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Last month, Haysboro resident Mary Ransom let her 11-year-old cat Stuart outside in the morning, as she usually does, expecting him to return home a few hours later.
As the day went on with no sign of Stuart, Ransom’s mother took to social media.
“We just hadn’t seen him so my mom left a post on our Haysboro Facebook and the lady who owns the house on the street where the cats have been dumped reached out to her and said I think we found your cat,” she said.
When her mom got there, the owner of the house shared that her cat had also been killed and left in front of her house a couple of weeks prior.
“He was bisected,” Ransom said, adding six cats in total had been found in front of the woman’s house.
“There were no puncture wounds, no nothing,” she said. “He was the kind of cat that would put up a fight … but he was completely fine from what was left of his body.”
Ransom said social media pages and groups in her neighbourhood have been flooded with missing cat posts.
“It’s a crazy amount of missing cats compared to what you would say is normal.”
Colleen St. Clair, U of A professor and co-author of a 2017 report called A Forensic Pathology Investigation of Dismembered Domestic Cats: Coyotes or Cults, said though it might seem odd, it’s not at all uncommon for coyote kills to appear like clean cuts done by knives, especially on cats.
“The description provided is not inconsistent with coyotes being the culprits here,” St. Clair said. “Quite a large part of our sample was bisected like that too and that’s because cats have a very weak junction in their vertebral column.”