She thought he was a goner.
On the evening of July 16, while biking down Inkster Boulevard with her 18-month-old son in tow, Tyndall Park resident Amanda Slater noticed a car parked on Inkster near Stanley Knowles School. She saw a man exit the vehicle and violently throw something to the ground before peeling away.
"I thought to myself instantly ‘Is that an animal?’" Slater, 27, said.
"I thought it might be a paper bag because of the colour, so as I was continuing on my bike I kept my eye on it and all of a sudden it started moving."
Realizing it was a cat, Slater said she attempted to get close, but the feline ran into the long grass on the north side of Inkster, too far for Slater to get to with her young son. Also, the area is private property, indicated by a "no trespassing" sign.
Slater said she immediately called 311, but was told there was nothing that could be done without collar identification, an ear tattoo or a microchip implant. Slater then called police and provided them with a description of the man and the vehicle.
However, Slater was told nothing could be done without a license plate number or identification for the cat. (Winnipeg Police Service spokesman Const. Eric Hofley confirmed that would have been the information she was given.)
Slater didn’t stop there , however. That night she placed an ad on Kijiji, which she then shared to Facebook. Soon after, somebody shared her story to the Facebook group Lost and Found Cats in Winnipeg. A member of the group, Elizabeth LaBelle, contacted Slater and organized a search of the area on the weekend of July 18 to 20.
The search was unsuccessful but a few days later, Tyndall Park resident Derrick Hrabarchuk, 19, came across an injured, exhausted cat lying on the side of the street while driving in the area with his girlfriend. He picked up the cat and took it home.
It just so happens that Hrabarchuk’s brother’s girlfriend is a member of Lost and Found Cats in Winnipeg. The Hrabarchuks shared a photo of the cat with the Facebook group, who then shared it with Slater, who confirmed that it was indeed the same cat she had seen.
LaBelle took the cat, which was unable to chew or swallow, to St. Norbert Animal Hospital, where Dr. Navdeep Braha diagnosed a dislocated jaw and popped it back into place free of charge. Now, the frisky, four-month-old kitty is living with the Hrabarchuk family. Derrick named the cat Simba in reference to the Disney movie The Lion King.
"Right when I saw his face, that was the only name I had in my head. He has the lion’s face and his colour matches too," Derrick said.
Coincidentally, Slater lives only four houses down from the Hrabarchuks.
"It’s good to know he’s in good hands and so close and I’ve heard great things about him and how he’s very affectionate. It’s a positive story that came out of it," Slater said.
To report an instance of animal abuse or neglect, contact Winnipeg Crime Stoppers at (204)786-8477 or the Winnipeg Human Society’s animal abuse complaint line at 204-982-2028. For immediate matters of animal cruelty, contact the Winnipeg Humane Society’s emergency line at 204-982-2020 or the Winnipeg Police Service non-emergency line at 204-986-6222.