MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian woman claimed on Wednesday that her cat was abducted by another woman who wanted a-not-so-hefty ransom in exchange for the feline’s return.
“Some crazy woman stole my cat and is extorting money from me,” Tatiana Ochinskaya said in a Facebook post. Her plump, ginger cat with its owner’s phone number on its collar went missing about a week ago after she let it take its daily “graze” outside her apartment building, she said.
Ochinskaya said the woman who got hold of the cat called her from her cell phone saying Ochinskaya had to transfer 5,000 rubles ($155) to her account at a Russian bank. To prove that the cat was alive, she sent a picture of the cat next to a laptop with Tuesday’s date, she said.
Ochinskaya did not appear to be worried about paying – and seemed mainly worried that she would not get the cat back. “She refuses to swap [the cat for money] in person and wants the cash” transferred to her bank account, Ochinskaya said. “Which basically means that I’ll never see the kitty.”
Although Ochinskaya said in comments to her post that she managed to find out the woman’s name, police “sluggishly” forwarded her pleas to the kidnapper’s cell phone operator and bank, she added. “I need help – to find out the [woman’s] actual address” using her bank account information, cell phone number and IP address, Ochinskaya said.
She did receive more than five dozen comments on her post, which was shared by almost 700 people. One of her friends suggested she tell the police that the cat had a piece of jewelry on it, which would classify the alleged abduction as a theft and prompt more action on behalf of the police.
Ochinskaya said she did not want media attention because she feared for the cat’s safety. “If we get noisy, [the abductor] will throw him out or give him to somebody [else] or worse, and I will not see him for sure,” she said in one of her comments.
However, it was the media buzz that got the cat released – but did not get him back to his owner.
Ochinskaya told RIA that a Russian television crew called the abductor and was told that the cat was released near a railway station in central Moscow. “The good news is that he has a collar with my [phone] number, and I still hope he’ll be found,” she said in a message on Facebook.
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