subbed in :)

Jun 27, 2024 05:21 AM
Edward Gilmartin
CRE - Boston, MA
Some agents take on too much and don’t give enough attention to each valuable client.
Jun 27, 2024 03:28 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

That's the challenge, we want to attract new business, but we can't afford to not properly care for our existing clients.

Jun 27, 2024 05:22 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Bill:

Thanks to your generosity to the stray kitties and for their participation in this very clever analogy. No doubt you will be missed when it's time to move to WV. I wonder if the new/future owners will continue to have feline visitors?


Jun 27, 2024 03:28 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I expect the new owners will continue to have visitors since Inkwell for one won't realize we moved when he comes over from his real home!

Jun 27, 2024 07:15 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

This is quite the conversation! Would’ve thought this cat thing would even go as far?

Jun 27, 2024 10:35 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Cats are like Lay's potato chips :)

Jul 01, 2024 07:51 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
The best agent in Southern Utah!

At one time, we had 19 cats that weren't ours, Bliz. They found a home here, were well taken care of and fat & sassy! Fulfilling a need is always important and outwardly showing care is a win-win!

Jun 28, 2024 08:11 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

We've pushed that number, but as we get older so do the cats, and we've lost 3 in the last few months, and a fair number of our remaining cats are in the senior category.

Jul 01, 2024 07:53 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

We all have different takes that are really interesting here and I keep going back to this post. This is my third time at least. Haha

Jun 28, 2024 10:39 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Lily has caught your attention :)

Jul 01, 2024 07:53 AM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe .Just Call. 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Thank you for your big hearts in caring for these strays-and not-so-strays. Loved the analogy about stray clients as well! Two paws up!

Jul 01, 2024 12:45 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Soft paw clients or murder mitten clients, our choice :)

Jul 02, 2024 07:44 AM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Liz and Bill Spear 

Inkwell sounds like your Property Manager and gets compensated well too - by you! I was reading your story and suddenly, that song "Stray Cat Strut," came humming in my head and before you know it, I was singing the lyrics! 

In the beginning of my career, I had a lot of stray cats who mooched off of me for a ride, showings, and a meal too! At first, I didn't say anything but learned they just took more advantage of me. I learned that I could smell them a mile long and wasn't going to he bothered with them anymore. This business gives us many learning opportunities and reminders of old songs, animal stories, and people sagas too!

Jul 01, 2024 05:57 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Ahhh yes, and mTV video I've seen many times :)

I've gotten better over the years of detecting the "strays" that need to stay strays.  I have limited time and resources and wasting it is not a smart move on my part.

Jul 02, 2024 07:46 AM