ADAMS -- Carrie Loholdt has seen some terrible scenes as the Animal Control Officer in Adams, but she couldn't believe what she saw on Dec. 20.
That day, a worker at Specialty Minerals Inc. was out for a walk when he heard a meow. According to Loholdt, the employee searched the area and found the cat tied to a tree, choking. The employee called 911 and Loholdt responded.
Someone had fashioned sticks and a shoelace into a small gallows and wrapped the shoelace around the cat's neck in an attempt to hang it. The weight of the cat, however, had collapsed the structure, but it remained tethered in place.
"It was so cruel," she said. "To get where she was, you had to cross a foot bridge and use a key for the metal gate or go through the small stream."
The shoelace was wrapped so tight around the cat's neck, Loholdt couldn't cut it off on scene with a pair of scissors, she said.
When the cat was brought to the animal hospital, the veterinarian said she was between 6 and 9 months old. After several medications and care, she's made a full recovery, but is still skittish when someone moves their hands quickly toward her.
"She's petrified," Loholdt said. "She must have been hit, too."
Loholdt and her volunteer crew that paid for the cat's medication and for her to be spayed named her Cleo.
Typically, animal control officers don't work with cats because there isn't a budget to do so, Loholdt said. But considering what Cleo had gone through, Loholdt said it was necessary to pay for the cat's care.
A spaghetti fundraiser dinner is scheduled for Feb. 24, from 4-7 p.m., at the Polish National Alliance in Adams to help recoup some of the costs and hopefully make enough to help other animals.
If someone wants to adopt Cleo, Loholdt said the adoption fee would be waived.
"Cleo is going to be a hard placement," Loholdt said. "She's not a big cuddle-bug yet, but she needs to be in a home, she couldn't be an outside cat. She needs someone with a big heart to give her a chance."
For information on how to adopt Cleo or other animals, visit the Northern Berkshire Cat Rescue website, www.gdcnerescue.org.
Loholdt continues to investigate who attempted to kill the cat, but has no leads.
To reach Josh Stilts:
or (413) 496-6243.
On Twitter: @JoshStilts