Horror of cat who had ears cut off by thugs who target strays in string of attacks

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A stray cat who had his ears cut off by thugs was named Vincent van Gogh by the vets who saved it.

Police are investigating a string of incidents where cats have been injured in Norwich in the last two weeks.

The head nurse at the veterinary surgery which treated two of the cats said they named the stray after the Sunflowers artist who famously mutilated his own ear.

Norfolk Police said one of five incidents in recent weeks involved a man seen putting a cat into a holdall, before dropping the bag and running off when challenged by a member of the public on Tuesday in the city’s Berners Street.

 

Undated handout photo issued by Taverham Vets of cat named Vincent van Gogh

The next day a woman called police to report seeing a man swinging a cat by its tail against a garage in the Philadelphia Lane area, before running off with the animal towards Pengrove Road.

A cat’s body parts were found on allotments in the Woodcock Road area on two occasions in the last five weeks, police added.

Lottie Sparkes, head nurse at Taverham Vets, described the injuries to the cats they treated as “horrific”.

She said: “Both cats were brought in for mutilation of their ears. Their ears had been chopped right down to the base of the head, and the first cat had a really nasty laceration across its back, which was obviously quite a really big open wound.

 

Horrific images of the cat after his injuries

“But that was luckily able to be stitched back together. The second cat that we had on Wednesday had just had his ears lacerated, but they were actually a lot closer to the head and on to his face, but he didn’t have any other injuries.

“It’s horrific enough, but he just had that one. He didn’t have the slash or anything on him.

“He’s doing really well. He’s been stitched up. He’s really bright and happy. He’s a really, really friendly cat. He’s lovely.”

Ms Sparkes said she had never seen such injuries in her 10 years in the job.

She said: “We often see quite bad injuries and wounds from various dogs impaling themselves, cats impaling themselves on fences and things, but nothing like this with human mutilation to animals.”

Famous artist Vincent van Gogh cut off his own ear

Ms Sparkes said they believe Vincent is a stray and pledged to rehome him within the veterinary practice’s team if no owner claims him.

“We’ve called him Vincent. Vincent van Gogh.”

Vet Jordan Smith, who dealt with Vincent at the surgery, said the team have been “deeply saddened and mortified by these attacks”, and said they are thankful that Vincent still trusts humans.

Bubba, the other cat treated at the practice, is doing “amazing” in his recovery, owner Georgina Barnes said.

“Since Bubba came home and we found him in the state he was it’s been an emotional rollercoaster, mixed emotions – worry, anger, terrified, completely heartbroken,” she said.

“I’ve had a few sleepless nights and constantly have this running through my mind.”

She said she “can’t understand why or how someone could possibly do this to any animal”.

She added: “It’s been overwhelming all of the support from complete strangers and the donations to help him get through this and the amazing work the vets have done.”

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