Whitesburg KY

Jenkins cops: Kitten still alive

Jenkins police have learned that cats really can have more than one life.

A kitten thought to have died July 17 after being body slammed onto the ground is alive.

“When we left we were pretty sure it was gone,” said Jenkins Police Chief Jim Stephens. “They were ready to bury it.”

Robert Markham Machniak, 52, of 21 No. 1 Hill, was arrested July 17 in connection to allegedly harming the kitten, which belongs to his brother’s girlfriend. Machniak is charged with second-degree cruelty to animals and menacing. At the time of the incident, Machniak was intoxicated, police said.

“The cat was not moving, was gasping for air and died before we left the scene,” Jenkins Assistant Police Chief Crystal Davis wrote in a citation.

Davis wrote in an arrest citation that Machniak body slammed the small kitten after he became extremely belligerent toward his brother Clifton Machniak and his brother’s girlfriend.

A woman claiming to own the kitten called The Mountain Eagle’s “Speak Your Piece” feature this week to comment on the kitten’s condition.

“It is not dead,” she said. “It is alive and well. It was lucky to make it, but I do have it. If anyone doesn’t trust me, just call me and I’ll let them know. They can see the cat. It is fine.”

Stephens said he talked to the woman a few days ago and she told him that the kitten is alive.

“Thank God it is okay,” said Stephens. “As everybody knows, cats have nine lives.”

Stephens said the fact that the kitten is alive doesn’t affect the court case.

“We want to let people know that they can’t do that to animals,” said Stephens.

Machniak remains in custody under supervision of the Letcher County Jail. A surety bond is set at $2,500.

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