OAKLAND — There was the runaway pig who terrorized town hikers for eight weeks. Then there were the geese who annoyed town beachgoers and ended up paying for their behavior with their lives. And let’s not forget the roosters who crowed so loudly and frequently that the town almost levied fines against the owners.

Add “psycho cat” to the town’s list of animals that have clashed with humans in the past two years.

Rhonda West is an animal lover. She has dogs and cats of her own. But she said she has never had an experience like she had Thursday morning, when a small but very aggressive house cat terrorized her by trapping her in her home for almost two hours. The cat even attacked her son’s car before being taken away by Animal Control Officer Pat Faucher.

“We called it psycho kitty,” West said Friday.

Around 9:30 a.m. Thursday, West, 52, was taking the trash out of her mobile home on Fairfield Street when she noticed the small black and white cat sitting in a tree in her side yard.

Its meow sounded odd to her and the animal looked cold and hungry, so she brought out a handful of cat food. When she bent down to put the food beneath the tree, the animal pounced.


“It was all over me, just trying to attack me,” West said.

The cat jumped on her head and clawed her face, leaving scratches on her forehead and right cheek that were visible Friday afternoon.

Terrified, West retreated into her home and called the police.

“I said ‘I’ve got an attack cat here,’ ” she said.

The police told her that the animal control officer was on his way.

While she waited, the cat occupied the small porch at her front door. From there, it attacked the glass storm door and tried to get into the house, preventing her and her two small Chihuahua-dachshund puppies, Molly and Sunshine, from leaving.


“I was scared to death by then,” she said.

About 10 a.m. she called the police again to report the new assaults and request help.

When her son Brian pulled up to the house in his car about 10:30 a.m., the cat leaped on top of his Buick LaCrosse and tried to claw him through an opening in the driver’s side window.

She called the police again to report the new attack. When Oakland Animal Control Officer Patrick Faucher came to collect the animal, it also went after him.

West, who has lived with animals her entire life and once raised pit bulls, said this was a first.

“I don’t know if something was wrong, if it had been abused,” she said. “It’s a beautiful cat, just nuts.”


Faucher said that while the cat didn’t mind being around him, it did not want to be touched or picked up.

“It definitely had an independent streak,” Faucher said.

He was able to coax it into a cage with some food and deliver it to the animal shelter. He estimated the cat is about 2 years old and weighs seven or eight pounds.

Faucher said he deals with difficult animal situations two or three times a year, and he’s seen cats display some extreme behavior.

“They can actually climb walls and ceilings if you’re trying to catch them and they become upset,” he said.

It’s not the first time the town has had to deal with unruly animals.


In May, a pig escaped from an Oak Street farm and terrorized children and adults on nearby nature trails before being caught in July.

Also in July, Canada geese at the town beach bothered beachgoers until the town had them removed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and they were later killed, prompting an outcry. When geese returned, the town turned to more humane means, including placing a fake plastic fox at the beach.

In 2013 noisy roosters prompted a proposal to fine the owners, a move that was tabled by the Town Council.

But staff from the Humane Society Waterville Area said that, even though Faucher brought the cat in with a warning that it was aggressive, it proved to be quite friendly and playful, said administrative assistant Jenny Tuemmler.

All indications are that the cat is a stray, Tuemmler said.

The shelter holds cats for six days in case an owner comes to get them. If no one claims the animal, they are checked for disease and spayed or neutered before being put up for adoption.

Tuemmler couldn’t say for sure why the cat would act so strangely at West’s house.

“I’ve actually petted that cat,” she said. “He’s a nice little kitty.”

Comments are no longer available on this story

filed under: