TORONTO, CANADA – A Toronto cat rescue group is currently working with police to find a man who stole a four-month-old kitten that was up for adoption in North York.
The kitten, who is named Einstein, was found abandoned on a North York street with four of his siblings. Team Cat Rescue, which is a local charity group that helps homeless cats, got the kittens to safety and began the process of putting them up for adoption.
But on Wednesday, May 4, while the kitten was in the Newtonbrook Pet Valu store located in North York, he was stolen by a man who is now wanted by police.
The kitten was in the store as a part of a partnership which exists between the rescue and the store to get more homeless felines adopted.
Einstein resembles the kitten in Keanu, a film which is currently playing in theaters about a stolen kitten.
“There was a lot of interest and enquiries into him. There was something about his face,” stated Suzanne Kleinberg, who runs the cat rescue group.
She thinks Einstein was purposefully targeted.
“To us, it looked like he knew exactly what he was doing,” she went on to say of the man who stole the kitten.
Security footage shows the suspect entering the store, choosing the kitten out of three others that were in the cage and then leaving. Employees at the store were busy with another customer, who Kleinberg believes acted as a decoy.
Kleinberg said Einstein received so much interest that she thinks someone may have tried to skip the competition just to get the kitten, or tried to avoid being vetted by the group or paying the $200 neutering, microchip and vaccination fee.
Even still, there is the very real possibility the kitten’s safety is in jeopardy.
“There are a lot of nutjobs out there. We see a lot of abused cats all the time, as a rescue. We’ve seen horror stories,” she explained.
“And these are not kids who wanted a little kitten but didn’t have the adoption fee. This is a situation where an adult man stole a kitten.”
The kitten had yet to be neutered or even microchipped.
The rescue group is now urging the public to keep an eye out for Einstein on sites like Kijiji, and Klienberg has reached out veterinarians across the city.
She said that anyone who may have information about the man who stole the kitten can conact police at 416-808-2222, Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477 or simply leave a message at her cat rescue group.
“He’s just sweetest guy. It breaks my heart.”