Residents of a northeast Detroit neighborhood have been cautious when venturing out on their local streets because a huge hissing cat has been spotted roaming the area for a month. Resident, Reginique Williams described the cat to WJBK Fox 2 news, “It’s tall. It has long arms, a very long tail, and a small head.”
Witnesses in the area around Joann Street south of 8 mile say it is as tall as 4 feet and the extra large 30-pound feline walks around unafraid of humans. Another young resident said, “I was just looking at it and that’s when it looked like an evil thing. So I just, I just ran.”
However experts from Paws for the Cause Feral Cat Rescue, who are trying to trap and save the cat, say the feline is likely more afraid of humans than the neighbors are of it. Matt Bruzek, Director of the organization, identified the breed saying, “It’s a Savannah cat. They’re bred with an African Serval and a domestic cat and depending on how far down the breeding chain they are they can be fairly wild.” Laura Wilhelm-Bruzek added, “My guess is someone had it that wasn’t familiar with the breed. Thought it was a really cool thing to have. Decided it wasn’t for whatever reason, and threw it outside.”
Vondell Boyer, vice president of the Greenbrier Council neighborhood association where the cat was seen, echoed concern of the residents and is worried that once the large cat runs out of prey like squirrels, rabbits and small animals, it may target children.
Reportedly Detroit Police and Animal Control were called but allegedly did not respond. Recently, the Michigan Humane Society said they would investigate. Tom McPhee of Ann Arbor’s World Animal Awareness Society said that there are 10-20 stray cats in Detroit for every stray dog.
McPhee added that the recent reports of 50,000 stray dogs in the city were over estimations. However the number of felines still amounts to a substantial figure, and has not been helped by budget constraints of nearby Oakland County, which has forced the discontinuation of programs to round up stray cats.
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