In a tale rivalling Netflix hit ‘Tiger King,’ Inna Kozinda took to the small claims court after her British short-hair didn’t fall pregnant – despite spending 18 lusty days in the company of Natalija Rubika’s champion Tomcat ‘Bonaparte Via Latea.’
Kozinda, a nail technician, felt that the €400 fee she paid to have her moggy serviced should be returned to her after ‘the magic didn’t happen.’
And, when it wasn’t, took her case to the small claims court in Bandon, as reported in The Southern Star newspaper.
There, a bemused Judge Colm Robert threw the case out after surmising one could bring the ‘Romeo of cats’ to Ms Kozinda’s feline and she wouldn’t have gotten pregnant if, for example, she was infertile.
“Maybe your cat,” said Judge Roberts “didn’t want to be a mother and the likelihood of it not happening after the fourth time was strong.”
Speaking with the
Sunday World this week, a relieved Natalija – principal of the Russian School in Cork - described the 24-month long disagreement “as a long two years.
“All my friends told me it was fair enough,” she said.
"It went on a long time and I did my best.
“It was our agreement, between Inna and me, and I think it was very clear.
“I had a cat and our situation was that we were interested in them meeting and she was interested too.
“Usually female cats have kittens very quickly.
“And it was understood that it could take two or three times more.
“But it wasn’t only me and Inna who were involved … it was the cats as well!
“And we did all that we could to keep them without noise or any (distractions) but Inna’s cat from the very start, she was very nervous.
“She seemed like she was under pressure and she didn’t like being moved from her house.
“When she was here, she was very stressful and it was my decision to offer to let her spend more days in our house so this could work.”
Natalija said in total Inna’s cat spent 18 days in her house over four visits – despite in her view – the original agreement being that the female cat would stay only a couple of days.
“Inna is not my friend but I knew her personally because her son is going to the Russian school and her son has a class and I was his teacher.”
Asked about the value of British shorthair cat, Natalija said the felines are selling for an average of €700 a kitten but this can rise to €1,500 or €2,000 depending on the parentage.
Natalija’s cat Bonaparte won at an exhibition in 2014 after which the family were offered €2,000 to sell him.
“He is a champion of Ireland, we have his trophy, and his pedigree is registered,” she continued.
“We are very proud of this cat.
“We bought him from a category in Latvia in 2012 and he came with all his documents.”
Asked if €400 to breed from Bonaparte had been a bargain, Natalija replied: “It was not about the money.
“It was more for the cat.
“She wanted to get kittens but we just wanted to make a meeting for our cat.
“I was happy and she was happy.”
Asked why she felt Inna had gone to court, Natalija answered: “She was angry and she was disappointed and I think she thought this was a waste of her time.
“She wanted the money back but I explained to her that her cat had stayed at our house for 18 days.
“Even the judge at the court said to have a cat stay at a cattery is what €30 a night.
“I understand she was disappointed because she wanted to get results.
“But I am a teacher and parents spend money on classes but they don’t pay me for marks in the exam … they are paying for preparation.
“With this, it is similar.
“She said she paid for kittens but I don’t have kittens.
“I have a cat and she paid for the opportunity that her cat had with him.”
At the small claims court hearing at Bandon District Court, claimant Inna said she placed an ad on Facebook on September 15th 2019 looking for a male cat to impregnate her pedigree puss.
Natalija Rubika replied to the ad, as she has a similar British shorthair male cat who had ‘experience’ of impregnating cats.
“She said the service would cost €400 and that I would keep bringing the cat over until she got pregnant,” said Ms Kozinda, who added that there was no time limit agreed as to how long she would keep bringing her cat to Ms Rubika’s house.
“I bought her four times to her house between September 2019 and April of last year, but she didn’t get pregnant. I’m entitled to get my money back.”
She told the court that while she understands it’s Mother Nature at work, it was her belief that the service she had asked for was not provided.
“I asked her for a refund and she said no as she said she was minding my cat at those times.”
Judge Roberts said he had never heard of this situation before but was “open to new things.”
In her evidence, Natalija said they were on good relations initially and had told Ms Kozinda to bring her cat over again, if it didn’t work the first time or time after.
“I never guaranteed pregnancy as it’s [down to] Mother Nature, but I could offer them the opportunity to meet.
“It didn’t work out and I offered her more times for her cat to stay with us,’ she said.
In dismissing the claim, Judge Roberts said the contract between the two women was ‘too unclear.’
And he said Ms Rubika didn’t confirm the cat could attend her home on an indefinite basis.