Catnapped Bengal Recovered Safely
From the Village News in Fallbrook, California, comes this somewhat bizarre story about a local Bengal that briefly ended up on the wrong end of someone's... unique ideas about cat ownership.
Short version: Sheba the Bengal goes missing, owners find her collar in the driveway. The guy who took Sheba apparently took her to a local vet to scan her microchip, then called the owners and demanded a "reward." Negotiations end in an impasse and owners call the Sheriff's department, which gets a warrant and rescues Sheba. This after the guy blows them off when they ask him to just give back the cat. John Feucht now faces charges of theft of an animal for sale or misuse and receiving stolen property.
(What did we learn from this episode children? We learned that telling Sheriff's deputies to "pound sand" is seldom a good idea.)
The strangest part's hard to work out because either Sheriff's department spokesperson Theresa Adams-Hydar expresses herself badly, or the paper mangled the quote. The quote is that Feucht, "basically thought he wasn’t doing anything wrong; he maintained that cats are property, not domesticated animals," Adams-Hydar said. "He knew it was her cat."
I'm not sure how to parse that. If he thought cats are property, then taking someone's property and demanding cash for it is clearly not okay. But I gather what they're driving at is that this guy had it in his head that cats are just kind of there for the taking. I guess a judge will clear that up for him.
(Be sure to click on the photo of Sheba there. It enlarges and she is quite a cat.)