Connecticut authorities have slapped a restraining order on a cat which, according to shaken locals in Fairfield, has subjected the residents of a quiet suburban cul-de-sac to a feline reign of terror during which it attacked several people and even had a pop at the Avon lady.
The chilling Connecticut Post report into 5-year-old Lewis's antisocial tendencies recounts how the black-and-white longhaired cat - dubbed the "Terrorist of Sunset Circle" - would attack from behind and without warning, as two-time victim Janet Kettman explained: "I was walking along the sidewalk when he sprang at me. I never saw it coming, but that's how it often is. He comes at you from behind, springs and wraps himself around your legs, biting and scratching.
"The last time I had three bites and eight scratches and I ended up at the walk-in clinic. The Avon lady was getting out of her car when Lewis attacked her from behind. She ended up going to the hospital."
Eyewitnesses describe the beast as looking like Felix the Cat and sporting "six toes on each foot, each with a long claw".
Following her ordeal, Kettman called in Fairfield cops' animal control officer Rachel Solveira, who summarised the threat with: "I don't feel the cat could kill anybody, but it could latch onto people's legs and arms and bite and scratch to the point where they could be hospitalised."
Accordingly, Solveira slapped a restraining order on Lewis which, rather splendidly, allowed the tearaway limited freedom to leave owner Ruth Cisero's house "if Cisero gave him Prozac".
The cat declined to take his medication, and soon after escaped custody and laid into Maureen Bachtig, who recalled: "I felt Lewis's claw on my left leg and I shook him loose, he then lunged and clung to my right leg, leaving one very deep puncture wound, one long deep gash across the top of my knee."
As a result, Cisero found herself cuffed and Lewis indefinitively restrained within his domicile. She claims the neighbours have been tormenting the poor creature, spraying him with hoses and chucking eggs at the four-legged ne'er-do-well.
Cisero said: "I've tried to tell them to just stay away from Lewis and he will stay away from you; this has caused complete havoc for me. He's a cat's cat, he climbs trees and sits on people's roofs but now he's forced to be in the house all the time."
Lewis's incarceration is not the end of the matter. Cisero has applied to the court for "accelerated rehabilitation"* for her moggie, while the Avon lady Donna Greenstein filed a lawsuit in Superior Court against Cisero.
*No, we have no idea what "accelerated rehabilitation" means in a feline context. Probably like something out of A Clockwork Orange, we suspect.
Oh yes, for the benefit of our extra-Blighty readers, Asbo = AntiSocial Behaviour Order - is routinely applied to alcohol-crazed teenagers who find it amusing to steal people's cars or hang around shopping centres hurling abuse at octogenarian decorated war heroes. You get the idea.