There was half a cat in the neighbor’s front yard.

Marcene noticed it first. She’d been looking for Jack, her cat. She hadn’t seen him for a week.

I love Jack. He greets me every morning when I go out to get the newspaper. He plops down on our welcome mat and blinks unconcerned at our dog on the other side of the security door.

Marcene didn’t think the dead cat was Jack. She had to get to work so she asked me to call the police. 

Because the cat in the neighbor’s front yard had been cut cleanly in half.

I wandered into the neighbor’s yard, looking for the bottom half of the cat. There was no blood or tufts of fur in the grass.

I told the officer there had been other attacks on cats in the neighborhood. Last year, a rabbit was found cut in half. Some in our neighborhood think it might be a coyote or a fox.

The officer didn’t think it looked like an animal attack. There were no bite marks.

Because we didn’t know who owned the cat, the officer could only call the city’s dead animal pick-up service.

Which was closed on a Sunday.–

“Do you have a shovel?” the officer asked. I did. He gently scooped up the cat.

Republic reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy put a call in to Darren Julian, urban wildlife manager at the Arizona Game and Fish Department. A coyote or a fox would shake and bite a cat and take it somewhere private to eat, he said. An animal wouldn’t leave remains like that. Julian said it was likely a “predator of the two-legged kind.”

I hate to think a person did this.

Because not a half hour after the officer left, a woman came by, asking if we’d seen her dog, Riley, a 10-pound Maltese wearing a red collar.

Jack hasn’t come back yet either.

Reach Karina at [email protected] or 602-444-8614.


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