Cat-napper blamed for missing moggies
Cat lovers stumped by the mystery.TALIA SHADWELL
Feilding cat lovers are stumped by the town's missing-moggie mystery. Feilding police and the SPCA have joined forces in an effort to work out why more than 100 felines have disappeared without a trace in the town in the past two years.
It is believed that, since June 2010, more than 100 cats have mysteriously gone missing within the Feilding township.
"The cats are all loved pets and there is no evidence that these cats have been run over or gone walkabout as such, as none have returned home, they have simply disappeared overnight without a trace," Senior Constable Allan Wells said.
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Feilding SPCA committee member Heidi Muller has been gathering evidence on the missing cats and has not ruled out cat-napping as a possible explanation.
"When it first happened, people threw it off, but I could see a pattern a while back," Mrs Muller said.
She began keeping tabs on the missing pets and discovered two cats rarely disappeared from the same street.
The cats have gone missing between 10pm and 4am and sightings of a light-coloured late-model van seemed to be linked to the animals' disappearances.
"I have dealt with cat poisoning before, but I have never seen anything like this," she said. "It is definitely very odd."
Mrs Muller often fielded distraught calls from households bereaved of a beloved family pet.
"It's really heartbreaking, people crying on the phone - 45-year-old men, 80-year-old women . . . it has been terrible because a cat is a companion, so for some people living alone it is their only friend and company."
Mrs Muller said she had investigated known stolen cats and fur-trading rings and come up with nothing.
She had also considered people might be stealing the cats to feed to other animals - or even to eat them themselves.
Mr Wells said there were a lot rumours within the community about what might have happened to the cats. "There's nothing to say anything sinister is happening. It's just a lot of presumption by a few people," he said.
But Mr Wells urged members of the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police. Lost cats should be handed into an SPCA, and pet owners concerned about their cats could call the Feilding SPCA on 06 323 6407.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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