EXCLUSIVE The man, who lives in Gainsborough, was the subject of the protest on Thursday night, as animal rescue services pleaded with police and the RSPCA to take the number of cats living with him away
A man who has reportedly branded himself “Catmandu” is at the centre of protests as neighbours claim he is living with 50 cats after finding them on the street.
The man, who lives in Gainsborough, was the subject of the protest on Thursday night, as animal rescue services pleaded with police and the RSPCA to take the number of cats living with him away.
Michelle Page, who runs Page’s Pet Rescue, said she first became aware of the issue around Christmas 2019.
She told how she had heard stories of the man picking cats up from the street and taking them home, and even claims of him keeping up to 50 cats inside his house.
Michelle says she went to look at the man’s garden, which is filled with barbed and chicken wire to “stop the cats getting out”.
Michelle also claims that fleas can even be seen on the curtains through the man’s window.
She said: “It’s been going on for about four years.
“He’s known to put the cats in the trolley and walk around with it and he ties kittens together and walks along the [River] Trent bank. He says he is training them to be therapy cats.
“He tells people he has 87 cats – I don’t know how many there are in there.
“I’ve looked through the windows and doors and could see fleas on the curtains.”
Michelle claims the man can often be seen in Gainsborough pushing the trolley, which he uses to house the cats after he “takes them off the street.”
She said he has even been known to walk to the village of Blyton, over five miles away, with the trolley of cats.
Michelle said: “It’s horrendous.
“I could see one of the cats looked like it had a big abscess and called the RSPCA but nothing has been done. He tells people the cats have cat flu and FIV.”
Melanie Barker, of Gainsborough Feral Rescue, said the problem has got so bad, people now post on Facebook where the man has been seen and those living nearby “take their cats inside in case he takes them”.
She said: “I found out about it a year or 18 months ago. The first time I spoke to him he told me the RSPCA gave him the cats that couldn’t be re-homed because they had cat flu.”
Melanie said she went to see the man’s house and garden and then called the police, Environmental Health and the RSPCA.
She said: “The garden is covered in barbed wire and chicken wire and the cats can’t get out.
“It is covered in cat poo. The curtains you can see through the window are filthy and are pinned together so the cats don’t even get enough day light.”
Both Michelle and Melanie were part of the protest on Thursday that was organised in an attempt to get something done, they say.
Michelle said: “We want to get the cats back to their rightful owners.
“We don’t want to take them and leave him on his own, this can’t be any good for him either. The police were called on Thursday and I said I was not leaving until something was done.
“The sergeant came and said they had contacted the RSPCA and Environmental Health.
“I told them I will be going back every night until something is done.”
Melanie added: “We just want someone to do something about it.”
A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said they would not be able to discuss individual cases, but they are grateful for those who report suspected animal abuse.
They said: “ We are aware of this incident. Unfortunately we are unable to discuss complaints about specific people, however we are grateful to people who report suspected animal suffering to us and we would like to reassure people we will always look into and, if necessary, investigate any complaints made to us about animal welfare.
“A lot of the time issues will be dealt with by advice and education and it is not always appropriate to publicise this information for legal reasons.”
Lincolnshire Police have been contacted for comment.