Family distraught as adorable cats from same litter are found poisoned
A heartbroken cat owner has told of her sorrow after two of her animals were found poisoned less than 24 hours apart in Ballyclare.
Archie and Oscar, who were born of the same litter and owned by Chloe-Louise Cherry, were both found dead in separate locations.
Chloe-Louise (23), a care assistant, bought the pair together two years ago and cared for them alongside her border collie, Henry.
She left the cats in the care of her grandparents, Deirdre and Roger McCune, both aged 70, at their home in Victoria Gardens, after relocating, but visited them every day.
Chloe-Louise went to see Beyonce in concert in Dublin on Sunday and returned home after hearing the shock news from her grandmother, who was heartbroken over the loss.
"They were more house cats than not as they would never leave the house for more than an hour," Chloe-Louise said.
"Oscar had gone missing for around two days, so I put an advert online on Antrim Lost and Found to see if anyone had seen him as he would not usually stay out like that.
"The two cats and Henry used to sleep on the bed with my grandparents. You would let one out then you'd have to let the other out too as one would wait on the other. And although they would leave together, they would come home separately, but usually after about an hour.
"On Sunday, my granny rang me to say she had found Archie - he was lying dead on the bedroom window of her bungalow.
"She was heartbroken and so was I. I rushed home from Dublin then took a call from a woman who said she had spotted a cat lying dead in the field behind a Masonic Hall. It was Oscar. I just couldn't believe it."
The cats' bodies were taken to the vet, who confirmed that both had been poisoned, but he could not say what had been used.
Another cat owner in a nearby street reported that her cat had also been found dead in the garden of her Gateside Manor home the day before.
Now Chloe-Louise is appealing to pet owners in the area to be vigilant and is urging people to take care when using pesticides in their gardens.
"We don't know if someone has done this deliberately," she said. "It could have been something like weed killer in a garden which the cats have consumed, although it's odd that both of them have been poisoned.
"We hope there isn't someone out there who has deliberately done this because if that is the case, then they really need to have a think about the heartache they have caused us and another family.
"I haven't stopped crying, and my grandparents are heartbroken. Then there is the other lady who found her cat dead too.
"It's so sad thinking that one of them tried to make their way home, but that the other was left to die all alone in a field in torrential rain. It's just terrible thinking about it.
"We don't want to believe that someone has gone out of their way to do this, we really don't.
"If you don't like cats, the best thing to do is shoo them away, there's no need to harm them."
Chloe-Louise visited the pair as kittens from they were one week old before bringing them home six weeks later.
She said the grief of losing both of them had caused her great pain in her chest from crying, and that both her and her grandmother were distraught when having the cats cremated on Sunday.
"They came into this world together and they left together, so we held a double cremation - we thought that was best," Chloe-Louise added.
Anyone with information on the death of the cats is asked to contact the PSNI on 101.