Local man saves kitten from the Ouachita River

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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Nick Sylvestri has been fishing for more than 30 years.
Recently, he caught a cat instead of a fish.

"I heard a splash behind me and I looked back and that little cat right there was swimming," he said.

It was a 6-week old kitten.

"I'm almost positive that a cat that small didn't just get up there by himself and jump off. Somebody threw it off," he said.

Seconds later, Nick went over to get the cat out of the water.

"He sat there kind of just shaking for probably a good two hours," he said.

The Ouachita Parish Animal Control said animal cruelty is a parish-wide issue.

According to the lead animal control officer, the local shelter gets about 40 cats a day.

"Right now, we're facing cat problems. People dumping out cats in trailer parks-and cats reproduce and multiply- instead of bringing them to us. Maybe we can help them. It's putting the problem and burden on other people," said Kurtis Payton.

People can face up to 30 days in jail for animal cruelty.

"The best option is to bring it to the shelter and let us handle it."

If you don't want to take the cat to a shelter, you can keep it like Nick's family.

They've already taken the cat to the veterinarian. Doctors say it's healthy.

"I'm glad. It was just meant to be, I'm sure. I'm really not a cat person myself, but I got respect for all animals, you know?" Nick said.

Nick might not be a cat lover, but the cat definitely caught his heart.

He even named it, River.

"It suits him," he said.

Animal control says several people reported the incident. They say anyone who saw what happened to the cat should come forward with information.

Read the original version of this article at www.knoe.com.

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