According to the incident report by patrol deputy John Haynes, Bobby McClain, a Californian who was visiting his brother, was working on a neighbor’s garage in the 18000 block of Colorado Highway 145 when he saw a cat lying on the ground and “yowling” as if in pain.
McClain told The Journal on Monday that he approached the cat to see if it was injured, and it attacked him, jumping on his face and biting and clawing him.
“There’s no way I was going to get out of this unless I ripped it off my head,” Bobby McClain told The Journal. “It was trying to kill me.”
Thomas McClain, who was also at home, chased the cat away by hitting it with a stick, he said.
Bobby McClain suffered lacerations on his face, ears, left arm and right hand, some of which required staple sutures. He also said he underwent rabies vaccinations.
According to the report, Thomas McClain has adopted feral cats in the past, but said he didn’t recognize the cat in question, which he said was black and looked too well groomed to be a stray.
Haynes spoke to the McClain’s neighbor, Pamela Shanks, to ask if she witnessed anything. She reportedly responded, “It wasn’t Midnight, was it?”
She picked up a black cat named Midnight and showed it to Haynes. She told Haynes that Midnight was a house cat, and though he never went outside, he had been acting nervous that morning.
“I reached my hand partway toward the cat, and the cat hissed at me,” Haynes said in his report. “Shanks offered to surrender the cat to me, but I told her if she wanted to surrender the cat, she could take it to the Cortez Animal Shelter herself.”
Shanks picked up the cat again, and it hissed a second time at the deputy.
“I cleared the scene without further incident,” Haynes said.
It was unknown whether charges would be filed against Shanks.
On Saturday, Shanks told The Journal through a Facebook message that she left Midnight in the care of a friend. She said she wasn’t sure whether Midnight was the cat that attacked McClain, but her friend’s home might be a safer place for him.
Shanks did say Midnight was “protective.”
“He’s like a guard dog in cat form,” she said.
Haynes was not available for comment, because he was out of the Sheriff’s Office on leave, but Sheriff Steve Nowlin said he wasn’t surprised to learn the deputy had investigated a cat fight.
“Poor kid, he always seems to get those cases,” he said.