Video: Woman caught throwing cat in trash

msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 8/25/2010 9:44:58 AM ET 2010-08-25T13:44:58

Cat got her tongue?

After saying "it's just a cat" in response to the uproar over her decision to throw a neighbor's cat into a trash bin, Mary Bale apologized Tuesday for her actions and said she will work with investigators who are looking into the matter.

"I want to take this opportunity to apologize profusely for the upset and distress that my actions have caused," Bale said in a statement.

“I cannot explain why I did this, it is completely out of character and I certainly did not intend to cause any distress to Lola or her owners. It was a split second of misjudgment that has got completely out of control.”

Earlier in the day, the British-based Sun newspaper reported that Bale put the cat in the can as “a joke” and didn’t understand what the big deal was. “It’s only a cat,” Bale said, adding that she thought the cat would be able to wiggle its way out.

On Wednesday, British police guarded the house of Bale, whose actions sparked outrage from animal lovers and even death threats.

'Thought it would be funny'
Bale, an unmarried 45-year-old banker, was reportedly walking home on Saturday when she saw the cat and began stroking it. She “suddenly thought it would be funny” to throw the four-year-old feline named Lola in the trash.

And there it stayed for 15 hours, according to investigators at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The owners of the cat, Stephanie Mann and her husband, Darryl, couldn’t find Lola on Sunday morning but followed the sound of her meows.

"We thought she might be trapped under the car because she sounded like she was hurt, so we followed her cries and eventually found her in the bin," Stephanie Mann told the Coventry Telegraph newspaper.

The couple had previously installed a personal surveillance camera outside their home in Coventry, central England, following a spate of thefts in the area.

Mann said they checked the video expecting to discover local youths, or a drunk, had thrown Lola into the bin late on Saturday evening, but were shocked to discover the culprit was a respectable looking woman.

"I was absolutely heartbroken to see how someone could just be so cruel," she told the newspaper.

The couple put the footage onto the video sharing website YouTube and set up a Facebook site called "Help Find The Woman Who Put My Cat In The Bin."

Darryl Mann said Lola survived the ordeal in good shape.

"She's fine. She's very tired obviously with everything that's being going on, but other than that she's fine," he told reporters at his home, 95 miles northwest of London.

© 2013 msnbc.com

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