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Family attacked by pet cat! :(

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Siamese Went On Rampage - To Protect Kitten

Cocoa Puff. One cat, one family, four cops, Cocoa goes cuckoo!

When Cocoa Puff attacked her Dartmouth family from Nova Scotia twice, the four-year-old Siamese cat probably thought she was protecting a 12-week-old kitten.

Robert and Laurel Mancini were upstairs in their two-storey Princess Margaret Boulevard home when Sherry Higgs, their 14-year-old babysitter, arrived at 3pm. to take care of their two children. Higgs had just finished admiring their new kitten, Kahlua, when Cocoa Puff came around the corner and started clawing the girl’s legs.

"The cat just snapped," Robert Mancini said.

Cocoa Puff is not the kitten’s mother. But the pair had bonded and the older female was even nursing Kahlua. "I think she felt she was protecting the kitten," Laurel Mancini said.

Higgs suffered "multiple lacerations from the knee down," said Robert Mancini, a paramedic. "All we heard was screaming."

Laurel Mancini, 30, ran downstairs to find her children, Cody, 7, Caitlyn, 10, and their babysitter under attack. "The cat was puffed out like a porcupine," she said.

The three youngsters ran upstairs, but Higgs didn’t make it. "The cat caught her at the top of the staircase and began to attack her again," Robert Mancini said.

"So I grabbed a pair of jeans and I pinned the cat to the floor. The cat rolled over and then bit through the jeans into my thumb," he said. "I had to release the cat. The cat then attacked the babysitter again, over and over."

Robert Mancini, 28, managed to knock the cat over the stairs and they all hid in upstairs bedrooms. He said he tried calling the city’s animal control officers, but they refused to help. "We fled the house," he said. "We all ran for our lives."

Robert Mancini took the kids to a doctor while his wife went to work.

When they came home a few hours later, Cocoa Puff seemed calm. But at 6 p.m., the cat went ballistic again.

"It let out a vicious scream and lunged at me," Robert Mancini said.

"It came downstairs with one intention, and that was to harm us."

He tried dragging the cat outside on his leg. "My jeans were destroyed and my socks were coated in blood."

But when Cocoa Puff saw the door closing with her and Mancini outside, she bolted back inside. That left the concerned father locked outside with no key and his children held prisoner by a 'crazed' cat.

Caitlyn climbed on top of the kitchen table. But Cocoa Puff jumped up and started mauling her again. Caitlyn eventually managed to get upstairs. Her legs are covered with gouges and bruises.

A neighbour heard her screams and called police.

Four cops eventually got the door open, cornered Cocoa Puff and pushed her in a cage. But they turned over a couch, a bed and a coffee table in the process.

Sadly, Robert Mancini took Cocoa Puff to the Metro Animal Emergency Clinic and paid $95 to get her "destroyed."

Clinic manager Sandra MacLean said they’ll wait to the end of the week.

"We’re just going to hold her for a few days to make sure that’s exactly what they want to do," she said, adding the cat’s in quarantine as a precaution against rabies, but that’s unlikely.

Cocoa Puff’s veterinarian told the clinic the cat has a "history of aggression," that includes biting, MacLean said.

And the feline was still riled up at the clinic yesterday.

"If you look at her, she’s sort of hissing and spitting at you."

Laurel Mancini, the cat’s owner, said it’s unlikely she’ll change her mind about euthanizing Cocoa Puff.

Cocoa Puff doesn’t usually like outsiders, but she’d never attacked her owners before, Robert Mancini said.

"She never in our four years hurt anybody or threatened anybody, she was very loving to us." Robert Mancini said.
post #2 of 21
Thread Starter 
I can understand why this family is extremely upset, but I think the cat should have a through examination to rule out physical problems as the cause for the attacks before any decision is made. What does everyone else think?????
post #3 of 21
I agree.
If this cat is just protecting her"baby" them they should respect her and give her the space she needs to do just that.
I'm sorry, but putting her to sleep is just a wimps way out. they need to find out what caused the cat to go nuts like that in the first place and then take steps to help fix the problem. I bet there is ALOT more to this story then the people are saying. I bet the kids had something to do with the cats reaction, and the adults won't say whats up.
sorry my personal opinion that's all.
post #4 of 21
I agree with Barb -- I'm betting the kids did something to get her to react that way, which in that case, would be their fault and not Cocoa Puff.
post #5 of 21
Oh man, that's too sad

Atleast they could have tried to adopt her away to someone who doesn't have small children or whatever... This sucks
post #6 of 21
It seems the "second" attack was more malicious than just trying to protect her babies.

I know I am going to be in the minority here, and I know that most of you will think I'm crazy. But if that was one of MY cats and they had attacked my children to the point where a paramedic had to come, the cat would not even make it to the Clinic to be "destroyed".

I am not being cruel. I love my cats, but there is no way I would take the time to adopt them out or try to discover if there was an underlying med cause. No way, if a cat attacked my kids, and I dont mean just a scratch. I mean the way its described in this story, there would not be a doubt in my mind that the cat would have to be put down.

Ok, go ahead, let the flames begin!!!!!!!!! LOL
post #7 of 21
There's always 2 sides to every story. There had to be a reason for Cocoa Puff went bananas whether it was due to a health problem or behavioral problem. It would be hard to say what I would in that situation since I've never been there before but I've seen the damage a cat attack can do and it's not pretty.

Yesterday morning we put a cat to sleep who had been in quarentine for a week. This cat had several times in the past attacked her owner and he kept making excuses. The cat was very unpredictable and would sometimes be ok with you then other times would just attack you for no reason. The last time the cat attack the man he had to have surgery on his hand she did that much damage.

I wonder if cats can suffer from rage syndrome like dogs?
post #8 of 21
Daniela- You'll see no flaming from me, I'm with you on this one 100%.

I adore my animals, ask anyone- but the day one of them harmed my children to the degree the cat in this story did, would be the day it made its last trip to the Vet. That cat was way out of control, and whether or not it was a physical problem wouldn't make much difference to me, I could never trust it around my kids again. The cat was very lucky that its even at a clinic to be adopted out, IMO. If it had of been my husband, I can say it never would have made it that long- and No, hes not an animal hater.

I guess what it comes down to for me is that my kids are number one over any animal in all cases. I think its a parents responsibility to keep their kids safe from harm, and I really think this family did the right thing.
post #9 of 21
I am a cat lover-many people would say, to the extreme. My cats are my babies. However, I am a human mother first! I would not have an animal who could not be trusted around either adults or children. It is normal for little ones to chase the kitty to play with it, and it's also normal for the kitty to run and hide. Something is dreadfully abnormal in this situation. I feel bad for the cat if it has a physical problem, but I would not want to trust it with any other human being.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
I agree that the safety of young children has to be the most important consideration. But if something like this happened to my family I would still want to know what caused the cat to attack and whether or not I could have done something that would have prevented the problem from occuring in the first place. I would also want to make sure it never happened again with any other pet.
post #11 of 21
Wow, thanks guys for not totally tearing into me! I was sure as soon as I hit that submit button that perhaps I should have kept my thoughts to myself. I didn't want to come across as an animal "hater" because I'd choose to put the cat down.

Thanks for the support. And by the way, I do feel badly for the cat in this story. Its too bad that the whole thing had to happen, but I think they made the right decision in putting him down.
post #12 of 21
Then have a necropsy done to determine what if anything was wrong with the cat. I have seen two cat attacks in my life. Once when I was really young, our black cat Smokey attacked my father. It was pretty ugly and unprovoked.It would be found out later that he had rabies, and my dad had to undergo those painful rabies shots. Smoke used to go and hunt gophers in the big field behind our home and it was thought he got into an infected gopher and contracted rabies that way.

The only other time was when we were living in Alaska and one of the ferals had her kittens in my studio. Stormy, a neutered black kitty got into the kittens and went nuts, he was trying to kill them so I reached in to stop it. (I know stupid me) But I just reacted without thinking. Stormy got his claws wrapped around my arm and wouldn't let go. The only way I could dislodge him was by slamming my throbbing arm against a wall till he dropped. He flew outside and Mike took me to the hospital where I had a nasty mess to deal with. When I got home, Stormy was gone. I never asked Mike what happened to him, but I can imagine I know. The vet told me later that newborn kittens smell like newborn mice and some cats will go crazy smelling all that smell at once. I don't know what made him go ballistic, but I was really scared at the time and thought I was going to loose the use of my fingers.
post #13 of 21
I agree, Hissy. If that cat had rabies or another contagious disease, not only are the human beings in danger, but also other animals who have been in contact with that cat. My cat had a convulsion once (he was old, and it was the beginnings of a kidney problem which killed him a year later), and the vet who was trying to control him told be to stand back. He said Blacky had no idea what he was doing and could hurt me, and he did not want to be responsible for that. He had to grab Blacky by the back of the neck because his claws were out and his eyes were wild. He flooded the cat's system with fluids. At the time, he assumed Blacky had stepped in weed and feed. (That was about 15 years ago. My cats no longer go outside.)
Under those circumstances I completely trusted Blacky when he was well again, and I was right. Each case is individual.
post #14 of 21
Just to play devil's advocate: If a dog attacks a person, any person but especially children, it is almost immediately put down no questions asked. Most people don't question this because of the amount of damage that an attacking dog can do. Why should this be different for a cat?

Obviously, we are all animal lovers on this site or we wouldn't be here. IMO, there are some animals that need to be destroyed because of behaviour, whether or not there are "mitigating circumstances," i.e. medical or mental problems. Of course, I also think some people should be destroyed for the same reasons. (OK, go ahead and start the flaming on that least animals generally attack on instinct, some people do it just for the "fun" of it.)

I'm sure there were events leading up to the attacks from this cat, but since it wasn't just one isolated incident (i.e. the cat calmed down after realizing that the kitten wasn't in danger) there really isn't much of an option. She needed to be destroyed.
post #15 of 21
I agree with you all here....this family did the right thing having that cat put to sleep. It is sad, yes. But...if one of my cats went nuts and did major physical harm to someone I loved,especially a child, the cat would have to go...I would not take the chance of this happening again.
post #16 of 21
Well, I must be the odd one out

I read and re-read the article and I wouldn't be so quick to put her down and here's why. First, it doesn't sound to me like the cat had caused such horrible injuries as you might think. The worst we're told about are "multiple lacerations" to the babysitter. Yes, a paramedic was called but the girl didn't need stitches and wasn't even referred to a doctor, so my guess is we're talking about a couple of scratches (maybe they called in the paramedic just so as the girl wouldn't sue them later). I had to put down my cat every time I got scratched I wouldn't have cats older than one month...

From the sound of it, Cocoa Puff is a cat with a mild and probably treatable problem of aggression. That one incident with the babysitter made everyone around her behave like crazy - no wonder she became so scared as to attack again and again. I say it's probably fear induced aggression. If someone threw a pair of jeans at me and tried to pin me down to the ground I would react quite violently myself...

I think the cat should be held at the vet's clinic for a few days to rule out rabies and then I would call in a good behaviorist. Just my 2 cents.
post #17 of 21
I'm with you, Anne.
post #18 of 21
It said the babysitter had multiple lacerations, which could mean anything from a scratch to a deep cut.

It also says that the daughter was bruised and gouged during the second attack. The cat must have been pretty rough to bruise the girl. I've been bitten by my kitties pretty rough and never had a black and blue mark. This cat meant business I think.

Not trying to say you are wrong Anne in your view, but until its happened to one of your children, I think its hard to say that the cat deserved another chance.
post #19 of 21
hey! i'm in the process of moving so i have not had much time to be on here lately. but anyway, 5 years ago when i had only 2 cats my female named freind did attack. she had kittens at the time. well there was a stray that i fed outside and one night i opened the door and my male (zazu) charged out the door and attacked the stray. they fell off the balcony. it was hell trying to stop the fight. when we brought zazu back in, my little girl who was 4 at time loved on zazu. then freind who had been tending her babies, jumped right in the middle of my daughters chest. she just got minor scratches but it did scare us. my husband simply grabbed freind and put her in the bedroom. she had smelled the stray tom on my little girl. because when we brought zazu back in, he had big chunks of cat hair in his paws. freind has always been my daughters cat and still is. she has never acted that way again. she was just protecting her babies. and both my husband and i knew this. my opinion is.... an animal does not attack for no reason at all.
post #20 of 21
I agree with most of what is being posted. The main problem, as far as I can make it, is knowing what really happened. As others have pointed out, the term laceration is ambiguous-scratches or deep cuts. Assuming that the original post was the transcription of a news item, it's hard to determine the severity of the attacks. The reporter uses a lot of strong language and is obviously trying to bring across the idea of a savage un-provoked attack. Is this reality or just sensationalizing an event. After all, that is what sells newspapers. (I'm always a little sceptic of what I read.) That same article, with the same facts, could have been written in such a way as to make the cats behaviour seem much less agressive.

Still, if the attack was as brutal as the reporter made it out to be, I think the cat clearly had to be put to sleep. Even if a cause could be found to explain this behaviour, who's to say that there is only one cause? That cat could attack again and perhaps the consequences would be far worse!

If the children's behaviour is partially to blame, then it is the parent's responsibility to find out about that and rectify the matter before even thinking of getting a new cat.
post #21 of 21
I have mixed feelings about this story. If the cat did attack the children and cause bruising and lacerations, then it should have been put to sleep.
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