Columbia man arrested after allegedly drowning girlfriend’s cat

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Columbia, Tennessee man was arrested Thursday morning for allegedly killing his girlfriend’s cat.

Columbia police were called to the 300 block of Pitts Court around 9 a.m. after the girlfriend’s mother called 911. Kaitlin Vail, 18, said she was at work when her boyfriend, James Evans, 19, sent her a disturbing text message.

“He said, ‘I think I killed the cat. He’s not breathing,’” Evans told Vail. He then allegedly said, “The cat scratched me this morning so I filled up the bathtub and held him down and drowned him.”

Vail rushed home and found her cat wrapped in a blanket and stuffed behind a dresser.

She called her mother, Tammy Vail, who said she was concerned for her daughter’s safety and reported the incident to police.

“I didn’t think she would be here when I got here,” Vail’s mother said.

The cat, named Tom, was 2-years-old and had just been adopted two months ago. “He was really sweet to me. He loved to play. Animals are a big part of my life,” said Vail as she fought back tears.

She said it broke her heart to watch her boyfriend of a year and a half being arrested, but she is devastated over the cat’s death.

“I’m really livid with him and super upset that he would ever do such a thing considering he used to love animals,” Vail said. Vail also said that Evans had never been violent toward her.

The teen’s mom helped her daughter clear her belongings out of the apartment and said she was moving her home for her own safety.

“It is beyond disgusting to do that to an animal. They could go up to the next level and do that to a human,” her mother said.


Evans was booked into the Maury County jail and is charged with aggravated animal cruelty.

A check of his criminal history showed a domestic assault charge and simple possession charge, both from 2014. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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