This report from the American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology (via Private Eye) reads like a horror story par excellence. It’s the cool scientific tone that packs the punch as we see the whole episode and backstory played out in our mind’s eye. Short story writers take note.
Motivation? Forensics should have looked for scratch-marks on the furniture or poo in the pot plants.
“Margaret Redpath MD — ‘An Unusual Case of Smothering Secondary to Ingesting Raw Pet Cat’.
Abstract: Smothering is defined as an obstruction of the air passages above the level of the epiglottis, including the nose, mouth, and pharynx. This is in contrast to choking, which is considered to be due to an obstruction of the air passages below the epiglottis. The manner of death in smothering can be homicidal, suicidal, or an accident. Accidental smothering is considered rare among middle-aged adults, yet many cases still occur. Presented here is the case of a 39-year old woman who was found dead on her living room floor by her neighbours. Her hands were covered in scratches and her pet cat was found disembowelled in the kitchen with its tail hacked off. On autopsy her stomach was found to be full of cat intestines, adipose tissue, and strips of fur-covered skin. An intact left kidney and adipose tissue were found lodged in her throat just above her epiglottis. After a complete investigation, the cause of death was determined to be asphyxia by smothering due to animal tissue.” 06/2011
Actually, this is similar to a scene in the late JG Ballard’s “Home” which was dramatised for television with Anthony Sher in the main role. Wonderful it was, too.
Anna’s food blog here: