KATY, TX (KTRK) -- On Thursday morning, Sam Daugherty walked out of his house in Falcon Ranch near Katy. Alongside him was his young son, who he was escorting to school.
A war veteran, Daugherty has seen war firsthand. Even that didn't prepare him for what he saw beside the curb in front of his home.
On the concrete, was Imhotep, the red-tipped Siamese cat his wife brought with her to their marriage. Majestic is the word Daugherty used to describe the cat. Instead, he was found dead, and mutilated.
"One of my pets is laying there, severed in half," he said. "The image so graphic it didn't register what I was looking at."
Daugherty distracted his son so he didn't see the same image.
"Can you imagine how that would have affected him?" he said.
He is convinced Imhotep was not killed by a coyote. He suspects a human predator, and the vet to whom he took the remains Thursday agrees. She described the wound as a slice.
"The state of the pet's remains is suspicious for an intentional act by a human being," her report reads.
It is not the only time a cat has been killed and cut in half. President of the Falcon Ranch HOA, Robert Serrett says there are more in the area and all remain unsolved.
"We've had several instances in Cinco Ranch and Falcon Ranch where they've severed cats and it's particularly cats. There's no other animals they've gravitated to. It's awful, certainly for the families," he said.
The neighborhood NextDoor social media site has a post by Daugherty, warning neighbors to be careful with their pets. There's a long string of comments, including those from people whose cats have been killed, or are missing.
He's filed reports with law enforcement, but his fear now is escalation.
"What happens when they get bored with animals?" he asks. "Do they move on to kids?"
Imhotep will be back with his family, but it will be in an urn. The part of his body that was left in the street was cremated Friday.
"We'll put it in a place of honor, on the mantel," Daugherty said. "He was the greatest cat you could ever meet."
Anyone with information on who may be responsible for the death of Imhotep, or any others in the area can call the Fort Bend Co Sheriff's Office. Crimestoppers also takes tips about animal cruelty cases.
You can read more about this story on The Houston Community Newspapers' The Katy Rancher website. null
Cat mutilation in Katy neighborhood just one of several in recent times