A Nanaimo woman is fuming from a ‘cat’astrophe that left her family’s feline friend Nelly bound in duct tape for a second time.
Jennifer Paloposki has no idea who is behind the incidents, which took place Monday and earlier this month, but is hopeful someone in the community might.
“What they did is wrong,” she said. “My cats don’t attack anybody, they’re not aggressive.”
Nanaimo RCMP is investigating, believing several people may be involved in the incidents.
“It’s virtually impossible to control a cat and do something like that,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “I’m sure the person would receive considerable scratches, would have to be heavily clothed and have gloves on.
“We’re sure it’s someone who’s living in the area that’s taken an exception to this particular cat.”
Nelly first showed up at Paloposki’s Chestnut Street home with painter’s tape on her body in the early hours of Oct. 1. Paloposki removed the tape herself, and began keeping her three cats in at night. However, when Nelly didn’t show up Sunday night, Paloposki became concerned.
The next morning, Paloposki discovered Nelly at her front gate, after some searching.
“You could tell she was scared, she was screaming,” she said. “She was walking but it was very awkward.”
Ken Langelier, a veterinarian with Island Veterinary Hospital, and his team treated Nelly Monday, shortly after she was discovered.
“If you know cats at all, they certainly don’t like having things on their feet, they don’t like having restriction to their ability to move and their tail is like a rudder,” he said. “In this case the cat’s tail was taped to its body, the feet were taped fairly tightly, and with no air breathing through the tape they’d gotten quite moist.”
He noted that there were bite marks in the tape, a sign that Nelly attempted to rescue herself. But the tape was bound so tightly that the veterinary team barely got the scissors underneath it. The experience can be a painful one, and Nelly was sedated for the removal.
“When we take it off, we’re having to pull just like taking off a Band-Aid, where you’re pulling off hair,” Langelier said.
He said he has concerns that the incident has occurred more than once.
“It’s a bizarre behaviour and I’m having trouble trying to figure out who would even think it’s funny. It’s just animal cruelty in its simplest form,” he said.
The RCMP is aware of two other cat-taping incidences that took place in the Poplar Street area in September. If caught and convicted, the suspects could be charged.
O’Brien’s advice for animal owners is to take precautions and keep their animals under control.
“We want to put a stop to this before it escalates and an animal dies, that’s the last thing we want to see,” he said. “If people are annoyed or disturbed over animals roaming through their neighbourhood, there’s ways to deal with that. One way is to determine who owns the cat and talk to the owner. Secondly, if that doesn’t work, animal services can be contacted to assist you.
“There’s more compassionate ways to deal with the situation than what we’re seeing.”
Anyone who might have information can call RCMP at 250-754-2345 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.crimestoppers.com.