Russian Family Blames High Energy Bills On Cat, Takes Argument To Court
Home ownership is rife with hassles large and small. Mortgage loans, personal loans, homeowner loans, and everything in between all stack up to be mildly stressful pieces of life. But, hey, you own a home and that's what counts.
One Russian family learned this the hard way when they decided that they weren't going to pay their energy bills. We can tell you first hand that avoiding any bill, for any amount of time, isn't going to work out in your favor. Sometimes payments get missed and, even if it's your mortgage, you're able to work with your lender quickly to rectify any outstanding payments. But, you have to work with them, not make excuses.
That might not work so well if you blame your bills on the cat. After racking up an unpaid energy bill tab of about 80,000 rubles -- $1,218 -- the energy company took them to court to collect what they were owed. The family blamed the cat for the energy bills and stuck with that argument in court.
They said they didn't use all of that electricity and that their cat enjoyed climbing around the house, oftentimes over the meter. They insisted that the feline frolicked so often upon the meter that he was responsible with accidentally tampering with it, hence the energy bills being so high.
Not believing it for a minute, the energy company's lawyer brought in a veteran electrician who managed to prove the cat's innocence and put the family in more trouble than they began.
“It is impossible to accidentally rip a seal off the meter. It is positioned very close to the meter and the wire is so strong that the electricians themselves use pliers to access the meter. Therefore, even if the cat had clung to the seal its claw, it would have held,” said electrician Sergey Platonyuk.
Apparently, with no better excuse to turn to, the court found the family guilty and they were ordered to pay the full 80,000 rubles, along with an additional 2,500 rubles in court charges.
In 2016, one study estimated that approximately 35% of homebuyers were first time buyers. It's important to know your way around a process when buying a home for the first time, but we're fairly certain that -- new homeowner or not -- it's unwise to blame your bills on the cat.