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Cats near death experience sends Hilmar man to jail
Randy Casey
It’s not uncommon for cats to have a distaste for water, but In Hilmar there is one feline who likely has a real abhorrence of it.
The cat was nearly a victim of drowning when a Hilmar man allegedly threw it into a canal.
The suspect, Randy Casey, 23, was booked into the Merced County Jail on a single charge of animal cruelty, according to the Merced County Sheriff’s Department.
The sheriff’s department received a call Monday morning of a man throwing a cat into the canal around the area of Lateral 7 and Geer Road in Hilmar.
Deputy Micah Brawley was dispatched to the area and found a set of wet paw prints that led into a bush in front of a home near the canal. Hidden inside the bush, Brawley found a wet, trembling, and “obviously frightened” cat, said sheriff spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie.
Witnesses described the man they had seen throw the cat into the canal, along with an accurate description of his vehicle. Brawley’s investigation led him to Casey’s residence in the 20000 block of Dayton Road in Hilmar.
Casey allegedly admitted to tossing the cat into the canal because the feline had been a constant source of nuisance to him and had given birth to several kittens that she never cared for and subsequently died, MacKenzie said.
“When confronted about throwing the cat into the canal, Casey not only admitted it, but made jokes about it,” MacKenzie said.
Casey supposedly said it was not his intent to kill the cat, but MacKenzie said the cat was thrown into a section of the canal that is about three to four feet deep with a swift current that leads under the roadway. The canal is near capacity and MacKenzie said the cat was lucky to get out before being swept under the roadway, where it almost surely would have drowned.
“Casey did agree that there was a chance the cat could have drowned and admitted to making a mistake in how he handled it,” MacKenzie said.
The cat was taken to an animal shelter for treatment.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.