A person who heard their gate rattling in the middle of the night awoke to find a cat hanged with washing line, from a tree in their back garden.

The "utterly despicable" killing took place in Wythenshawe, Manchester on Tuesday, June 21, and the RSPCA told the Daily Star they are "looking into" the case.

The body of the 10-year-old black and white rescue cat, called Jack, was recovered from the back garden of a property in a usually quiet neighbourhood.

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In what appears to be a deliberate act, the line had been tied from a fence to the lower branch of a tree and then wrapped around the cat’s neck three times before being knotted up.

Distraught owner, Tracy McCormick, was called to her neighbours’ home where the harrowing discovery was made at around 8am.

Tracy, who has lived in the area for eight years, believes the shy rescue cat was seized by the perpetrator as he was usually timid in the company of strangers.

Tracy took Jack on as a kitten nearly a decade ago after he and his siblings were found in a neglected state.

She said: “It is just horrendous that someone would do this. Jack used to go out around 9pm and be back in for bed time. He’s not an unneutered Tom cat who was spraying. He was timid and no-one had ever complained about him.

“He was a cat I had taken from a bad situation and he was loved.

“Whoever did this did it deliberately as the line was wrapped around him and tied with three knots. It took all my strength to get it off him. But he would have fought, that’s for sure.”

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RSPCA Inspector Ryan King believes Jack was probably killed in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The inspector has viewed CCTV footage made available by neighbours and he is appealing for anyone who may have seen someone acting suspiciously in the area.

Inspector King said: “The owner was distraught and her neighbours were quite horrified when her cat was found around 8am on Tuesday.

“You have to wonder why someone would do this and it seems strange they would go into a back garden to do it. A neighbour heard the side gate being rattled and found it was unlocked in the morning.”

Tracy, who has two other cats and a miniature pinscher, who are all missing their companion, hopes someone may have seen something around the time of the incident or even heard of people gloating about committing the cruel act later.

If anyone has any information or CCTV footage that may be of assistance they are asked to call the RSPCA appeals line on 0300 123 8018.

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