A Massachusetts woman grieving the loss of her beloved pet is reaching out to ask for help in finding his assailant, and has found support from both the offline and online community. Natalie Avery, of Westfield, a town just to the west of Springfield, is heartbroken and stunned at Thomas’s death and the understanding that someone shot and assaulted her sweet and loving 12 year old boy. Rather than remaining helpless and alone in her grief, Natalie has turned outward, with appearances on her local TV news and a the creation of a Facebook page dedicated to Thomas’ memory and her quest to find his killer and bring them to justice.
Natalie wrote a note for publication in a local paper: “There is a CAT KILLER in our town, someone near the Holyoke road area. On Monday Sept. 3, 2012, my sweet-natured, friendly cat Thomas, staggered to me crying in pain. His leg was obviously displaced. I brought him right to Boston Road clinic where they found a pellet wound in his chest near his heart, and a badly broken leg. This was a closed fracture; a traumatic break that is consistent with a direct violent encounter with a human… Who would do this? This sociopath needs to be found and punished. If anyone knows ANYTHING… please do the right thing. Thank you.”
Without the full cooperation of the treating vet who examined Thomas and took xrays of his injured areas, Natalie felt that she was unable to get the rigorous investigation from animal control and the police that she would have hoped for, so she has taken it upon herself to consult with other vets and pursue the investigation herself. Natalie has shared her experience in trying to get answers in the case at her Justice for Thomas Facebook page. As expressed at the page, she has to wonder about people known to her, as well as those who may randomly have encountered Thomas. A vet who examined Thomas’ xrays last week suspects that he was shot with a pellet a few weeks before the Labor Day weekend attack that effectively finished him off. At this point, though, there are more questions than answers in the case.
To give supporters a feel for Thomas’ unique and special spirit, Natalie wrote at the Facebook page, “I cared for my mom here at my house all year during her battle with cancer. She was always cold. Thomas would lay by here side and keep her warm: if she got too warm, she would nudge him to move down to her feet, and he did. My elderly neighbor recently lost hiswife. With no family to visit him, my kids and I would check on him daily after her passing. Thomas would stroll over to him and sit on his lap in the sun. I had brain surgery 7 years ago to remove a tumor. I suffer from headaches almost daily. When I needed to lay down, Thomas would come to me when i called and he would drape his body over the top of my head. This cat was a healer… I miss him so much.”