This time last year, there was a gruesome series of cat-killings in the Heights/Timbergrove, River Oaks and Montrose. The cats were mutilated -- some eviscerated, others beheaded, still others quartered, and some all of the above.
One mutilated kitty was left on display in front of a shop at the corner of Greenbriar and Westheimer, while another was left beheaded in centerfield of Timbergrove's Jaycee Park baseball diamond.
While it was never proven that all the cases were related, it was also possible that many more than these six documented cats might have been killed by the same person. A police spokesman said at the time that there were numerous anecdotes about violently (if less gruesomely spectacularly) killed cats in those neighborhoods, but that the owners of those cats had not reported them to law enforcement, as they believed the cats had been killed by animals.
HPD Sergeant/animal cruelty officer Virginia Brasher had been in charge of the cases, and she said things seemed to have died down last summer. No new reports of mutilated kitties came in to her until August 10 of this year, when I had the sad duty of reporting the death of Captain Kitty, the regal brindle feline to whom I proudly served as step-daddy for the past ten or so months.
My fiancee, Kelly, found Captain Kitty dead behind our backhouse yesterday evening. Though she was in a high state of decomposition, her belly appeared to have been shaved and slashed open. Judging by where the body was found, there is no chance of her having been killed by a dog or coyote.
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Captain had been missing since Saturday evening, but we hadn't thought much of it. Middle-aged cats are sometimes "rescued" by lonely people who willfully mistake even the best-fed cats for strays, and that was what I believed -- hoped -- had happened with Captain.
Captain had been acting strangely the last few weeks -- she often wanted to be let out in the wee hours of the night even when her bowl was full. We joked that she had a boyfriend, and I thought maybe she was getting some shrimp or fish from some lonely soul, but I now think she was being groomed for murder.
We have reason to believe the killing happened in the wee hours of Saturday night/Sunday morning.
So Heights/Timbergrove, Montrose and River Oaks cat lovers: be advised. You might want to keep your cats in at night until this creep is caught. And if you have heard any other similar tales or have lost a cat recently in similar circumstances, post your story below or call HPD's Sgt. Brasher at 713-308-3140. Let's put this person away before another cat dies or, as with so many psychos, he decides to move on to human prey.