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Pet Cat ‘Goes Nuts,’ Attacks Girl, Is Strangled

From Associated Press

No one will ever know why a pet cat mauled an 8-year-old girl in a series of attacks that were finally stopped when two men wrestled the animal to the ground and strangled it, an official said Friday.

“I would say it’s certainly going to be a mystery forever,” said microbiologist Julie Crosby at the Department of Human Services laboratory in Augusta. “The only thing we can say is it was negative for rabies.”

“Sometimes cats just go nuts,” said the lab’s Dr. Philip Haines. “Maybe somebody pulled its tail.”

Haines said that the 3-year-old cat, Gypsy, could have gone crazy because of other ailments, including distemper, a brain tumor or an infection, but that the lab tested the cat only for rabies.

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Gypsy attacked Amy Johnson several times last week, clawing a one-inch gash above her right eye that required four stitches. Amy’s father, Mike Johnson, came to the rescue by striking the cat with a mop handle.

The family was finally driven from its home for several hours. Upon their return, the cat attacked the girl again, so Johnson called police.

When patrolman Gary Berg arrived, the two men got the biting and scratching cat to the floor, and Johnson strangled it.

“I was tired and the cat was freaking out and both of us were getting sliced and diced,” Johnson said at the time. “I was afraid if I let her go she would kill me. She had an evil look on her face.”

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