We are all familiar with divorcing couples using and abusing their children to win a battle in divorce proceedings. Fighting over the kids is despicable and it happens a lot.
The domestic cat is considered to be a family member by most and in that status he/she is equally vulnerable to couples who are splitting up. Jilted, angry and sometimes disturbed men know how to get at their former girlfriend: they know they can hurt them by hurting someone they love. If the girlfriend or wife is a cat guardian the domestic cat is extremely vulnerable and a readymade tool for the abusive man.
Sometimes this is taken to extreme as is the case with Richard McCall, aged 34. He broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home, stole her cat and carved “I’ll kill him” into one of her doors. This is psychotic behavior and it must have been terrifying for the woman.
This was right out of Hannibal Lector’s how to manual. Not only did he steel his ex’s cat he declared his love for her by scrawling in black marker on her bed sheets, “The love of my life”. Great way to declare your love!
He did many other nasty things such as cutting her television cables and texting her 50 times daily. McCall was convicted of criminal damage and burglary after admitting his crime.
McCall avoided prison. He received a suspended sentence and was ordered to do community work. As for the lady’s cat he left him with his mother so I presume he was reunited with the lady but we don’t know.
The point of this short article is that the domestic cat is a vulnerable creature surrounded as he is by warring humans engaged in domestic battles. Fortunately what McCall did is quite rare or at least this sort of behavior goes unreported. I have a feeling it is more common that we think. It will nearly always be the man who abuses cats like this because the woman will be the primary carer of a family’s domestic cat and therefore “possess” the cat.
P.S. the photo is of the crown court where McCall was tried. It is in Teesside, UK.