TURNER — It sounds more like the plot of a Saturday morning cartoon than real life.

Animal Control Officer Wendell Strout’s Thanksgiving turkey was mauled (allegedly) by a cat. Wendell Strout photo

A stealthy cat got early Thanksgiving dinner this week when he ate part of a turkey a veteran animal control officer had won in a raffle.

It happened to Wendell Strout, a 20-year animal control officer who typically investigates this type of mischief rather than suffering it directly.

It was particularly galling, Strout said, because it was good fortune that got him the bird in the first place. Well … good fortune and some cash.

“So, I went to the Sabattus Legion turkey raffle and spent 25 bucks before I won a turkey,” Strout explained.

He had two turkeys, as it happened, because a family member had already gotten one. It was cold the night Strout came home with his turkey, so he figured why take up precious freezer space inside the house?

“I left it in the back of my truck parked in the driveway overnight,” he said. “When I went out the next morning, I found that it had been eaten by a cat.”

To be fair, no cat has been officially identified as the culprit, although Strout said one was reportedly seen wandering nearby just a short time before the turkey was mauled.

Whatever got at the bird clawed through the plastic wrapping and then absolutely shredded a good chunk of white meat.

The turkey was of no use to Strout after that, so he tossed it into the woods near his home so that other wildlife could have Thanksgiving dinner, as well. And he figures next time, he’ll just pick up Thanksgiving dinner at a grocery store rather than busting his wallet at a raffle.

“At about 29 cents a pound, I could have gotten one of those turkeys for about 4 bucks,” Strout snarled. “I spent about 26 bucks on the raffle. For that, I could have gotten five turkeys.”

The alleged cat accused of stealing the turkey remains at large. It is presumed he’s lying on a couch somewhere and watching football.

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