In case you were debating the merits of indoor vs outdoor cats, here’s an excellent reason to hedge on the side of safety.
A 54-year-old man, Steven Bouquet, has been sentenced to 5 years and 3 months behind bars after stabbing 16 cats in Brighton, England. Nine of those beloved pets–Hendrix, Tommy, Hannah, Alan, Nancy, Gizmo, Kyo, Ollie, and Cosmo–would die after encountering the “Brighton Cat Killer.”
According to the BBC, the 54-year-old security guard and former Royal Navy Gunner was finally caught after stabbing a cat named Hendrix. The 9-month old cat later died from his wounds, but not before rushing home to his owners, who retraced their pet’s bloody trail back to a neighbor’s security camera.
According to the report, the camera was only set up after Bouquet attacked that neighbor’s cat a year before. Now it captured Hendrix’s brutal attack on film.
Back at Bouquet’s apartment, police reportedly found photos of two feline victims, a knife with cat DNA, and a laptop used to view missing cat websites and other videos of animal cruelty. It was enough to nab Bouquet — who had denied any involvement and told police how much he loved cats in an earlier interview.
Many of the victims’ owners also appeared in court to share how Bouquet’s cruelty had devasted their families, according to the BBC. The heartbreaking testimony moved the judge to apply a harsh penalty for Bouquet’s “sustained” and “cruel” behavior, which “struck at the very heart of family life.”
One woman revealed that she couldn’t stop thinking about her cat, Alan, “dead but warm in my arms, covered in blood.” Alan’s owner believed her “playful, innocent” pet had probably approached Bouquet expecting some pets, only to be stabbed instead.
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Another cat owner found her dead pet, Gizmo, lying outside the front door. “I was completely distraught. I was wailing in tears, completely inconsolable,” Emma Sullivan told the court, according to the BBC.
A third woman, Lucy Kenward, spent almost $7,000 in vet bills trying to save her cat Cosmo following his encounter with the Brighton Cat Killer. “Cosmo was very much part of the family, I had had him eight years before he was killed,” Kenward said. “I feel a definite sense of guilt over my decision to let him outside.”
We’re grateful justice has been served, but this tragic case illustrates the dangers of letting cats roam free outdoors. The Brighton Cat Killer may have murdered cats across the Pond, but animal abuse is sadly a global affliction. Learn how to keep your cat safe and happy indoors!
Learn more about the Brighton Cat Killer in the video below:
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