A senior citizen has been charged with animal cruelty after investigators say she captured a neighbor's cat and stuffed it in a small cooler.
Billy Biggs with Metro Animal Control said they received a call from a lady saying she had confined a cat.
"She said it was in a cooler. We made a top priority to get out there as quick as we could. By the time we got there, it was sitting in the sun. The cat was deceased. It died a horrible death," Biggs explained.
According to Animal Control, 71-year-old Judith Hay captured the cat because she was tired of the cat being on her property, and that she didn't care if it was dead or not.
Authorities said Hay then pushed the cat into a tiny cooler, screwed the lid on tight and left it sitting in the sun before calling Animal Control.
Julie Crowe, the owner of the cat, adopted him from a friend one year ago. Her 7 year old triplets were ecstatic to have him.
When the siblings couldn't agree on a name, the family simply named their pet "Cat the Cat".
Crowe put a microchip in Cat when they got him, just in case anything happened, which is how Animal Control was able to notify her about what happened.
"I was horrified. He's been a great pet. He's being playing with the dog, and playing with the kids. He's a good member of our family and the kids have enjoyed him," Crowe told Nashville's News 2 Investigates.
"What [the kids] know is that someone called me and told me that the cat has died. The kids were upset. My daughter was crying," she explained.
Crowe added that she doesn't let her dogs out without supervision anymore, and that she's concerned for her children's safety.
"I have not seen [Hay] since. I'm hoping to have the strength to ignore her and move on," she said.
Animal Control stated that unlike dogs, there is no leash law for cats. Nothing that Cat did would have been considered against the law.
Hay is charged with animal cruelty, a misdemeanor.
She had no comment when approached by Nashville's News 2 Investigates.