A real estate agent in Texas was filming video for his TikTok channel, sarcastically providing a voice-over in which he promises a “look at the beauty of rental houses when the tenants move out.”
As the agent, who goes by the name Felix Jaimes on TikTok, showed broken blinds, inexplicably removed wood floor panels, a cracked mirror, dirty bathroom and garbage left everywhere. Then he heard noise coming from another room.
“Honestly I got scared, I thought someone was in there because the house was pretty much empty,” Jaimes explained later in the comments.
But he didn’t find a burglar — just a terrified, depressed-looking cat huddling in the corner of a closet.
“He was obviously scared,” Jaimes wrote. “My heart broke” for him.
“Immediately I thought they left their cat behind. What kind of people do that,” Jaimes asked. “I thought they had just abandoned the place since they destroyed it.”
After calling and sending text messages to the tenant, she called Jaimes back and said she wasn’t finished moving out.
“When I came back, the cat was gone,” Jaimes said.
The video was posted on Dec. 7. It’s not clear from Jaimes’ profile exactly where he is — or where the home is located — in Texas, but perhaps some sharp-eyed Texan will be able to tell from the exterior shots at the beginning of the video.
Regardless, the video is distressing. It seems to me that organizations like county-level SPCAs — which employ animal welfare officers with law enforcement jurisdiction when it comes to animal abuse and welfare investigations — are made to handle cases like this, not just the “saving 50 cats from a hoarding situation” stories we hear all the time.
At the very least, the SPCA’s law enforcement division should locate the owner, interview her, check on the cat and have him brought in for a veterinary exam. If they don’t like what they see, they should confiscate the cat and take extra care to place him with people who know how to treat cats and will give him the love he deserves.
Maybe everything really is on the up-and-up and just looks bad, but someone who really knows cats — and loves them — would never leave their kitty in an empty apartment, cowering in a closet and believing he’s been abandoned. That’s why it should be investigated. Better safe than sorry.