UK: Woman microwaves cat for eating her goldfish, gets 14 week sentence

The RSPCA said the cat died a slow and painful death [ROSS PARRY]
The RSPCA said the cat died a slow and painful death [ROSS PARRY]
The unemployed 23-year-old microwaved the cat for eating her goldfish [ROSS PARRY]
The unemployed 23-year-old microwaved the cat for eating her goldfish [ROSS PARRY]

A woman who cooked her pet kitten in a microwave as a punishment for eating her goldfish has been jailed for 14 weeks.

Jobless Laura Cunliffe, 23, put four-month-old Mowgli in the microwave, set the controls for five minutes and left it.

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Incredibly the cat, which was nearly a year old and Cunliffe had kept from a few weeks old, was still alive when it came out but she died shortly afterwards.

Jailing her at Barnsley Magistrates Court, district judge John Foster told her: “The utterly barbaric nature of the act you carried out does demand a deterrent sentence.”

The black-and-white pet suffered a slow and painful death 90 minutes later and was buried by a friend, the court heard.

Brian Orsborn, prosecuting for the RSPCA said the kitten was in a distressed state when Miss Cunliffe took it out of the oven.

She wrapped it in a towel and took it to her step-sister’s house and later said: “It was laid out and proper screeching.”

Cunliffe, of Northumberland Avenue, Hoyland, South Yorkshire disclosed what had happened to Mowgli when she visited hospital for a mental health assessment three days later.

She admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Mr Orsborn said Cunliffe told a nurse at Barnsley Hospital that the cat had woken her by jumping on the bed.

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When she went downstairs she found the goldfish in four pieces on the floor. “She was angry at the cat and put it in the microwave,” he said.

Realising what she had done was wrong she stopped the oven and the cat was still breathing when she took her to her step-sister’s.

The court heard she was “crying and shaking and had the kitten in a towel.”

The step-sister said Cunliffe told her she had put the cat in the oven for five minutes then realised what she had done and took it out after a minute.

Cunliffe later confessed to a nurse that she had not taken her medication and “the kitten had got hold of the goldfish.”

The court heard she had found bits of fish all over the kitchen and said: “I looked at the cat and thought you f**ing bitch.”


A vet who examined Mowgli said it would have “suffered immensely” and her death must have been “extremely painful.”

Alan Greaves, defending, said Cunliffe was suffering from psychosis and depression and had been sectioned several times under mental health legislation.

She described herself as “happy” but became “extremely distressed” at times. She had cared for the cat carrying it around inside her jacket and even took it out to be with her.

She had become angry with the cat and it was too late to repair the damage. “It was something done in temper on the spur of the moment,” he said.

The district judge said: “This was a shocking and distressing case.”

He realised the defendant had difficulties and she had shown remorse but she had made admissions about what she had done.

He went on: “I have concluded that you were entirely aware of what you were doing at the time you committed this shocking act.



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