Late Tuesday afternoon, Biscotti arrived home and went to let the dogs out into the backyard. Just before opening the door, she spotted someone in the yard. Our private fenced in yard. He was shaking one of our fruit trees pretty hard. Hard enough to do damage; ie. decrease our fruit production. Contemplating swinging the door open and having the dogs run out there, she opened the door and said, "excuse me, can I help you?", with a tone that you would expect given the circumstances. He looked up at her and explained that his kid had thrown a cat toy into our yard, and it had gotten stuck in the tree. He couldn't see it, so was hoping to shake it down. Now, this wasn't a neighbor of ours, but Biscotti slowly recognized him as a frequent visitor to our neighbor's place. Biscotti asked him not to shake the trees anymore, citing the possible damage, and he explained that he had hoped to be out of our yard before we got home, so as not to startle us. Well gee, thanks. Biscotti told him that she was glad to have spotted him before she let the dogs outside (implying that our dogs would have decreased his fruit production, if you know what I mean). He then jumped back over the 6ft fence to console his tantruming kid. The cat toy has not been spotted. We haven't looked for it.
Update: A week after this post, we discovered, and took photographic evidence of, the damage that this strange stranger inflicted upon our tree. Click the pics to enlarge them. What possesses someone to enter someone else's private backyard and shake a tree branch so hard as to cause the type of damage you can see in the pics? That ain't no weak-ass branch, that is a thick-ass branch that holds (held) a lot of fruit; plums to be specific. Should we sue? For a lifetime's worth of fresh plums? WTF?