The grizzly remains of a cat in Ahwatukee Foothills were found by resident Theo Kurrus earlier this month and he took it upon himself to find out what happened.

Kurrus was pulling out of his driveway in a neighborhood near Kyrene del Milenio Elementary School early one morning as the sun was just beginning to rise over the horizon. He noticed something in the road and went over to take a closer look. What he found was heartbreaking — the top half of a cat’s body, that he said “had been gutted.”

“It was the top half that looked like it was surgically cut at the ribs,” he said.

Kurrus believes there is someone, not something — be it coyote, owl or another animal — that did it. And he has put out a reward for more information about who that someone is.

It hits home for Kurrus because he has seen this happen in his neighborhood before.

“This is the third time it has happened in our area,” he said. “Six months ago we found another cat that had been cut in half.”

A representative for Arizona Game and Fish said that it is not uncommon for small animals to be found with half of a body due to the closeness of the South Mountain preserve. But Nora Fascenelli said that “a few years back there was a rash of similar incidents in Ahwatukee Foothills ... (and) there was speculation that it was cult activity.” But she said that was all it was — speculation.

The situation struck Kurrus as odd because there was no blood trail leading to the cat and he said it looked like someone just “dropped it there on purpose.”

When asked about that, Fascenelli said that sometimes when a coyote makes a kill, they will return to their den with a portion to feed their litter. And she said in this case, a car might have driven by, scaring the coyote so that it dropped it.

The truth of that day may never be fully realized, but Fascenelli said that it is always important to monitor cats and small animals so that they are safe from predators.

If you have any information, contact Kurrus at (602) 906-6013.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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