Skip to comments.Pet cat shot by police in bizarre ordeal
Posted on 02/22/2005 7:52:56 PM PST by Dinsdale
An otherwise loving family pet was shot dead by police after the tabby cat went berserk and terrorized a city family late last week, The Intelligencer has learned.
The bizarre ordeal began when the familys 12-year-old daughter arrived home from school Wednesday evening and began petting the feline, Mickey, in the living room of their east end home.
He was just your average, playful cat, who never had any behaviour problems before the incident, recalled the homeowner, who asked her familys name not be used. He was a sweet and loving household pet.
While her daughter was stroking the long-haired white and orange tabby in the living room, the feline leisurely walked downstairs.
But when Mickey emerged from the basement-area of the home, it was ... a different animal ... it looked as though it was possessed.
Ears flat back, hair standing on end and eyes bulging, Mickey lunged across the dining room and attacked her daughter, biting through her jeans and slicing into her leg.
When the cat released its grip, it continued coming at the girl, shrieking and hissing.
I had to intervene ... he was coming right at her again, the mother recalled.
The husband arrived home a short time later and managed to corner the cat in the living room until his wife and two children could sneak out the back door to safety.
So I stood there having a stare-off with this cat for 20 minutes until the officer arrived, he said, adding that both animal control and police were called to the scene.
While it ran wildly around the interior of the brick bungalow, the cat continued shrieking and began defecating throughout the home.
You could actually hear the cat screaming from the other side of the street, he said.
A city police officer arrived at 5:20 p.m., according to Insp. Merle Foster, and was informed of the animals behaviour.
The daughter had been taken to the hospital by her mother for treatment . .. and the information we received from animal control was that they were not going to attend until after a meeting they were currently attending.
There was a concern the animal could get lodged in the crawl space of the home, which was under partial renovation.
I said If that cat got into the crawl space in the frame of mind its in, itll be a nightmare to get it out. And theres no way, after being viciously attacked by this cat, that were ever going to trust it again.
He asked the officer to, if given the chance, put the animal down.
As the constable entered the home, the cat ran up the stairs and stared the officer down.
Speaking to The Intelligencer on condition of anonymity, the constable said he had ... never seen an animal act like that before it was like it was possessed or something, hissing and growling.
The officer shot the cat square in the chest with his Beretta .40-calibre handgun.
Even after he shot it, that cat was so hopped up were talking about a little, eight-pound cat Mickey ran down the hall into the bathroom and jumped into the tub, the husband recollected. He didnt die for at least five minutes ... he was all nerves and adrenaline ... he wasnt in his right mind.
Foster, meanwhile, said a use-of-force report will be submitted as part of police protocol, however, We did this at the request of the homeowner ... and, quite frankly, I completely support the actions of the officer in this situation.
For all he knew, that animal had rabies.
Government test results earlier this week confirmed the feline didnt have rabies. An autopsy to determine the exact cause of the animals behaviour is not scheduled, however.
As to why details of the incident were not released by police, Foster was blunt.
I have no idea, he said. I dont know why this wasnt released earlier.
Without knowing the animals history, Dr. Kim Drysdale of the Belleway Veterinary Hospital on Highway 62 said it would be hard to pin-point the exact cause of Mickeys wild behaviour.
There are cats out there that are a little bit aggressive, whether because of its natural disposition or a medical ailment of some sort, she said.
There are viruses that can cause changes in behaviour (and) ... there are some cats that just are not as genetically friendly as others.
But, usually, there are warning signs the animal is not right in the head, Drysdale added.
Most people seem to think its out of the blue, but when you get a detailed history there are smaller incidents that lead up to a major outburst .. but whos to say, I wasnt there, I havent interviewed these people or seen the cat.
And an angry feline can be a handful even more vicious than an aggressive dog, Drysdale said.
A cat with a behaviour problem or serious aggression problem can be a force to be reckoned with. But thats not normal most cats are pretty nice and social.
We have heard stories about people not being able to leave their homes because their cat was blocking the doorway. So some cats can be aggressive.
If any household pet shows aggression, the family should contact their veterinarian for advice, she said.
While the family has nothing but praise for the officer involved, the conduct of the current animal control company contracted by the municipality Tweed-based Municipal Animal Control is another story.
When the service was initially called before police arrived at the scene the family was told it could be up to a three-hour wait for an officer to arrive, ... because they were just about to go into a meeting, the female homeowner said.
I told them that wasnt good enough, and he said Well, Ill try to break my back and come in before then.
After the police officer arrived at the scene, police dispatchers attempted several times to contact the animal control officer, but to no avail.
When I arrived home from the hospital with my daughter, there was a card put in my door from them, the female resident said.
Heide Elliott of Municipal Animal Control was tightlipped when asked about the incident.
All I can tell you is that the cat was cleared of rabies by the public health (unit).
Elliott did confirm the company responded to the incident but didnt arrive until after the cat had been shot.
There was a timing issue ... we ended up going down after the incident with the police to pick up the body and take it to the lab for testing.
For the family, who owned Mickey since he was seven weeks old, the cat will always be remembered as a loving pet.
Mickey was just a sweet little thing ... and had never shown any kind of aggression before this, the female resident said. It was as though he didnt recognize any of us ... and didnt know where he was, the way he was looking around the home.
Mickey was our pet and we loved him ... but in that state he wasnt the cat we knew.
He was just wild, continued her husband. We really had no choice but to do what we did.
The officer who shot the animal paid a visit to the family the next day, he added.
He wanted to check up on (our daughter) and make sure the family was doing all right.
The couples daughter was treated and released at Belleville hospital for her leg wound and is currently taking antibiotics to prevent an infection.
The Belleville police officer was very compassionate and I think he was just as shocked as I was to see an animal act in that manner. I would tell anybody who has a cat that starts acting odd to take it seriously.
That poor little girl will probably never want another (Viking) kitty ;)
Is this your cat? If a cat ever goes nuts in my house, I won't call the police to come and deal with it. I'll (gladly) take care of it myself.
What a cat-astrophe!;)
If I were that family, I'd want the rabies check repeated...
It thought it was a dog.
not rabies? hmmm loco weed in the basement?
Sounds like it could have ingested something while in the basement.
I'll bet there was BLEACH around that basement somewhere. It must go straight to their brains. They have an intensely intricate sense of smell and bleach makes 'em crazy and mean.
DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. :o)
Stop! Don't shoot!
And, I wouldn't go down in the basement at night, or alone...(twilight zone theme, here)
And yet Martin rejects the Missile Defense System.
a Gonzo fan that had a severe reaction at hearing of his passing or a bad dose of killer vancouver catnip., perhaps.
Too bad, I have had lots of cats that were a bit aggressive but I never would have sought to blow them away, pretty shoddy episode in how it was handled by all concerned, imo..
INSTRUCTIONS FOR GIVING YOUR CAT A PILL:
1) Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cats mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.
2) Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.
3) Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.
4) Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for count of 10.
5) Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.
6) Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between between knees, holding front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold cats head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cats throat vigorously.
7) Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines from hearth and set to one side for glueing later.
8) Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with its head just visible from below spouses armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force cats mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.
9) Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take taste away. Apply band-aid to spouses forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.
10) Retrieve cat from neighbors shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.
11) Fetch screwdriver from garage and put door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Throw T-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.
12) Ring fire brigade to retrieve cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil wrap.
13) Tie cats front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table. Find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed. Force cats mouth open with small spanner. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of fillet steak. Hold head vertically and pour ½ pint of water down throat to wash pill down .
14) Get spouse to drive you to emergency room; sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Stop by furniture shop on way home to order new table.
15) Arrange for vet to make a housecall.
LOL! ALL cats display bizarre behavior. I tolerate my daughter's. Everything is a curiousity to the stupid thing. I don't let it in the bathroom with me anymore. Don't ask me why - I just don't.
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