PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles pet owner is mourning after her 7-year-old cat Tarot was apparently violently killed and then left at Shane Park.
Debbie Drake of Port Angeles broke into tears as she described Tarot’s death after learning from police Monday that her cat had been cut in half and placed at Shane Park.
“I haven’t been able to make sense of it,” she said. “It’s not something a normal person can wrap their head around — how somebody can do something so horrendous.”
Port Angeles police first received the report at about 8:15 a.m. Sunday. When they arrived they found the cat had been cut in half and placed by the playground and picnic area at the park, said Deputy Chief Jason Viada.
Viada said police are investigating the death as first-degree animal cruelty, a class C felony.
“I’m reasonably certain a human being did it,” Viada said. “We are seeking the public’s help on holding whoever did this accountable.”
He described the cut as “a very clean cut by a sharp tool” and said there were no teeth or claw marks. He said details at the scene indicate the cat was likely carried by a human.
Officer JJ Smith, who is investigating the killing of the animal, told Viada that it appeared the cat was not killed at the exact location it was found, he said. He said he didn’t know how far away the cat was killed or whether it was dead before it was cut.
Drake, whose cat hadn’t been home for about a week, saw a post on Facebook on Sunday that a cat had been “obviously killed by humans.”
That information didn’t sit right with her and Monday she reached out to the people who found the cat and then to police. Police showed her the photo they took of the cat and Drake confirmed it was Tarot that had been killed.
She said every marking she saw in the photo matched the markings on Tarot.
“The officer asked me how much I wanted to know and I told her I want to know everything,” Drake said.
She said she wants to raise awareness that this happened to her cat so that others in the neighborhood are aware.
“Even if it turns out that it’s not my cat and just looks like mine, people need to know,” she said. “To me, that’s something that screams a lot more problems in the future for somebody and there’s somebody sick in our neighborhood doing sick things.”
Drake said she can’t help but wonder how long her cat suffered and the pain and fear Tarot would have felt.
“He’s been spoiled his whole life,” she said.
Drake has had Tarot since he was a kitten and he was a member of the family, she said. She would walk him with her dogs through trails in the woods and he would stay with the group.
“He had a really cool personality and he was really friendly,” she said. “He was a neat cat and a member of our family.”
Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to call PAPD at 360-452-4545.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].