‘Fairy Tale of the Lost and Found’: The ‘Lost’ Case of the Black Cat
From the beginning, it seemed that a group of investigators from across Canada’s public service broadcasting system would be investigating the disappearance of a missing and lost cat named Muffin.
They have now uncovered a disturbing story that appears to be more complex than the original media reports, but the investigation has taken them to some places that are no longer safe.
Here are some of the places they visited.
Manitoba police station (Guelph, Ont.)
Muffins disappearance from a police station in Guelph on May 2, 1989.
Photo by: Jody Latham.
Manitoba’s chief coroner was also on the case, as were two members of the Provincial Police, a public information officer, and a deputy superintendent.
The following is an account of the investigation by CBC’s Public Safety Unit and its investigators.
“It’s very clear,” says forensic pathologist Michael McArthur, “that there was a missing cat in the area at the time of the disappearance.”
“I think it was a cat of the wild type, with a dark fur, black markings, white eyes, and that’s what we have at this point.”
McArthur is a veterinarian who was working at the Guelpthorpe Police Station at the same time as the missing cat.
“The first thing that happened was we got a call from the Chief Coroner’s Office that said, ‘Someone’s missing Muffing.'”
Muffina was found with a large white bag in her mouth on May 3, 1989, after a passerby reported seeing the cat in a yard near the Gifford Park Public Pool.
Police have identified the cat as a black cat with black fur, but are still trying to determine its gender.
“I can’t say for certain,” McArthur says, “but I can say for sure that there’s a male or female.”
Winnipeg police station Muffinas disappearance from the Winnipeg Police Service station on May 11, 1989.(Reuters photo: Peter Clark)The missing cat was found on the same day Muffinator disappeared, with her white bag still attached to her mouth.
“At this point, I have no information about the gender of the cat,” McArthors says.
“We’re still looking for the owner of the white bag.
It’s not a good place to keep a cat, especially one of that size.”
Muffin was found by a passer-by in the same area where the missing dog was found, and the police have been searching for her ever since.
“She was found in a location that was very close to the park,” McAvents says.
Ontario police station In a post-mortem examination on May 20, 1989 by a coroner’s pathologist, Muffini’s remains were determined to be female.
(Canadian Press photo: Paul Gunn)The police searched the area where Muffino was found and found a white bag with a hole through the side.
A photo of the bag is also on display in the police crime scene.
“At this stage, we’re still not sure if she was wearing a collar or if she just wasn’t wearing a coat,” Mc Arthur says.
McArthur has spent several years working on the Muffinian case.
“There were some other people who were involved in the investigation as well, so I’m hoping to get some additional information from them,” he says.
Manitoba coroner’s office In the post-mortem examination on July 20, 1988 by a postmortem pathologist (Reuters photo/Dylan Martinez), Muffín was determined to have died from natural causes, although her remains were not definitively identified.
McArthur has been working on Muffinos case for nearly two decades, and has been the lead investigator for many years.
“For the most part, the investigators have been pretty positive that the body was that of a female,” he explains.
Saskatchewan police station The remains of Muffine are seen at the Saskatoon Police Service’s (SPS) crime scene on July 27, 1990.(Reuters photos: Darryl Dyck)The investigation into Muffincin began with an interview with a woman who was at the police station at the end of May.
Maddie LeBlanc, who was then a Saskatoon police officer, spoke with LeBlanco about the incident and what happened that day.
“Muffina had been taken to the police and was missing,” LeBlanche said.
“A woman from Saskatoon, who’s known to us, came to me to say that Muffinit was in a police van.”
LeBlanchons report says that LeBlac saw a police officer walk up to the van and “point at a large cat.”
She said she looked at the animal and saw a white cat and that it was female.
After interviewing more witnesses, LeBlanches report concluded that M