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Owners wonder why cats were slain

Whatever it was, it was sure bigger and meaner than Blinks and Jimmy as they took their moonlit stroll a month ago.

Other cats in the neighborhood were no match, either. They, too, would die a mysterious death before dawn.

Most of the dead lay almost in rows, lined side by side. Only one had obvious signs of serious trauma; it was cut in half.

Suspecting animal cruelty, police canvassed the neighborhood after reports of six cats slain along red-bricked 12th Avenue N. Residents say as many as 10 cats actually were found Sept. 23. On lawns. In the street. Behind an apartment house.

Ever since the daybreak discovery of Blinks and Jimmy, their owners still wonder how the cats were killed. Even more, they wonder why.

Sometime early Sept. 23, Sherry Zipp's husband, Alonzo, let Blinks and Jimmy out for their usual jaunt. "They weren't tomcats," Mrs. Zipp says. "They just went out to smell the fresh air."

By 7 a.m., the two cats lay dead about 6 feet apart. A neighbor saw them, then told the Zipps.

As the neighbor and Alonzo Zipp stood outside, another man walked by and overheard them. That's funny, he said. Three more cats are two houses down.

Police have no suspects and no witnesses, says Officer Terri Hubble, a department spokeswoman.