By Brad McLeod
VANCOUVER — A local woman in her mid-forties who has been in-between jobs and out of a relationship for over 15 months has reportedly been kidnapped by a group of domesticated house cats.
According to neighbours, Melissa O’Reilly, a recently unemployed librarian, has only left her apartment a handful of times in the past few months and is never spotted far from the company of several shady looking felines.
“I used to see her go out at night to clubs or for drinks with the girls, but nowadays she spends her whole day taking care of the cats and never leaves her apartment,” said one concerned neighbour. “She doesn’t wear makeup anymore or even brush her hair; these cats are relentless.”
Police reports have indicated that these kitties have tortured O’Reilly in countless ways, each more cruel and humiliating than the last. Not only has she not been allowed to go on any dates or keep up with basic hygiene, but she’s also been forced to DVR and watch every episode of The Real Housewives of Vancouver.
Up to 12 cats have already been implicated in the hostage situation, but according to investigators that number is consistently growing.
“We believe initially it may have been only the one cat, who she may actually have had a peaceful relationship with, kind of like a pet owner situation” said Sgt. Dan Murphy, a hostage negotiator “but since then things have spiralled out of control with a new cat coming in the mix every few days.”
Unfortunately for O’Reilly, the police have no idea what the motives are behind this capture and in phone calls police have only heard a few muffled ‘meows’. At one point, a ransom letter was believed to have been discovered on the front porch, but was later revealed to be just a newspaper.
Although it is believed that the kidnapping is an isolated incident, the police have issued a warning to others in the area.
“I think everyone in the community, especially women, need to remain vigilant,” said Murphy. “Cats have a history of preying on older, lonely women and now that the media has picked up this story there’s a definite chance of copycats.”
To ensure their own safety, residents have been warned to limit their can opener use to only daylight hours and refrain from leaving any still milk overnight.
As for O’Reilly, with each passing day it is believed that she is showing more signs of Stockholm Syndrome. In her brief phone calls with police she has shown empathy and even positive feelings towards her captors, going as far as calling them ‘her babies’.
Although many are skeptical that the situation is beyond reach, the police remain unfazed and are confident that they can apprehend the adorable kidnappers and have them starring in hilarious YouTube videos in no time.