Cat owners across Sweden have been taking steps to ensure their pets' security amid an upsurge of animal brutality.
"Someone here is out to hurt animals. I do not know how to keep my animals safe," Marie-Louise Davidsson, a troubled cat owner from Stockholm, told the Expressen newspaper.
Earlier, Davidsson had to take the heart-wrenching decision to euthanise Alibaba the cat, who returned home from a walk brutally maimed. According to Davidsson, Alibaba's tail was fleeced, the fur and skin completely removed. The injury left the pet in so much agony that Davidsson had no other choice.
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By her own admission, Alibaba was free to run in and out of the home, as were her three other cats. Now she is afraid to let her pets out of the apartment area.
"I cannot understand how there is someone who can do this sort of thing to a poor innocent animal in this way," Davidsson said.
Her Facebook post sparked strong reactions among cat-loving Swedes; condolences to Davidsson and curses against the animal tormentors poured in. The culprits were called "perverts," "sickos" and "evil idiots," among other things.
In the post's comments section, cat owners shared stories of their pets suffering similar torture, sharing pictures of their mutilated pets. Recently, cats from other regions of Sweden were reported to have been subjected to these kinds of attacks. Earlier this week, a cat in Dalarna had to be euthanised after it got its tail and feet chopped off in what veterinarians called an act of animal abuse.
According to the animal insurance company Agria, there are about 1.4 million cats in Sweden, a nation of 10 million people. Cats are the most popular pet, outnumbering dogs, rabbits, birds, hamsters and mice. In total, 34 percent of Swedish families have pets.