Reddit wants to bring a crossbow-toting neighbor to justice

Cats, ever the mascots of the Internet, are fiercely protected by communities like 4chan and Reddit. Spooky is no exception.


Mike Fenn


Published Oct 15, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 4:14 am CDT

If you mess with a cat, prepare to suffer the wrath of Reddit.

On Oct. 12, redditor Brandonjking posted a disturbing image of his cat “Spooky” to r/WTF. The picture depicted the dark-furred feline pierced with an arrow that had allegedly been fired by an angry neighbor. 

Woke up and found my cat like this,” he posted.

Photos via Brandonjking/Imgur

“We went to our neighbors to ask him if he did it he said no. I made him show me his arrows and they were a match, he shot Spooky with his crossbow,” Brandonjking explained. “We Called the cops. The cops took the arrows and are presenting it to the DA.”

He later edited the post with an update, explaining that Spooky had made it through surgery just fine and was home healing, albeit still in considerable discomfort.

Unfortunately, this left a large vet bill to be paid.

“We went back to [the neighbor’s] property with the vet bill and he offered to pay half,” he wrote. “We demanded he pay the whole. He paid for half and said he would give us the rest later because he didn’t have it all on him. We’re waiting on the DA to review the case.”

In a further edit, Brandonjking stated that the neighbor told him that he “hates cats and would shoot my cat again if it were on his land.” He also said that a local TV news station was planning to interview him about the story.

While fellow redditors were happy to hear about Spooky’s prognosis, many of them wanted to launch another attack—on the neighbor himself.

“Can you get a friend to wear a ski mask and knee cap that fuck in a parking Lot?” sixtythree asked.

“I’m actually amazed that you didn’t just say “oh okay, be right back” then go to your house grab a hammer and come round and hammer that guys face in. You’re a better man than me!” Kijamon said.

“Shame its illegal to shoot your neighbour or else i would do it for you, the bastard,” LI4MGREEN said.

In the waterfall of seething comments, other redditors expressed their observations on the situation—and just how strange of a place the Internet can be.

“Welcome to the Internet, where if you butcher a human we’re just as likely to laugh as cry but if you hurt a cat we’ll hunt your ass down and ruin your life,” New_User_4 said.

Despite some pleas, no personal information about the neighbor was posted in the thread. Brandonjking has announced that he is pressing charges against the neighbor.

Reddit has had mixed luck when it comes to going on the offensive. Perhaps the site’s most famous trespass occurred during the April 2013 bombings at the Boston Marathon. As news—and speculation—about the alleged bombers poured in, redditors incorrectly identified the culprits, going so far as to point the finger at a missing Brown University student who later turned up dead in Pennsylvania. Reddit churned out an apology and, since the incident, a warning in bold, red letters regarding the posting of personal information permanently appears at the top of the r/videos subreddit.

But on another occasion, redditors banded together to help avenge the beating death of a Chicago man. Eventually, several of the attackers were arrested.

Cat justice, meanwhile, has been primarily the purview of 4chan, which sought to bring justice to a South Carolina teen caught kicking a cat. The boy was ultimately slapped with animal cruelty charges.

Photo via Brandonjking/Imgur 

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*First Published: Oct 15, 2013, 9:52 am CDT