Moggy mystery continues

TALIA SHADWELL
Last updated 08:30 06/10/2012

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Feilding's vanishing cat problem has brought back one woman's memory of her own cat's mysterious disappearance.

Palmerston North student Kat Hill last saw 2-year-old tabby Rocky in October last year when she lived in Feilding. When she caught wind she was not the only one in her former neighbourhood to lose a furry friend that night, she grew suspicious.

"I definitely think something sinister is going on for so many cats to go missing in one area," she said.

Mrs Hill's cat was one of two on the street that went missing that night. A total of eight cats vanished without a trace in her neighbourhood within weeks of each other, causing rumours to fly.

It is believed that, since June 2010, more than 100 cats have mysteriously gone missing in Feilding.

Heidi Muller of the SPCA has since been gathering detailed information on the missing animals, and, sensing a pattern in the disappearances, she had concerns a cat-napper was at work in the town.

Feilding police were loathe to pin the blame on foul play, but conceded the cats' disappearances was unusual.

"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.

That scenario is all too familiar to Mrs Hill, who has since moved to Palmerston North.

"We woke up one morning and Rocky wasn't there. We looked for him for ages and he just wasn't there. He would have come for food because that cat loved his food.

"A woman who lived across the road's cat went missing in a similar way . . . after that we followed the SPCA's advice and started locking them in at night."

It wasn't until she got a knock on the door from another neighbour whose own cat had also vanished that she grew suspicious.

Despite the shift to Palmerston North the Hills still keep their remaining two cats Heidi and Nala inside.

Mrs Muller had concerns someone might be taking the cats to be eaten.

Mr Wells urged members of the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police.

Pet owners concerned about their cats could call the Feilding SPCA on 06 323 6407.

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- Manawatu Standard

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