March 14, 2007
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. --Two stray cats attacked three people after they got into a house in North Platte. "I thought I had seen it all, but I have never seen anything like this," Chief of Police Martin Gutschenritter said Tuesday. A call for help Monday took animal control officer John Pettit to the home of Melissa Breva, Gutschenritter said. Breva told Pettit she had captured two cats in a bedroom.
"She said the cats had gotten into the house when the front door was open," Gutschenritter said, then attacked two women who were visiting Breva.
One, Wendy Holliday, suffered scratches, the chief said, and she was bitten on both ankles, both knees and on her left calf.
"She told the officer it happened when the two cats entered the residence and attacked her for no reason," Gutschenritter said.
The other woman, Rebecca Cheever, was bitten on the right calf.
After talking to the women, Pettit went to his truck for snares -- his "cat catchers."
Then he heard screaming from inside the house.
"When he ran back, he saw a young male with blood over his face," Gutschenritter said.
The cats had attacked a boy who had opened the bedroom door.
"He was bitten on his forehead, nose, left ear and right cheek," the chief said.
After some first aid from Pettit, the three were taken to Great Plains Regional Medical Center for more treatment.
When investigator John Stadler arrived and opened the bedroom door, "he saw a gray and white cat baring its teeth in attack mode," Gutschenritter said. "He shut the bedroom door and returned to his car for a dart gun."
Both cats were shot, tranquilized and taken to the animal shelter, where they were euthanized.
The bodies were sent to Lincoln for rabies checks, Gutschenritter said.
Authorities want to find out who owned the cats.
Under city ordinance, cats may run free if they don't become nuisances.
"I'm on the animal commission, and we've never seen anything like this," Gutschenritter said. "We have dealt with dog bites, but we've never had one with a cat."