Heather Weidmann was horrified Friday morning when she saw footage on Facebook of a South Side cat being scalded with boiling water.
“I cried my eyes out, it’s horrible,” the construction worker said Friday night. “Who’s going to help this cat?”
The Humboldt Park resident said she has under her belt 16 years’ worth of rescuing cats and decided to see the suspect be caught.
As the man charged with injuring the cat sits in jail, she rounded up a fellow rescue enthusiast and headed to the Park Manor neighborhood Friday afternoon.
“We sort of have crazy cat powers,” Weidmann, 43, said. “We always find them.”
Leon Teague, 18, of the 6900 block of South King Drive, faces a felony animal torture charge after police say he threw boiling hot water on the cat, as well as a misdemeanor count of animal cruelty depiction.
He was ordered to be held without bail Friday in Cook County Central Bond Court.
The video shows someone behind the camera holding a black pot containing hot water. He lures the cat with enticing noises and throws the water, sending the cat scurrying away in tortured howls.
Weidmann and her friend, Melissa Belice, searched the alley behind Teague’s residence to no avail all Friday afternoon before deciding to come back again at night.
“There’s a lot of cats in that alley,” she said.
They made arrangements to have police and Chicago Animal Care and Control officers meet them there at the scene about 7 p.m.
“We showed up in the alley, and the cat was there,” Weidmann said. “We called him over. He was friendly. We set up a trap and the cat went in.”
Weidmann said the cat’s injuries were apparent but his spirit was unfettered.
“His fur is singed and he has burns on him,” she said. “He’s got scabbing, but he’s very friendly and he’s in great spirits.”
The cat will remain in the city’s animal shelter on medical hold until Monday, when Weidmann said she will meet with police and then take it to Felines and Canines animal shelter in Edgewater.
Weidmann, who said she has three dogs and a couple of cats and regularly feeds feral cats, said she is in the midst of figuring out a name for her latest charge.
“He’s got to have a pretty damn special name,” she said. “For everything that he’s been through, to still come up and let us touch him and pet him, he’s pretty damn special.”