BEVERLY — Six-month-old “Spooky,” a black and white tuxedo cat, did not go quietly or gently.
On Tuesday night, the kitten howled as it was dragged on an old dog leash through snowbanks and puddles, police say, by the son of its owner. Neighbors told police that the kitten’s rear legs — later found to be broken — were not moving.
When police confronted that man, Anthony Geyer, 21, the following afternoon, after the cat was found dead, his hands were covered in deep scratches.
Geyer claimed that Spooky died from “natural causes” and that the scratches and swelling on his hands were from a recent fight.
But Beverly police aren’t buying that story and have charged Geyer with animal cruelty. Geyer is now being held without bail, pending a hearing next week to determine whether his release poses a danger to the public.
“He’s a sick, sick person,” said Geyer’s mother, Cherie Brown, who found her kitten, frozen, in the kitchen sink when she returned home Wednesday morning after a brief hospital stay.
“He tortured him bad,” she said, struggling to hold back tears.
Police found a near-hysterical Brown when they arrived at her Cabot Street apartment early Wednesday afternoon in response to a 911 call.
Neighbors helped police piece the story together.
One woman, Crystal Russell, told police that she saw Geyer dragging the kitten around outside on Tuesday evening. It was “howling” and covered with ice, she told police. When she confronted Geyer, he told her that he had taken the kitten out to let it “poop.” She told him that cats use litter boxes and told him to take it inside.
Another neighbor, Chris Perkins, told officers he saw Geyer dragging the soaking-wet kitten up the stairs. Perkins told Geyer to pick up the cat, whose back legs weren’t moving, and carry it inside to get it warm.