Mysterious Mile End Cat Caper Is Not Fiction

Picture above - Patio of Club Social, corner St Viateur & Jeanne Mance.

This morning when I dropped off my son at daycare, I asked Cindy, the childcare specialist, whether she had heard anything about cats disappearing in the area. She said that she had, but that the disappearances had taken place in the fall. As I handed Junior off to Cindy, she called one of her neighbours over and asked her if she knew anything more about the missing cats.

As Junior went into the house with the Cindy, I walked over to the gate to talk to Paula, a short thirty-year-old woman with dark hair and glasses. She said that a woman had put up posters on both sides of Jeanne Mance Street in the Mile End last September. Apparently, a few of Paula's neighbours had lost cats, but she hadn't heard anything about it so far this spring.

Just then Cindy stuck her head out her front door and yelled, "I think they caught the guy who was doing it. Wasn't he killing them and putting them in his freezer?"

"Oh, that's creepy," I said.
"Yes, we were all creeped out," said Paula. "That's the first sign of a sociopath--cruelty to animals."

I asked her if she knew the person who had posted the "Red Alert." Paula knew the woman in passing and thought that she lived on Jeanne Mance, but she wasn't sure of her exact address. As is the case in most neighbourhoods, we talk to a lot of people without ever knowing their full names or anything else about them. The best I could get was a vague description:

"Well, she has red hair. You know the kind of red hair like they had in the eighties." (I didn't, but nodded anyway.)

The woman was regularly seen walking her big black dog on Jeanne Mance. The only other detail I got was that the dog apparently didn't like men. (I guess Blackie had had a bad experience....) Anyway, I felt like I was playing the broken telephone game and was the last person to hear the message.

Before I left, I stuck my head back in Cindy's door to hear the wail of a small child who didn't want to go out. I asked her if she knew anything more about the Mile End cat caper.

Struggling to get a hat on the little one, Cindy said, "Just what I told you, but why don't you google 'Dead cats in freezer' when you get home."

On my way home, I stopped to inquire at the police station but was told they needed a file number to give me any further information. The police officer said that she had heard about the story a year ago, but the file had been opened in a precinct farther north in the city.

In the summer, I spend a lot of time in the Mile End, particularly on Jeanne Mance picking up and dropping off Junior, so I might run into the red-headed woman and her black dog.

As I got home, I thought about the absurdity of Cindy's suggestion to google "dead cats in freezer." But then, I know she is a fan of true crime stories, so maybe this was not an exaggeration.

Anyway, I did the googling, and lo and behold there was a story in the Gazette last August about a Notre-Dame-de-Grace man who ...

Click here for the first installment of the Mysterious Mile End Cat Caper.

Click here for the second installment of the Mysterious Mile End Cat Caper.


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