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Woman harassed and assaulted for asking authorities to re-home stray cat that kept attacking her dog

"She then pushed me to the ground causing my phone to drop as well and she started to hit me multiple times in the head. I did not defend myself for fear of it working against me so I simply grabbed onto her leg. She continued hitting me while screaming that I was assaulting her," alleged the assault victim

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A netizen has shared online that she was harassed and assaulted by a middle-aged woman in her neighbourhood, simply because she asked the authorities to re-home an aggressive cat that repeatedly attacked her pet dog. Branding the netizen as a “cat killer,” the neighbour also released the netizen’s personal information including her address and photos online.

Reddit user u/Immabox shared her story on the online discussion board and her post went viral, with 1,300 upvotes in just three days. Her story received such considerable interest that the moderators of the Singapore subreddit had to lock the story.

Asking for advice, the netizen said that this whole issue had been blown out of proportion and that she was simply trying to better protect her dog. Since the netizen and her dog moved into their neighbourhood, an “extremely aggressive” stray cat would stalk her dog while they go on walks and run up to the dog to attack it. The netizen reported:

“It scared my dog so much that whenever we go downstairs, he starts whining and getting extremely anxious, looking around for the cat. The situation became so bad that my dog started getting nightmares and whining in his sleep.
“There were even residents who saw the cat attack my dog and some of them tried to help me scare it away but the cat kept coming. I did not report the cat to NParks as I did not want it to be put down, so I tried various ways to avoid the cat.
“It wouldn’t work however, as the cat would wait directly outside the lift to attack my dog. On different occasions, I have had to shield my dog and I sustained claw and bite marks from the cat, racking up medical bills.
“Apparently, I was not the first victim of this cat. A resident I know had also told me that the very same cat attacked her son before. There was also another stray in the area (let’s call it Patches) that would constantly be attacked by this cat. I hear them fight at night and whenever the aggressive cat was around, Patches would be sitting high atop a letterbox to hide from this cat.”

The netizen contacted NParks and specifically requested them to re-home the cat instead of culling it. The Government authority noted her request and told her that they would call the Cat Welfare Society to process the request.

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Three weeks after she made the report, however, the cat was still not caught and attacked the netizen’s dog once again. As she stepped in to protect her pet, the netizen suffered “deep wounds that bruised on my legs and deep cuts that would not stop bleeding. I even had to get a tetanus shot.”

The next evening, the netizen was on her usual walk with her dog when she noticed a stranger watching her from the 2nd floor of her block. The stranger, a middle-aged woman, approached the netizen and demanded to know which floor the netizen lives at, before causing a ruckus and harassing the netizen:

“The next night, I was walking my dog as usual when I noticed that a strange woman was watching me from the 2nd floor. She came down and confronted me about the report, demanding to know which floor I lived on.
“I told her that the cat was extremely aggressive and that if she owned the cat, I will be expecting her to pay the medical bills. Instead she kept denying that it was her cat and then proceeded to demand that I walk somewhere else (How can I, when the cat waits outside the lift?).
“I immediately disengaged her and walked away, then called NParks on my phone. She followed me and impeded me from walking my dog, then demanded me to hand over my phone. Then she took photos and videos of me.
The NParks officer said that he did not know how this woman found out I reported the cat and advised me to return home immediately.
“As I returned to the lift, this woman started shouting and cursing at me, calling me a “cat killer” and trying to get neighbours upstairs to “stop me”. I hid in my house as I was afraid she would harm me and she made a whole commotion downstairs.
“An hour later, the NParks officer called again and said that I should make a police report. I did and when the police arrived, she was gone. They simply told me to call them if she harasses me again.”

But that was not all. The very next day, during the netizen’s walk, the same woman came down to the ground floor carrying an empty cat crate. After shouting at the netizen and taking photos of videos of her, the neighbour purportedly proceeded to assault the netizen:

“The next day, I went downstairs to walk my dog as usual when the woman came down from the second floor again. She shot menacing glances at me and I took out my phone in case she would try something. She was also carrying an empty cat crate. She became extremely agitated and started shouting at me and approached me. She then said she would take photos and videos of me.
“I immediately called the police and she turned around to try and get away, so I walked towards her and told her that I called the police and she should stay. She screamed and falsely claimed that my dog attacked her. I was stunned.
“She continued walking away so I trailed behind to ask her to stop. When she got to the roadside, she started taking a video of me, shouting “I WILL TAKE A VIDEO OF YOU NOW. I WILL TAKE VIDEO”.
“At this point of time I called the police a 2nd time and as I did, she continued to shove her phone extremely close to my face. Annoyed, I tried to take a video while trying to block her camera with my hand. She drops her phone and immediately shouted “YOU THROW MY PHONE!!” and before I could respond, she hit me in the face and broke my glasses.
“She then pushed me to the ground causing my phone to drop as well and she started to hit me multiple times in the head. I did not defend myself for fear of it working against me so I simply grabbed onto her leg. She continued hitting me while screaming that I was assaulting her.
“When she finally stopped, I let go of her leg and an old lady helped me up and told me to quickly go home because the woman was crazy. My assaulter then ran towards a group of people and told them that I had assaulted her, before walking back to us and shouting “I HAVE EYEWITNESS!”.
“At this point I was extremely fearful for my dog’s safety and my own. My dog was scared and I couldn’t see very well as she had broken my glasses. I quickly ran upstairs to get contacts and return my dog to my house and when I rushed back downstairs, she had fled the scene.
“I waited around for the police to arrive but they never did so I walked over to the station to file a report and also had to pay out of my own pocket for medical attention for the injuries she caused me. She walked away with no injuries.”

The netizen lamented that the police “simply told me that Voluntarily Causing Hurt was non-arrestable and advised me to go to the State Court.”

To make matters worse, the netizen discovered days later that her assailant had posted photos and videos of her on social media. Alleging that the netizen wanted to have the cat culled, the neighbour apparently “used the incident to ask people to donate money to her.”

The distressed netizen wrote: “She had apparently caught the cat and was boarding it somewhere. She falsely alleged that I attacked her and then made remarks that I was mentally unsound. She even limited the comments to be friends-only whereas her post visibility was public so that others would only see comments from those who supported her.

“She even trimmed the video she had of me to where she drops her phone so it would look like I approached and attacked her. Additionally she stated that she went around spreading the news to the entire block in order to hunt me down.”

Claiming that she found that the neighbour is affiliated with the Cat Welfare Society (CWS), the netizen asked: “It was also through her Facebook post that I found out she was actually affiliated with the Cat Welfare Society. Had she abused information to track me down? The Cat Welfare Society would have rehomed the cat anyway. There was no reason for her to be harassing me.”

She further revealed that the incidents have left her at the centre of attention of her neighbours. She wrote: “I have noticed people living on the same floor as her stalking/watching me when I return home.

Revealing that she also incurred damages of over S$700 so far because of the middle-aged woman’s actions, the netizen lamented that “every authority involved has been trying to dust their hands off this matter.”

Criticising the police and CWS, the netizen lashed out: “The Cat Welfare Society in particular, did not respond to me at all on how one of their members managed to obtain my information. This woman has been the aggressor on all 3 incidents and she continues to make things worse by endangering me.

“The Police seem very confused as to how to carry out procedures and didn’t even give me a police report for the first two times that I reported, which was necessary to file a dispute. I was counting on the Police to show up and they didn’t. I can’t even contact the IO because he doesn’t pick up. Overall they seem extremely inefficient and unwilling to help.

“I’ve already filed a Magistrate Report and am thinking of getting a lawyer to take up the case. Is there any advice on how I should approach this matter?”

CWS has since told the Independent that the neighbour is not affiliated with the group per se. CWS’ Executive Director, Laura Ann Meranda, told The Independent:

“We have reached out to the netizen. We understand that she had formed the impression that her neighbour is an affiliate of CWS as her neighbour rescues and rehomes cats using the public adoption platform provided by CWS at www.catwelfare.org/adoptions.

“This is an online platform open to all members of the public to assist them with rehoming of cats and does not represent any affiliation with CWS per se. We have since clarified this misunderstanding with the netizen.”

The Independent has contacted the police for comment. Read the netizen’s post in full HERE.

-/TISG

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