What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?

Did You Steal Our Cat?

Living in suburbia has a number of complicated maxims. You're expected to be friendly to your neighbor but let them maintain their privacy. We had a rough start with our neighbors, unfortunately, and they seemed to truly take this to heart. Over the next ten years there has been The Suburban Cold War: extremely passive aggressive, moments of friendliness, and always on the brink of a nuclear winter.

One most memorable of passive aggressive squabbles was dealt through abductions of our cat, Sophie, who would occasionally get out of the house despite us. Sophie is a pretty black cat. She's friendly and silly, but her idea of these traits is to be playful and bat and bite at your hands when you pet her. We once literally saw our neighbor's door open and hand come out and grab Sophie. Even with a gentle knock at the door, no one responded. After some incessant knocking, they still managed to ignore the front door.

I have not been one to really perpetuate The Neighbor Cold War, but this was past the line of the Cuban Missile Crisis. This was painfully close to full on Nuclear Winter, and I was ready to storm down Armageddon on them and everyone who dared be near enough to suffer the blast. What kind of neighbor kidnaps your cat?

They did, of course, release Sophie, our POW, but they had trimmed her fur, which was entirely unnecessary. She was not a shaggy cat by any stretch of the imagination. This also caused a brief period where her fur was not growing regularly, and her back legs, though had fur, were balding. She did, fortunately, recover, and for that I'm thankful. But this was not over.

I held a large drinking party, which made more noise than I had planned, but when my neighbor felt the need to stick his head out to yell "keep it down," and quickly shut it again, I knew I could be louder, and talk about my cat Sophie so they could hear. "Then don't kidnap our cat. Don't touch our property."

Since then it has been a quiet Cold War, and I honestly hope it remains so. For I truly fear the police will need get involved if it steps up any further.


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Have a Next-Door Neighbor Story?

As part of our new webcomic, Next-Door Neighbor, we thought it appropriate to have a little contest. Tell us your best true next-door neighbor story, and the winning tale will be matched with an artist and transformed into a webcomic and included as the final installment of Next-Door Neighbor.

About Next-Door Neighbor

No matter how close or how far, we all live next to someone, and we all have a Next-Door Neighbor story. With that in mind, editor Dean Haspiel asked some of his favorite storytellers and cartoonists to create their favorite NDN stories so we could share them with you.

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By submitting an entry, you are granting SMITH the right to reprint or republish that entry online or in print, as well as make any necessary edits. See SMITH's terms of service for complete details.

This contest ends September 1, 2008. Prizes are not redeemable for cash and must be accepted as awarded. Winners are decided at the discretion of SMITH judges and all decisions are final. SMITH reserves the right to change the contest rules. Enter as often as you want. SMITH reserves the right to reprint or republish all entries.

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