Act of cruelty leaves Toby the tabby in pain


Toby the tabby had his whiskers cut off. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Toby the tabby had his whiskers cut off. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
A friendly Ashburton cat was in pain and refused to eat for two days after someone tied a ribbon tightly around his neck and cut his whiskers.

Toby the tabby, who lives at Tinwald Motels, returned home on Wednesday, February 21, after he was missing for about three days.

Staff member Nicky Mccormick said it was unusual for him to go missing.

While he liked to wander and had many human friends in the neighbourhood, he would rarely be away for longer than a day.

Mccormick said she turned up to work in the morning and saw Toby waiting to be let in.

While she was happy to see him, she was shocked he had a blue ribbon knotted around his neck. She had to cut it off.

‘‘It would have been quite sore on his neck,’’ she said.

Toby’s whiskers had also been chopped.

Vets advise cat whiskers grow back, but should never be cut as this can be painful and decrease the cat’s spatial awareness.

Mccormick said she and fellow team members at the motels believed what happened to Toby was an act of cruelty.

‘‘It’s just horrible that people can do that to a cat,’’ she said.

Mccormick said Toby was starting to get back to his cuddly self since his ordeal.

She had posted on social media about the incident to warn others there was someone in the area who could do this again.

She said Toby was an ‘‘absolutely beautiful’’ cat, loved by motel team members and their guests, as well as patrons at the Tinwald Tavern.

‘‘He likes to hang out with our truck drivers. He sits over at the bar doors and people pat him. He wants to get in but he’s not allowed in.’’

Now about two-years-old, Toby had turned up at the tavern as a tom cat about one year ago.

‘‘We fed him and he stayed.’’

They also got him neutered and microchipped, and provided a bed and loving home.