This was a difficult article to write. However, I think it needs writing because the washing machine is a killing machine in some households. Women are more likely to use the machine than men to kill cats. This might be because they use the machine more often. It doesn’t happen that often, but it’s too often, nonetheless. It’s utterly shocking. Perhaps the worst part of these crimes, other than the pain and distress caused before the cat dies, is the breach of trust. These women and men put their cat or someone else’s cat into a washing machine and the cat allowed them to do it. The cat trusted them during that fatal journey into a machine that killed them.
The list is not comprehensive.
Catherine Young – Essex, UK – October 2021
She was 54-years-of-age at the time she killed her 12-week-old kitten Morritz. She called a veterinarian on June 15 to say that her kitten had died. She admitted that she had put her into the washing machine because she had been naughty and defecated in the house. Her statement is confusing. She said that she had rubbed her kitten’s face in her kitten’s faeces and then put her into the washing machine to clean her fur. She said that she had done this before and she had been fine. She had also withheld food for 24 hours as a punishment. The veterinarian, who testified in court at her conviction, said that the kitten would have suffered significant pain, injury and huge amounts of stress. In addition to being disqualified from keeping animals indefinitely she was fined £200 and ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge.
Holly Thacker – Norwich, Norfolk, UK – October 2005
She was 34-years-of-age when she put Fluffy, her cat, in the washing machine on a boil setting because she had scratched her and, in her words, “gone wild”. She removed Fluffy’s lifeless body from the machine after the cycle and dumped him/her into the waste bin. She told her husband what she had done in front of her daughters aged 15 and five. She denied animal cruelty at court. I don’t have more information on Holly Thacker. Comment: it would seem that her description of her cat’s behaviour which prompted her to kill her cat was caused by her behaviour.
I have written about this woman some time ago. She is a pretty, narcissistic Asian woman who tells the world to ‘F-off’, looks admiringly into the eyes of her attractive cat and then puts the cat into the washing machine and turns it on. She videos her cat dying in the machine and uploads it to social media online (you can see the video on this website). I’ve always thought that this woman is mentally disturbed and I have tried to get Internet users to track her down. I have a page on her which you can read by clicking on this link. I was notified of this woman’s behaviour by somebody else and I include his comments on the page. Of course, it is incredibly shocking. We don’t know where she lives but I believe it is somewhere in southern China.
Ciudad Real – Villarrubia de los Ojos in Ciudad Real, Spain – February 2021
She was 19-years-of-age when she puts her cat into her washing machine on several spin cycles which killed the cat. The judge at her criminal trial said that she showed “clear disregard for the integrity of the animal”. As happened with the Asian woman above, she videoed her cat’s death in the machine. The cat meowed pitifully as she died. While her cat died, she allegedly said: “Looks like people were right about cats having seven lives”. She then added detergent to the washing machine and put the cat on another wash cycle. It seems that the case prompted a campaign to change the law in Spain to allow judges to hand down stricter punishments for animal cruelty. They wanted the maximum penalty to be 18 months in prison. Clearly at that time some people thought that Spanish law did not allow judges to hand down punishments commensurate with the crime of animal cruelty.
Diane Hannon – Colwyn Bay, Wales, UK – December 2006
She was 42-years-of-age when she put her deaf cat, Paws, into her washing machine on a full cycle. She had just argued with her boyfriend who was the cat’s owner. The cat died of a heart attack and suffered severe burns a loss of fur. She admitted her crime in the magistrate’s court. She was cat-sitting for her boyfriend while he was visiting his son. She had argued with her boyfriend about his ex-wife and children. He called her to ask if his cat was all right and she replied: “I hate you. No, I’ve killed it”. He thought she was joking. When he returned home to his flat, he found Paws inside his washing machine, dead. When he phoned her to ask what she had done she laughed and put the phone down. She had left a note on the back of an envelope saying that she hated him. When interviewed by the police she said that she wanted to hurt the cat but not kill her. She didn’t think she would die. In mitigation, in court, her lawyer said that she suffered from depression and that she didn’t know why she did it. She was convicted of animal cruelty but I don’t know what sentence he received.
Unnamed – Hong Kong – February 2021
This woman, 28-years-of-age, did not kill her cat in the washing machine. But she placed her cat into the machine and closed the lid and started the machine on a wash cycle. She left the cat in the machine for 10 seconds of the wash cycle. She then released the cat by opening the lid and the cat jumped out. She made a video of it which I suspect is how she was found out. Comment: it’s not that uncommon for the women to video what their crime.
As stated at the beginning, it is not only women who kill cats in washing machines. Here are some male examples
Ivan Vasiliev – Russia – January 2000 18
He was 37-years-of age and he had drunk four bottles of vodka when he killed his girlfriend’s cat in the washing machine. He had a known criminal record and previous convictions for murder and robbery. He claimed that he put his girlfriend’s cat into the washing machine to force her to come home after she had walked out on him. He put the cat through one cycle which he survived. He then put the cat back into the washing machine on another cycle which killed him. He was convicted of “hooligan acts against an animal”. He was not jailed. At first, he denied he had killed the cat but then admitted it. His punishment included a loss of freedom whereby was not allowed to leave his home town or go to certain public places.
Unnamed – Malaysia – July 2020
This is a story that I’ve written about and which you can read by clicking on this link if you wish. A man in his thirties placed three cats in a washing machine as a laundry in Desa Aman Puri, Kepong. All three died. They were found by a subsequent customer at the laundry who opened the machine and saw the dead cats. She reported the matter to the police. His behaviour was recorded on security camera footage. The Malaysia Animal Association said at the time that it was the second incident involving the killing of cats using a washing machine. A similar case had happened earlier in September 2018 involving three people. Comment: these must’ve been community cats who were in the vicinity of or inside the launderette at the time.
Harry Thompson – Woodville near Ashby, Derbyshire, UK – November 2018
This teenager put a domestic cat into a washing machine and closed the door. He left the cat in the machine overnight until he/she had suffocated to death. The cat’s name was “Squeak”. At court he admitted that “he had assumed the cat was in the machine”. He said that he did not see it. He admitted not doing anything about it. At court he admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. Apparently, Thompson found the whole thing hilarious. He had also thrown the cat. Because he had caused prolonged suffering leading to the death of Squeak, he was handed down a custodial sentence. Half the sentence was spent in custody and the other half was spent being supervised by the Youth Offending Team while in the community.