I would like to thank the Payson Roundup and the Gila County Sheriff's Office for their help in exposing the horrible story of the killing of my beloved Moggie. I have had many cats and dogs in my lifetime, but none will compare to this cat. To us, he wasn't just a cat. He was a member of our family.
He was my husband's constant companion, following him around the house and yard like a dog. He was friendly and loving to all who came to visit. I have no doubt that he sat, wagging his tail, when this 17-year-old neighbor put the gun to his head. Our vet confirmed that he was shot at close range.
We last saw our cat at 3:30 in our yard when we left to make a quick trip to Payson. We returned at 5:10 with no cat waiting for us. Moggie always waited on the woodpile for us to return home, so we were immediately concerned when he wasn't there waiting for us.
Approximately one week prior to Moggie's killing, my husband and a neighbor witnessed two boys in a blue four-door car stopped in the middle of the road, staring at our cat. My husband watched from the barn, wondering why these boys would be interested in our cat. When my husband stepped out of the barn, these boys took off.
Looking back, we now realized that they might have shot him then and there, or perhaps they were just looking for an easy target for later.
When we started talking to neighbors, the stories of this group of boys attacking other cats came out.
Nothing these boys or parents can say to my husband and I will ease our suffering. They cannot begin to understand what they have done to us.
Other than the father of the 17-year-old boy who confessed, not one parent has admitted to their child's involvement in this killing spree, even though their names have been given to the Payson Police Department and the Gila County Sheriff's Department.
When the father and the boy approached my husband, they said they didn't want us to make a big deal about this. That sums it all up. It wasn't a big deal to them.
We have it in our power to mold our children into responsible, compassionate adults and the time is at hand.
Lynn Gardner, Pine
Editor's note: This letter was shortened to fit within the 400-word policy for letters to the editor.