American Canyon Police received a call at 2 p.m. Wednesday that a male was seen choking, punching and throwing a cat along the railroad tracks near Highway 29 and Kimberly Lane.
Officers found a cat wrapped in a sweater near the tracks, said American Canyon Police Chief Oscar Ortiz. The cat, still alive and apparently not seriously injured, was turned over to an animal control officer and taken to a veterinarian.
Officers found a man matching the caller's description in the McDonald's near Highway 29 and Mini Drive, Ortiz said. He was covered in scratches and what appeared to be cat hair.
Jacob Luis Tamariz, 21, told police that the cat scratched him, so he threw the cat, Ortiz said.
He was arrested on suspicion of felony animal cruelty at 2:30 p.m. and booked at the Napa County jail that afternoon, jail records show.
He remained in custody as of 1 p.m. Thursday.
As for the cat, it suffered a tail injury but is otherwise fine and at the Napa County Animal Shelter, Ortiz said. There is some dispute about who owns the cat. And depending on how that plays out, the animal will be released to the owner or put up for adoption.
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The shelter reminds cat lovers that it has plenty of felines looking for homes.