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Deaf Woman's Cat Seized By Animal Control Officers


SHELBY, NC. - 'My heart is just broken': Deaf woman's cat seized. A basket of cat toys sits forlornly on the carpet in Cindie Steever's apartment in Shelby along with an empty food bowl.

Steever said her small apartment feels barren and empty without Costello. For Steever, Costello was more than a pet. She was her ears. Steever can't hear a knock on the door. A ringing phone goes unnoticed. She speaks with the help of her fingers and an interpreter. Steever, who is Deaf, told The Star her small gray and white cat would alert her to sounds around her home. Through her interpreter, she described Costello as her "champion hearing cat."

Last week, Costello was taken by Cleveland County Animal Control officers when they were called to her home to remove some kittens. Steever's anguish cannot only be seen in her fingers, but her face. "I relied on her," she said.

Jacquelyn Moore, Steever's friend and interpreter, said Steever felt intimidated by several people. "She thought she was being forced to give Costello up," Moore said. "She felt she didn't have a choice."

Steever, who got Costello in 2011, said the cat recently had three kittens. Her landlord told her she had to find homes for the babies but that she could keep Costello. She was given a week. Read more: http://www.shelbystar.com/news/local/my-heart-is-just-broken-deaf-woman-s-cat-seized-1.64712
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