We are exposed to an increasing amount of animal cruelty images through the media these days, but no-one expects to witness it outside their own front room window.
But that is exactly what happened on the riverbank at Riverside in Grantham on Saturday. Just before dusk I went to close the curtains and settle down for the evening when a shocking situation developed before us.
A man and woman appeared, walking their short-haired brown and white terrier through the complex. Suddenly the dog was transformed into a snarling and snapping frenzy straining at the leash.
A glance to the right revealed the cause of its agitation. A small kitten stood there arching its back, hair on end, hissing and spitting loudly.
Nothing sinister about that, I thought as the woman apparently bent down to calm the terrified creature. Then I realised what was really going on when the man and his dog drew closer and launched into a vicious attack. Suddenly the woman made a grab for the kitten, swinging her hand as if to scoop it into the dog’s gaping jaws.
Fortunately their prey was quicker, eluding her and making a run for it. At the same instant her companion released the rein on the terrier’s lead. Somehow the cat got by only to be trapped in a corner, cowering and spitting with fright. The dog moved in for the kill, jaws agape like a rabid wild beast. It was then that the couple noticed me knocking on the window and the cat lost only one of its nine lives instead of all of them.
With a decidedly unfriendly gesture and grimace to match, the trio disappeared round the block and moved off down the street laughing, while I was left to contemplate the cruelty to which some of we British have become.
No police anywhere in sight.
Need I say more?