Today I hand-delivered letters to many of my neighbors telling them we have an animal killer in our midst. I gave them details about how the person who is poisoning cats does not care what he kills - someone's pet, a stray cat, or wildlife. I wanted very much to give his name and address, but excluded it. Believe me, I didn't exclude it in order to protect him. Though I'm a non-violent person, I'm sorry to admit I wouldn't mind a little bit of vigilante action in this case, but I left his name out of the letter to protect my spouse and me. We surely don't want to invite a law suit for "defamation of character" (and I use that phrase loosely) since the burden of proof would fall on me and I can't prove anything yet. I asked for my neighbors' help in finding cats for evidence and said I'd come and retrieve them, if found.
Tonight we were led to our first clue - poor Grayson was found dead in the woods. My next door neighbor said he started looking for cats this afternoon, shortly after receiving the letter. The cat was lying with his front paws crossed over his chest, as if he was at peace and I pray that he didn't suffer long. I called and left a message for my contact with the animal abuse investigator and will take Grayson wherever I need to so he can be tested for antifreeze poisoning. We had numerous calls today, asking about the cat killer's identity and location. Some callers mentioned having cats missing. I'm not surprised and had to conclude this had been going on much longer than we knew.
Grayson was a big beautiful male and very possibly the father of some of the wild kittens that had been running around the neighborhood. I wasn't very happy with him the last few times he was here on my porch though. He was staying too close to the un-spayed female cats, but I'm so glad I relented in my efforts to keep him away from here. I told him it was fine if he wanted to come to eat - just to please leave the mama cat and her sister alone. He seemed to watch out for the kittens (I successfully captured Halloween night) and wasn't the least bit aggresive toward them. The kittens would most likely have been the next victims.
I'm being constantly reminded that this is not a "smoking gun" in this cruelty investigation. I do know that but I can't help being a tiny bit optomistic that our find tonight, however sad, might open the door for a further look. Perhaps this, along with the circumstantial evidence, will be enough to obtain a search warrant of the cat killer's property or garage. I don't know what the criteria is for such things. Perhaps we'll have to find more cats and do more watching of this neighbor. We think he's now caught on that we're keeping him in our sights. He may not put out antifreeze again, at least not while we're watching. That's good....and bad. If he doesn't put it outside, we can't catch him in the act. If he does, more animals might die.
I'm glad we found Grayson, but wish with all my heart he hadn't met his end like this.