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  • Writer's pictureLeigh Pfefferkorn

Pet of the Month - Our new Bengal kitten

Ben, Bengal cat, passed away two years ago. The Thompsons had selected Ben, a one-and-a-half-year-old rescue, from the shelter after interviewing over 100 cats. They transported Ben home in a zippered pet carrier, but the Houdini artist attempted to escape five times. He unzipped the zipper. Undaunted, Ben leaped at Evelyn, scaring her, then proceeded to "lick her to death." For over 12 years, Ben was "purr-fect."

He fetched balls, constantly cuddled and swam in the ocean, and joined Evelyn and Ed on their sailboat as often as possible.

Now it was time for Evelyn and Ed Thompson to get excited about a new Bengal. Evelyn researched catteries websites and, finally, found a more reasonable cost for Bengal cats on Facebook Marketplace. The Facebook Marketplace review seemed good. Evelyn and Ed decided on the Snow Bengal and started conversations about the parents of the kitten they chose.

Facebook Marketplace asked for personal information, address, etc., and suggested a "holding deposit." Evelyn preferred to wait until she was holding the new kitten in her arms. She made an appointment to visit, and Facebook Marketplace replied a week later, encouraging her to make a deposit. Evelyn again said, "No deposit, but I promise cash upon inspection."

Facebook Marketplace had no secure payment options or phone numbers for returning calls. Two long days passed. Marketplace notified Evelyn and Ed, "Do you still want the cat?" Evelyn was very uneasy but said yes, and I'm going to Raleigh tomorrow to pick my kitten up. Marketplace replied great, please get a visa or an AMX card for the total amount (above $500) and send a picture of the card and receipt, and the new kitten will be yours. Evelyn still insisted on meeting the kitten's parents before making any decisions. Facebook Marketplace replied, "all right," but made no further comments nor replied to her concerns.

Yes, it was a "Cat Scam." The Thompsons googled the address on Facebook Marketplace and found it was an abandoned store with no occupants. Evelyn and Ed have resumed their search in other directions.
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