LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - In what animal control officials say was likely a cruel joke, a cat is recovering after being left to die inside a mesh backpack and thrown into a Lufkin pond.
"You could tell it had just been thrown out there," Allison Maxwell said. "Just tossed like a piece of trash."
"It was making the most God-awful noise you can imagine," she said. "It just pierced right through you."
Wednesday night, Maxwell came to the VFW pond off Ford Chapel Road in Lufkin to bird watch.
She saw several kids gathered around looking at something in the water.
"It was a backpack and they brought it up on the bank and we could see that whatever was in it had little white feet," Maxwell said.
About six feet off-shore, zipped up, inside a mesh backpack was a young cat left to drown.
"Whoever did that, did that on purpose," Maxwell said. "That cat did not pull that zipper up over itself."
Maxwell says she immediately called the police and tried to keep the cat warm until animal control arrived.
"It was very cold, wet, and unresponsive," said Rhonda McLendon, the Lufkin Animal Control director.
"I didn't know when I gave him to animal control if it was going to make it through the next half hour," Maxwell said.
But he did.
An officer stayed up all night to help slowly raise his body temperature.
Now he's moving around slowly, but not eating. He is just on liquids.
"It's really a sickening thing and reminds you how mean people can be," McLendon said.
"It was just completely senseless, completely," Maxwell said. "I've never seen anything that horrible, ever."
Authorities have searched the backpack for any information, but so far have no leads.
"He's lucky he survived it," McLendon said. "We really didn't expect him to."
Animal control says they believe the cat is about six to eight months old and it does have a little blue collar on it, so they do believe it belongs to someone.
They'll hold him for about five days, hoping the owner will claim him.
After that, they'll try to find another home for him.
"Eventually a human like that affects all of us and someone who learns that as a child, learns how to hurt people as an adult," Maxwell said.
They say it's likely a cruel joke. Maxwell says someone should be held responsible.